Entertaining and InformativeTales
Barbarians at the Gate, by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar. You saw the movie. Well, the book is better. The story of investment bankers clambering over each other to get a piece of the action on the 1988 RJR/Nabisco LBO.
Bombardiers, by Po Bronson, 1995, Random House. This is arguably the best-written book on investment banking in existence. According to Business Week: "Perhaps the most entertaining depiction of greed and dishonesty on Wall Street ever to see print." Presents a sometimes surreal, slightly fictionalized account of the fixed income sales floor at CS First Boston's San Francisco office. If you are thinking about investment banking be sure to read this book.
Fiasco: Blood in the Water on Wall Street, by Frank Partnoy, W. W. Norton, 1997. A recent alumni of Morgan Stanley relates his amazing experiences at the firm prior to the Mexico crisis in 1994. Entertaining although not quite as good as Liars Poker. Tends to suggest that derivatives are bad without delineating a position.
Investment Biker, 1994, Adams Publishing, $12.95 in paperback. (800-872-5627). Jim Rogers, a former hedge fund manager, who started in Demopolis, Alabama, travels 65000 miles around the world on a motorcycle offers great commentary on emerging economies, international finance and adventure. A great read especially if you are interested in foreign markets.
Liars Poker: Rising Through the Wreckage on Wall Street by Michael Lewis, Norton Books, 1989. A lucidly written, humorous account of a Salomon Brothers bond salesman. Essential reading. Raises ethical and management questions about practices at Salomon. Cost: $8. Also look at The Money Culture by Michael Lewis. Contains well-written vignettes about pay, culture and wacko things that happen in investment banking etc.
Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, by Edwin Lefevre, John Wiley & Sons. Reprinted: 1994. This is probably the best book on this list. It's engrossing, very well-written and 75 years old. If you interested in investment banking or investing, you should to read this book.
Riding the Bull: My Year in the Madness at Merrill Lynch, by Paul Stiles, Times Books, 1988. One of those first person tell-all books like FIASCO and Liars Poker. Good story, but Stiles isn't a born writer. You definitely feel for him and are glad he got out.
The Velocity of Money. A Novel of Wall Street. A thriller that also explains a lot about trading and the Street. Don't open it unless you have time to finish it.
Where are the Customers' Yachts?: A Good Hard Look at Wall Street, John Wiley, $19.95. A visitor was being shown around Manhattan. "There," said the guide, pointing at the East River, "are the Wall Street brokers' yachts." "Where are the customers' yachts?" was the naive reply. This amusing story of Wall Street written in 1940 by Fred Schwed tells you how the game is really played. Applies today better than ever.