2020 Wall Street Reading List

A collection of the Wall Street Reading List's best business books published in 2020.


Big Debt Crises

Ray Dalio
"Big Debt Crises" is a book by Ray Dalio, the founder of Bridgewater Associates, a leading global investment firm. In the book, Dalio explores the causes and consequences of major debt crises throughout history and offers his insights on how to navigate and potentially profit from them. Dalio draws on his decades of experience as an investor and economist to analyze a range of debt crises, including the Great Depression, the Latin American debt crisis of the 1980s, and the global financial crisis of 2008. He examines the underlying factors that contributed to these crises, such as imbalances in trade, monetary policy mistakes, and asset bubbles, and he offers practical strategies for managing risk and preserving wealth in times of economic upheaval. Throughout the book, Dalio emphasizes the importance of understanding the complex interplay between economic, political, and social forces in order to navigate debt crises effectively. He also discusses the role of government intervention in addressing these crises and the potential consequences of various policy responses. Overall, "Big Debt Crises" is a valuable resource for anyone interested in understanding the dynamics of debt crises and how to prepare for and respond to them.

The Psychology of Money

Morgan Housel
The Psychology of Money is a book by Morgan Housel that explores the emotional and psychological aspects of money, investing, and wealth. In the book, the author draws on stories, anecdotes, and research to reveal how our emotions and behaviors influence our financial decisions and how those decisions, in turn, shape our lives. One of the key themes in the book is that our relationship with money is often shaped by our emotions and biases. Housel argues that our emotions, such as fear and greed, can lead us to make irrational financial decisions, and that understanding these emotional tendencies can help us make better decisions in the future. He also explores the role of luck and chance in financial success, and how our perceptions of these factors can affect our behavior. The author also explores the difference between wealth and income, and how our mindset and behaviors can lead us to achieve one or the other. He argues that while income is important, it's only one part of the equation. Building wealth over time through smart investments and living below your means can be just as important. The book is a highly engaging and well-written read, using real-life examples and personal anecdotes to illustrate its points. The author's accessible writing style and use of relatable examples make it easy for readers to understand the complex concepts and ideas presented in the book. Housel's book is for everyone, regardless of their current financial situation or level of investment knowledge. It's for people who wants to understand how to make better financial decisions, and how to think differently about money.

No Rules Rules

Reed Hastings
"No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention" is a book by Reed Hastings, the co-founder and CEO of Netflix, and Erin Meyer, a professor at INSEAD. The book explores the unique corporate culture at Netflix, which is known for its focus on innovation and its unconventional approach to management. Hastings and Meyer argue that in today's fast-paced business world, companies need to be able to adapt and change quickly in order to stay competitive. To do this, they argue, companies need to embrace a culture of "freedom and responsibility," in which employees are given the autonomy to innovate and make decisions, but are also held accountable for their actions. Through stories and examples from Netflix's history, the book shows how this approach has helped the company achieve its impressive growth and success.

Boom and Bust

William Quinn
"Boom and Bust: The global history of financial bubbles" is a detailed exploration of the history of financial bubbles throughout the world, written by William Quinn and John D. Turner. The book covers a wide range of historical episodes, from the Dutch tulip mania of the 17th century to the dot-com bubble of the late 20th century, and examines the causes, consequences, and similarities between these different episodes. The authors use a combination of economic analysis and historical narrative to understand why bubbles form and why they eventually burst. They look at various factors such as irrational exuberance, herd behavior, and market manipulation that contribute to the formation of bubbles, as well as the role of government policies and regulations in preventing or amplifying bubbles. The book also delves into the impact of financial bubbles on society as a whole, including the effects on individual investors, financial institutions, and economies. It also examines the psychological factors that lead people to participate in bubbles and the ways in which bubbles can become self-fulfilling prophecies. The book is aimed at both academic audiences and general readers interested in understanding the history and dynamics of financial bubbles. It provides a comprehensive overview of the subject, drawing on historical examples and contemporary research to provide insight into the factors that contribute to the formation of bubbles and the ways in which they can be prevented or mitigated. With a clear and accessible writing style, the authors aim to make the subject matter accessible to a wide audience.


Christopher Leonard
Kochland: The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America is a comprehensive and thought-provoking examination of one of the most influential and controversial companies in the United States. Written by Christopher Leonard, the book tells the story of Koch Industries, a privately held conglomerate with interests in a wide range of industries, including oil, gas, chemicals, and consumer products. The book begins with the story of Fred Koch, the founder of Koch Industries, and his sons Charles and David, who have transformed the company into a global powerhouse. Leonard chronicles the rise of the Koch family and their unconventional management style, which emphasizes entrepreneurship and a commitment to free-market principles. He also examines the inner workings of the company, including its corporate culture and the strategies it has used to grow and expand over the years. In addition to providing a history of Koch Industries, Leonard also explores the political and social influence of the company. He delves into the ways in which Koch Industries has used its wealth and power to shape public policy, particularly in the areas of climate change, energy, and economics. The book also examines the company's role in the rise of the modern conservative movement in the United States, and how it has helped to shape the national discourse on issues such as taxation, regulation, and the role of government.

Blood and Oil

Bradley Hope
"Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Dependence on Imported Petroleum" is a non-fiction book written by journalist Bradley Hope. The book examines the current state of oil dependency in the United States and the dangers it poses to the country's economy, environment, and national security. The book delves into the history of oil dependence in the United States, tracing its roots back to the early 20th century and the rise of the automobile industry. It explores the ways in which America's dependence on oil has shaped its foreign policy and economy and discusses the environmental and geopolitical risks that come with relying on foreign sources of oil. Hope also examines the consequences of America's growing dependence on oil from unstable and hostile countries, particularly those in the Middle East. He analyzes the economic, environmental, and political risks and dangers associated with American dependence on oil imports. He also exposes the inner workings of the global oil industry and how it shapes our world. The book also explores the potential solutions to the problem of oil dependency, such as alternative energy sources, conservation and sustainable living. In summary, "Blood and Oil" is a comprehensive examination of America's dependence on imported petroleum and the dangers it poses to the country's economy, environment, and national security. Written by journalist Bradley Hope, the book delves into the history of oil dependence in the United States and its impact on foreign policy and the economy. It also analyzes the risks associated with depending on oil from unstable and hostile countries and explores potential solutions to this problem such as alternative energy sources.

No Filter

Sarah Frier
"No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram" by Sarah Frier is an in-depth look at the rise and fall of the photo-sharing app Instagram. Written by an experienced journalist with unparalleled access to the founders of Instagram, employees, executives, and competitors, the book tells the story of how Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger created an app that quickly went mainstream, and how Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg bought the company for a historic $1 billion when Instagram had only thirteen employees. The book explores how the founders of Instagram tried to maintain the app's beauty, brand, and cachet, resisting Facebook's grow-at-all-costs philosophy in favor of a strategy that highlighted creativity and celebrity. As Instagram was about to reach a billion users, Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg began to feel threatened by Instagram's success. The book examines how Instagram's dominance acts as a lens into our society today, highlighting our fraught relationship with technology, our desire for perfection, and the battle within tech for its most valuable commodity: our attention.

Flash Crash

Liam Vaughan
"Flash Crash: A Trading Savant, a Global Manhunt, and the Most Mysterious Market Crash in History" is a non-fiction book written by Liam Vaughan that explores the events of the 2010 "Flash Crash" and the subsequent manhunt for the individual responsible for the market crash. The book delves into the actions of Navinder Singh Sarao, a trader who was accused of contributing to the crash through his use of an automated trading program, and the global effort to bring him to justice. The book provides an in-depth look at the technology and strategies used by Sarao, as well as the impact his actions had on the market and the individuals affected by the crash. It also explores the efforts of authorities, including the FBI and the CFTC, to track down and prosecute Sarao. Throughout the book, Vaughan provides a detailed examination of the inner workings of the stock market, the role of high-frequency trading, and the ways in which technology has changed the industry. He also delves into the legal and ethical issues surrounding the case and the implications of the crash for the financial industry. One of the strengths of the book is its investigative approach, providing an in-depth look at the events leading up to the crash and the efforts to bring the perpetrator to justice. It also provides a unique perspective on the stock market and the financial industry, raising important questions about the role of technology, ethics, and regulation in the markets.

Money for Nothing

Thomas Levenson
"Money for Nothing: The South Sea Bubble and the Birth of the Modern Financial World" by Thomas Levenson is a captivating account of one of the most notorious financial crises in history, the South Sea bubble of 1719. Written by an expert in the field, the book tells the story of how the leaders of the South Sea Company laid out a grand plan to swap citizens' shares of the nation's debt for company stock, with the promise of making a fortune in the process. The book explores how the nation's leaders fell for the plan, and how the subsequent crash came suddenly, in a rush of scandal, jail, suicide, and ruin. But thanks to the leadership of Robert Walpole, the kingdom found its way through to emerge with the first truly modern, reliable, and stable financial exchange. Through this gripping and well-researched narrative, Levenson offers a fascinating look at how the past is still shaping the present in the world of finance.

Dark Towers

David Enrich
Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction is a nonfiction book written by David Enrich, an American journalist and the Financial Editor for The New York Times. The book is a detailed investigative look into the inner workings of Deutsche Bank, one of the largest and most powerful financial institutions in the world, and its relationship with President Donald Trump. The book provides a behind-the-scenes look at how Deutsche Bank became embroiled in a web of financial scandals and controversies, from its involvement in the Russian money-laundering scandal known as the "Mirror Trading Scandal" to its role in the global financial crisis of 2008. Enrich also investigates the bank's long-standing relationship with President Trump and how that relationship helped to fuel the president's rise to power. Throughout the book, enrich exposes the reckless and often illegal practices that were allowed to flourish within the bank, and shows how the bank's culture of greed and disregard for regulations contributed to its downfall. He also explores the bank's complex and often secretive relationship with Trump and how it helped to fuel his rise to power. Dark Towers is a thorough, well-researched and engaging book that provides a detailed and insightful look into one of the most powerful financial institutions in the world, and the web of scandals and controversies that surrounded it. It is not only a book about Deutsche Bank but also a book about politics, corruption and influence, and how they shape our world. Enrich's extensive reporting and investigative journalism in this book is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the inner workings of global finance and its intersection with politics.

The Deficit Myth

Stephanie Kelton
The Deficit Myth by Stephanie Kelton is a provocative and thought-provoking book that challenges the conventional wisdom about government deficits and debt. Kelton, a leading economist and public policy expert, argues that our current obsession with deficit reduction is misguided and counterproductive. She makes the case that government deficits can actually be a good thing, and that they are not always the fiscal bogeyman they are made out to be. Through a combination of rigorous analysis and engaging storytelling, Kelton shows that our current approach to deficit reduction is based on flawed assumptions and outdated economic theories. She explains how the government's ability to create money gives it unique power to stimulate economic growth and provide important public goods and services. She also debunks the myth that deficits lead to hyperinflation, and shows that they can be managed in a responsible and sustainable way.

A World Without Work

Daniel Susskind
A World Without Work is a book by Daniel Susskind that explores the potential future of work in an age of increasing automation and artificial intelligence. The book discusses the ways in which technology is transforming the job market and the implications of these changes for workers and society as a whole. Susskind argues that automation and AI will lead to widespread job displacement, and he examines the potential consequences of this shift, including rising inequality and the need for new forms of social and economic organization. The book begins by looking at the history of work and the ways in which technology has transformed the job market in the past. Susskind then goes on to discuss the current state of the job market and the ways in which automation and AI are already beginning to displace jobs. He argues that these trends are likely to accelerate in the coming years, leading to widespread job displacement and the need for new forms of work and economic organization. Susskind also discusses the potential consequences of these changes, including rising inequality and the risk of a "new feudalism" in which a small number of people control most of the wealth and power. He also examines the potential social and political consequences of these changes, including the rise of populism and the erosion of the social contract. Despite these challenges, Susskind is optimistic about the future and offers ideas for how we can adapt to these changes and create a more equitable and prosperous future. He suggests that we need to think creatively about the ways in which we can create new forms of work and economic organization, and he advocates for policies such as universal basic income and the expansion of the social safety net. Overall, A World Without Work is a thought-provoking and timely exploration of the future of work in an age of rapid technological change. It is a must-read for anyone interested in the ways in which technology is transforming the job market and the implications of these changes for society and the economy.

Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire

Rebecca Henderson
Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire is a thought-provoking and timely book that offers a fresh perspective on how capitalism can be reimagined to address the major challenges facing the world today. Written by Rebecca Henderson, a renowned economist and professor at Harvard Business School, the book argues that capitalism, as it is currently practiced, is not equipped to deal with the pressing issues of our time, such as climate change, inequality, and social unrest. In the book, Henderson makes the case that a fundamental rethinking of capitalism is necessary if we are to create a more sustainable and equitable system that benefits both people and the planet. She explores how businesses and governments can work together to create a more responsible capitalism that prioritizes long-term value creation over short-term profit maximization. Through a series of case studies, Henderson illustrates how companies and organizations can use their influence and resources to drive positive change and address pressing social and environmental issues. In addition to examining the role of businesses and governments in shaping the future of capitalism, the book also looks at the role of individuals and communities in driving change. Henderson argues that we all have a role to play in creating a more hopeful and prosperous future, and offers concrete suggestions for how we can take action to shape the future of capitalism.

Capital and Ideology

Thomas Piketty
"Capital and Ideology" is an ambitious and wide-ranging book written by French economist Thomas Piketty. Building on the themes from his earlier book, "Capital in the Twenty-First Century," which became a best-seller and argued that wealth inequality is a natural outcome of capitalism, Piketty takes a broader, global perspective to explore the evolution of social and economic inequality over the past centuries. This book provides an in-depth historical and comparative analysis of the interactions between political and economic systems, ideologies, and demographic changes and how they shape the distribution of wealth and power. Piketty argues that inequality is not just an economic phenomenon, but also a political and ideological one. He traces the history of how different societies have organized the distribution of wealth and power and how those systems have been justified with various ideologies throughout the ages. He covers a vast range of topics, from the pre-modern era to the present day, and explores different economic systems and societies across the world. The book delves into the question of social justice, addressing the issues of taxation, inheritance, and citizenship in different societies, with a focus on the role of politics and ideology in shaping economic outcomes. Piketty also presents new data and theories to understand the evolution of inequality, providing a unique perspective on the current global concern of wealth disparities. He argues that the only way to overcome the deep-seated problems of inequality is through a radical reshaping of politics and economic systems and that this can be achieved through reforms in tax, education and regulation. One of the key contributions of the book is Piketty's extensive use of data and historical records from around the world, to support his argument and provide evidence of the historical evolution of inequality. He also provides insights and comparisons of different societies and systems that can be used for policy-making. He presents alternative economic models that could potentially be implemented to address the problem of wealth inequality, specifically pointing out the role of education, taxation and regulation. In summary, "Capital and Ideology" is an ambitious and wide-ranging book that offers a unique perspective on the evolution of inequality and its relationship with political and ideological forces throughout history. It's a thought-provoking read that challenges traditional notions of wealth and power and presents new ideas for addressing the problem of inequality in today's world. This book will appeal to a wide range of readers, including economists, political scientists, sociologists, as well as anyone concerned about social justice and inequality.

Bad Blood

John Carreyrou
"Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup" is a nonfiction book written by John Carreyrou and published in 2018. The book tells the story of Theranos, a biotech startup that promised to revolutionize the medical industry by conducting a wide range of lab tests from a single drop of blood. The company was founded by Elizabeth Holmes, a Stanford dropout who became one of the youngest female billionaires in the world. Carreyrou, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, became suspicious of Theranos' technology and began investigating the company. He soon discovered that the company's claims were fraudulent and that its technology was inaccurate and unreliable. In the book, Carreyrou details the extensive research he conducted and the many obstacles he faced while trying to uncover the truth about Theranos. Bad Blood provides a chilling account of the company's rise and fall, and is a cautionary tale of the dangers of unchecked ambition and greed. It also offers an in-depth look into the culture of Silicon Valley, and the various stakeholders involved in the Theranos story - venture capitalists, corporate giants, and the government regulators, giving an insight of how the deception and fraud was allowed to happen in such a big scale. The book is considered to be a page-turner with thrilling narrative, and it received widespread critical acclaim. it is considered a must-read for anyone interested in the world of startups, biotech and investigative journalism.

Winning Now, Winning Later

David M. Cote
"Winning Now, Winning Later" by David M. Cote is a business book that focuses on the importance of balancing short-term performance with long-term success. The author, David M. Cote, is an experienced business leader who has served as the CEO of multiple companies, including Honeywell International. In the book, he draws on his own experience to provide insight into how companies can achieve success in the short-term while also investing in their long-term growth. The book is divided into three parts: the first deals with understanding the trade-offs between short-term and long-term performance; the second provides practical advice on how to navigate these trade-offs; and the third focuses on the role of leadership in balancing short-term and long-term goals. Throughout the book, Cote provides concrete examples and case studies to illustrate his points and to show how his strategies have worked in real-world situations. One of the key takeaways of the book is that short-term and long-term performance are not mutually exclusive. Cote argues that companies can and should strive for both, and that this is essential for achieving sustainable success. He contends that by balancing short-term and long-term goals, companies can increase their chances of winning now and winning later. The author also highlights that leadership is key in this process and provides insight on how leaders can navigate the trade-offs and create a culture of success. The book is aimed at business leaders, managers, and entrepreneurs who want to understand the importance of balancing short-term and long-term performance. It is also for anyone who wants to learn about how to create a sustainable business and what it takes to achieve long-term success. The author's extensive experience and insights make the book a valuable resource for anyone looking to improve their leadership and management skills.

Common Sense

Joel Greenblatt
"Common Sense" by Joel Greenblatt is a book that offers an investor's perspective on building an economy that truly works for everyone. With a focus on finding disruptive new approaches to address the issues of economic and racial inequality, the author makes a persuasive case for practical solutions that can be implemented right now. Greenblatt offers specific ideas on how leading corporations can disrupt the education establishment while creating high-paying job opportunities for those currently left behind, how to afford a living wage for everyone and how simple changes in the way we capitalize and regulate banks can help grow the economy, increase access, and create more jobs. He also explains why increasing immigration would be beneficial and why Australia might be a good place to learn about saving for retirement. This book offers an engaging and thought-provoking read for those interested in finding solutions to create more equality, opportunity and growth for everyone.

Trade Wars Are Class Wars

Matthew C. Klein
Trade Wars Are Class Wars is a book by Matthew C. Klein that explores the connection between trade policy and class conflict. The author argues that protectionist trade policies, such as tariffs, have traditionally been supported by the working class, while free trade policies have been pushed by elites. He contends that the current global trade system, which has led to increased inequality, is a product of class conflict, and that the political debate around trade is ultimately a battle between different interests groups vying for power. The book provides a historical context for the development of trade policy and its connection to class conflict. It examines the ways in which trade policy has been used as a tool to advance the interests of different class groups, and how it has contributed to the widening gap between the rich and the poor. The book also provides analysis on current global trade issues, including the impact of globalization on the economy and the role of multinational corporations in shaping trade policy. Throughout the book, Klein argues that the current global trade system is fundamentally unfair and that it serves to reinforce the power of elites at the expense of the working class. He calls for a re-evaluation of the current system and the adoption of policies that promote greater economic and social justice. Trade Wars Are Class Wars is a thought-provoking book that offers a unique perspective on trade policy and its relationship to class dynamics. It is a must-read for anyone interested in global trade issues and the ways in which they intersect with issues of economic and social justice.

If Then

Jill Lepore
"If Then: How the Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future" is a book written by Jill Lepore, that explores the history of the Simulmatics Corporation, a pioneering data analytics company of the 1960s, and its impact on the development of technology and society. The Simulmatics Corporation was one of the first companies to use computers to analyze and predict human behavior, using data to develop new forms of advertising, and political campaigns. The book is an in-depth look at the history of the company, its work, and the people behind it, as well as the impact of their innovations on the field of data science, communication and political campaigns. The book is divided into two parts, the first part provides a historical account of the development and the work of the Simulmatics Corporation. The author provides a detailed account of the company's history, its innovations, and the people behind it. She also examines the ways in which the company's work has impacted the field of data science and technology, and the ways in which their innovations have shaped the world we live in today. The second part of the book explores the ethical and societal implications of the company's work. The author examines the ways in which the use of data science and technology has impacted society, and raises important ethical questions about the use of data and technology in society. She also explores the ways in which data science and technology have been used to manipulate and control individuals and groups, and the potential consequences of these actions. The book is written in a clear and engaging style, and is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the history of data science, technology, and their impact on society. It provides a valuable perspective on the development of technology and its impact on society, as well as an examination of the ethical and societal implications of data science and technology. The author also provides an in-depth look at the people behind the Simulmatics Corporation and their work, making it a fascinating and informative read. The book also raises important questions about the role of data and technology in our lives today and the potential consequences of these innovations on our future.

Value Investing

Bruce C. Greenwald
Value Investing by Bruce C. Greenwald is a guide to the principles and practices of value investing. The book provides readers with an understanding of the value investing philosophy and the methods used by successful value investors to identify undervalued companies and make profitable investments. The book covers the fundamental concepts of value investing, such as the difference between price and value, the role of intrinsic value in investment decision-making, and the importance of finding companies with a sustainable competitive advantage. The author also provides detailed insights on how to analyze financial statements, calculate intrinsic value, and assess a company's management team. The book also covers advanced topics such as the use of options and derivatives in value investing, the impact of financial leverage on investment returns, and the importance of considering a company's management quality in addition to its financials. The author also provides case studies of value investing strategies used by successful investors, including Warren Buffett and Benjamin Graham, the father of value investing. Overall, Value Investing by Bruce C. Greenwald is an excellent guide to the principles and practices of value investing. The book is well-written and provides a comprehensive overview of the value investing philosophy, making it an ideal resource for both novice and experienced investors looking to improve their investment returns. The author's extensive experience and knowledge in the field makes this book a valuable guide to anyone looking to navigate the financial markets and make profitable investment decisions.

The Infinite Game

Simon Sinek
The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek is a thought-provoking and inspiring book that explores the concept of "infinite thinking" and its application to business and leadership. In the book, Sinek argues that the most successful businesses and leaders are those who think and operate in an infinite mindset, rather than a finite one. According to Sinek, finite players are focused on winning within the constraints of a specific game, and are driven by competition and the desire to come out on top. They are motivated by short-term goals and are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve them, even if it means compromising their values or sacrificing the long-term health of their organization. On the other hand, infinite players recognize that the "game" of business or leadership is never truly won, and so they focus on creating long-term value and building a legacy rather than short-term victories. They are motivated by a sense of purpose and are committed to continuous learning and improvement. Throughout the book, Sinek offers practical advice and real-world examples of how leaders and organizations can adopt an infinite mindset. He emphasizes the importance of having a clear purpose that goes beyond making a profit, and suggests that this purpose should be communicated clearly to all stakeholders. Sinek also stresses the importance of building trust and loyalty within an organization, as well as fostering a culture of learning and continuous improvement.

The Biggest Bluff

Maria Konnikova
The Biggest Bluff is a book written by Maria Konnikova, a journalist and writer with a background in psychology. The book is a memoir that tells the story of Konnikova's journey to become a professional poker player, despite having no prior experience in the game. Konnikova was motivated to write the book because she wanted to explore the psychological and strategic aspects of poker, and how they can be applied to everyday life. She teamed up with Erik Seidel, a world-renowned poker player, to help her learn the game and prepare for her first professional tournament. Throughout the book, Konnikova shares her experiences as she tries to master the complex and often unpredictable world of poker. She talks about the challenges she faced, the lessons she learned, and the insights she gained about the human mind and decision-making.