2017 Wall Street Reading List

A collection of the Wall Street Reading List's best business books published in 2017.

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Black Edge

Sheelah Kolhatkar
Black Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street is a non-fiction book by Sheelah Kolhatkar that tells the story of Steven A. Cohen, a hedge fund manager who was considered one of the most powerful and successful investors on Wall Street. Despite his success, Cohen was also known for his secretive and aggressive trading strategies, which led to accusations of insider trading and other illegal activities. The book explores the rise and fall of Cohen and his hedge fund, SAC Capital Advisors, and delves into the complex legal and ethical issues surrounding insider trading and the efforts of federal regulators to crack down on illegal activities in the financial industry. It provides a detailed and nuanced look at the world of high finance and the inner workings of Cohen's hedge fund, and raises important questions about the ethics of insider trading and the role of government regulation in the financial industry.

The Spider Network

David Enrich
The Spider Network is a non-fiction book by David Enrich that tells the story of the Libor scandal, a financial fraud that involved the manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) benchmark interest rate. The book provides a detailed account of the events leading up to and following the discovery of the fraud, as well as the individuals and institutions involved. The Libor scandal was a massive financial fraud that affected trillions of dollars in financial instruments and had far-reaching consequences. It was discovered that a group of traders at major banks had been colluding to submit false information about their borrowing costs in order to manipulate the benchmark rate. The fraud was exposed through the efforts of a small group of whistle-blowers, who risked their careers and reputations to bring the wrongdoing to light. The book also explores the aftermath of the scandal, including the financial penalties imposed on the banks involved and the loss of trust in the financial system. The Spider Network provides a compelling and eye-opening look at one of the biggest financial scandals in history, and serves as a cautionary tale about the need for strong regulations and oversight in the financial industry.

Am I Being Too Subtle?

Sam Zell
Am I Being Too Subtle? Straight Talk from a Business Rebel is a nonfiction book written by businessman and real estate investor Sam Zell. The book, which was published in 2018, is a memoir that covers Zell's life and career, from his early days as a real estate entrepreneur to his current role as one of the most successful and influential investors in the world. In the book, Zell provides an inside look at his business philosophy and how he built his fortune through a combination of hard work, tenacity, and a willingness to take risks. He shares stories from his long career, including his early days as a real estate investor, his experience as a turnaround artist in the hotel industry, and his role in the leveraged buyout of Equity Office Properties, the largest leveraged buyout of a real estate company in history. One of the key themes in the book is Zell's focus on value investing, which he says is the key to his success. He provides advice and insights on how to identify undervalued assets, how to develop a sound investment strategy, and how to avoid common pitfalls and mistakes that can derail an investment. Additionally, Zell shares his thoughts on leadership and management, and provides an inside look at how he runs his businesses. He emphasizes the importance of strong, decisive leadership, and the value of having a clear vision and a willingness to take bold action.

The Acquirer's Multiple

Tobias E. Carlisle
The Acquirer's Multiple is a book written by Tobias E. Carlisle that explores the concept of the acquirer's multiple, a valuation measure that can be used to identify undervalued companies that may be ripe for acquisition. The book explains how the acquirer's multiple is calculated and provides examples of how it can be used to identify potential acquisition targets. It also discusses the various factors that can influence the acquirer's multiple, including the company's growth prospects, financial performance, and management team. The book also offers practical tips for how investors can use the acquirer's multiple to identify and evaluate potential acquisition opportunities. Overall, The Acquirer's Multiple is a useful resource for investors and financial professionals looking to better understand the acquirer's multiple and how it can be used to identify attractive investment opportunities.

American Kingpin

Nick Bilton
American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road is a non-fiction book written by Nick Bilton. The book is a thrilling true story of the rise and fall of Ross Ulbricht, the notorious founder and operator of the underground website "The Silk Road." The Silk Road was a notorious online black market where users could buy and sell illegal drugs, weapons, and other contraband anonymously and beyond the reach of the law. It operated on the dark web, using the encryption and anonymity provided by the Tor network. The site was a major criminal enterprise, earning its founder millions of dollars and making him one of the most wanted criminals in the world. In "American Kingpin", Nick Bilton tells the remarkable true story of how Ross Ulbricht created, ran, and ultimately fell from his empire. The book gives an in-depth look into the mind of a criminal mastermind, as well as the inner workings of the Silk Road and the efforts of the law enforcement agencies that brought it down. It also explores the impact of technology on crime and the dark side of the digital world. The book is a page-turner, with a mix of true crime and technology that offers an insider's perspective on one of the most captivating criminal cases of recent years. It not only provides a chilling account of Ulbricht's descent into the dark criminal underworld but also gives a glimpse of the motivations and thought process behind it. For those interested in true crime, technology, and the impact of the internet on society, "American Kingpin" is must-read. It's a gripping and fascinating story that shows how a single individual can create a massive global criminal enterprise, and the lengths the government will go to take it down.

Makers and Takers

Rana Foroohar
Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business is a provocative examination of the role of the financial sector in the United States and its impact on the overall economy. In the book, author Rana Foroohar argues that the financial industry, which was once a means of supporting and investing in businesses and industries, has become a "taker" industry that extracts wealth from the rest of the economy rather than creating it. This shift, she contends, has had a number of negative consequences, including increased economic inequality, declining rates of entrepreneurship, and the decline of long-term investment in favor of short-term financial gain. Foroohar traces the rise of finance as a dominant force in the economy and discusses the ways in which it has reshaped American business and society. She argues that the focus on short-term gains and financial engineering has led to a decline in productive investment, such as research and development, and has contributed to a decline in the number of new businesses being created. This has had a negative impact on economic growth and job creation, and has contributed to a growing divide between the "makers" who create wealth and the "takers" who extract it. In addition to examining the negative consequences of the financial industry's increasing influence, Foroohar also offers proposals for how to address these problems and restore balance to the economy. These include stronger regulation of the financial industry, an increased focus on long-term, sustainable growth, and a shift away from the shareholder primacy model, which emphasizes the interests of shareholders above all else.

Expert Political Judgment

Philip E. Tetlock
"Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know?" is a book by Philip E. Tetlock, published in 2005. The book presents the results of a multi-year study in which Tetlock analyzed the predictions of experts in various political fields, such as economics and international relations. The study aimed to evaluate the accuracy of the predictions and identify factors that contributed to the experts' success or failure. In the book, Tetlock argues that expert political judgment is often less accurate than commonly believed and that the use of simple heuristics and mental shortcuts can lead to systematic biases. He also suggests that certain personality traits and psychological factors can influence the ability to make accurate predictions. The book also explores the impact of group dynamics and the political environment on experts' ability to make predictions. Tetlock's analysis offers insights into the limitations of expert judgment and strategies for improving the accuracy of predictions in political fields.

Homo Deus

Yuval Noah Harari
"Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow" is a book written by Yuval Noah Harari, that explores the future of humanity and the implications of technological advancements on the human species. The book delves into the possibilities of advancements in fields such as artificial intelligence and biotechnology and how they may shape the future of humanity and the world. The book also explores the impact these advancements may have on the human condition, what kind of new challenges and opportunities they may bring and how they may change the way we live, think and govern ourselves. The book is divided into three parts, the first part explores the history of humanity, from the emergence of Homo Sapiens to the present. The second part of the book explores the future of humanity and the potential for the emergence of a new species, Homo Deus. The third part of the book explores the implications of these advancements on the human condition and the world, including the potential for a new type of society, economy, and politics. Throughout the book, Harari provides a thought-provoking analysis of the future of humanity and the implications of technological advancements on the human species. He also raises important ethical questions about the future of humanity and the implications of these advancements on our values and beliefs. The book is written in a clear and engaging style and is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the future of humanity and the implications of technological advancements on our world and society.