BOOK REVIEWS


Debashis Basu Debashis Basu 05 February 2010
Kenneth Fisher is one of the most successful portfolio managers. He is also among the most original thinkers. His investment ideas figure in each issue of Forbes and several fine books (almost all of them have been reviewed in this magazine). This is one of his earliest books, first published in...

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Debashis Basu Debashis Basu 28 January 2010
What do quantitative traders really do? Renaissance Technologies, one of the world’s most successful hedge funds, employs hundreds of physicists and mathematicians (it avoids MBAs and those with experience on Wall Street) to devise strategies to beat the markets. It uses what are called...

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Debashis Basu Debashis Basu 28 January 2010
How destructive financial theories are embedded in the system One of the key reasons why the world went through a gut-wrenching period for much of 2008, when markets were frozen and economies and institutions were destroyed, was ironically the very theories from financial economics that...

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Sanket Dhanorkar 28 January 2010
Most people find financial markets complex, investing too risky and the frequent ups and downs in stocks too unnerving and confusing. Financial markets also happen to be heavily regulated. One can’t blame investors for losing their way while figuring out the products, players and procedures,...

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Sanket Dhanorkar 31 December 2009
The difference between being rich and acting rich is huge We all think that millionaires must be splurging their money on brands. Well, sample this. More millionaires wear Seiko instead of Rolex, or drive a Toyota instead of a BMW. You wouldn’t believe that three times more millionaires live...

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Debashis Basu Debashis Basu 31 December 2009
Why accidents are rarely accidental and how to prevent them Understanding risk, randomness and uncertainty from every angle is the intellectual stimulation du jour. The high priest of this new genre of study is, of course, Nassim Taleb, whose two books have set a standard of scholarship that...

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Debashis Basu Debashis Basu 31 December 2009
We are enjoying decades of peace. It is easy to forget that in the same terrain we are standing free today, marauding killer mobs of thousands had roamed just a few decades ago, uprooting millions, as countries were heartlessly split. If they could make it to their new country, through...

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The current turbulence in the financial environment calls for a different approach to investing in distressed securities and markets. The ongoing restructuring of capital markets presents a multitude of opportunities, says renowned ‘distress investor’ Marty Whitman. Facing the deep gloom and...

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China is poised to play a pivotal role in the future of global markets. This book captures the essence of China’s emergence as a power player in the global financial system, through a compilation of essays by Western and Chinese leaders in banking, capital markets and the insurance industry. The...

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Dr Nita Mukherjee 15 December 2009
A critique of the country’s economic policies This slim volume is a collection of eight essays that draw attention to an India that the author feels most Indians—especially the new millionaire beneficiaries of ‘India Shining’—turn away from. These essays were earlier published in journals...

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Sanket Dhanorkar 15 December 2009
An insider’s account of the astounding rise and stunning collapse of AIG and its legendary CEO In September 2008, AIG was forced to declare bankruptcy, three years after its charismatic leader, Hank Greenberg, was forced out of the company on charges of accounting manipulation. This book...

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Sanket Dhanorkar 03 December 2009
Merely being competent at your job is not enough; you need to be a true professional. This is the idea behind Subroto Bagchi’s latest book. It is an outcome of the author’s lifelong experience of what it takes to be a professional, and the challenges that lie ahead.The book delves into the idea...

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Debashis Basu Debashis Basu 03 December 2009
The story of Bernie Madoff, one of the biggest scam artists ever When Bernie Madoff was a sophomore in New York City’s Far Rockaway High in the early 1950s, he and his classmates were each supposed to read a book and make an oral report in the class. He hadn’t read a book for this assignment....

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Debashis Basu Debashis Basu 03 December 2009
How central banks can avoid future financial crisis William McChesney Martin (Jr) was the ninth and longest-serving chairman of the US Federal Reserve Board (from 2 April 1951 to 31 January 1970). He is known for his famous comment that it is the Fed’s job to “take away the punch bowl just as...

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As one who has experienced the joys of work in the ‘third phase of life’, I found Tamara Erickson's book a delight. She reaffirms what one has done over the past 15-years in the stage that Hindu philosophy calls vanprastha, and puts an academic spin on it. Tamara Erickson, a McKinsey...

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Debashis Basu Debashis Basu 21 November 2009
How and why some nations become rich while others lag On 26 January 1817, Thomas Malthus wrote in a letter to his fellow economist David Ricardo that “…the causes of the wealth and poverty of nations (is) the grand object of all enquiries in Political Economy.” Indeed, there is, as yet, no...

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Sanket Dhanorkar 21 November 2009
How fund managers of Harvard and Yale endowments have beaten even the best institutional investors For years, large university endowments, like Harvard and Yale, have consistently managed to outperform the market and hold their own during market declines, managing to do this with lesser risk...

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A whistle-stop tour of the free market orthodoxy and its opponents The two outstanding features of this book—one intended and the other a happenstance—are its sweep and timing. Coming as it does after the market meltdown of 2008, when many of the tenets of the turn-of-the-century-capitalism...

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A collection of trite economic minutiae of 2006-07 Economists attached to Wall Street have a difficult job. They have to interpret economic trends as these evolve. They don’t have the luxury of limiting themselves to describing what happened decades earlier, benefiting from distance, time and...

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How to detect rogue advisors Charles Ponzi, Bernard Madoff and now Allen Stanford—all respectable and illustrious names that concocted the most outrageous scams in the history of financial frauds. They looked directly into the eyes of their unsuspecting victims and robbed them of every penny...

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