Sunday, July 26, 2009

Taking the Stock Market to the Beach

Personally? I think The Wall Street Journal’s Dave Kansas is barking up the wrong tree: I’d feel like a real loser heading to the beach with almost anything on his woefully late summer reading list. And why? What’s wrong with Bailout Nation: How Greed and Easy Money Corrupted Wall Street and Shook the World Economy by Barry Ritholtz? Or When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management by Roger Lowenstein? Well, nothing. Really. Except doesn’t it seem like a whole lot of rushing to close the barn door after the horses have already left to party? I honestly don’t see how sacrificing my precious beach reading time to Kate Kelly’s Street Fighters: The Last 72 Hours of Bear Stearns, the Toughest Firm on Wall Street is going to make my summer any brighter. In fact, this seems like material designed to cast a cloud. From the WSJ:
Heading into August, beaches and books beckon. While it’s nice to curl up with a page-turning, mind-free thriller, this summer of our great recessionary discontent might be a good time to bone up on things finance and investing.

There’s certainly been plenty of news in the past several months, and many books have come out to chronicle all that has gone awry with the economy and the markets.
Based on Kansas’ comments, he hasn’t done a lot of thriller reading lately. Certainly, I’ve not seen many in the last few years that would be called “mind-free.” (And what’s “mind-free” reading, anyway? Isn’t that also called “television”?)

Still, if you want Kansas’ guide to beach reading that might also curl your hair, his WSJ piece is here.


Blogger Ritholtz said...

Regarding closing the barn door:

"When Genius Failed" came out in 2001. There was enough prescient warnings in the book that I excerpted a few paragraphs from that book in Bailout Nation just to show that the issues were anticipated and warned about long prior to the boom and bust.

And, much of what is in Bailout Nation was discussed extensively at The Big Picture blog, prior to the collapse, warning what was likely to happen.

No closing the Barn Door after the horses got out -- its more of a giant told-ya-so.

You are entitled to your opinion, but at least make an effort to get the facts right. No heavy research -- just the date of when Genius Failed and the blurbs on the cover of Bailout Nation would have informed you as much.

Sunday, July 26, 2009 at 5:01:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Linda L. Richards said...

The piece you reference was not a review. I can't imagine anyone would have thought it was. On re-reading, I can see where some of what I intended lightly might have been taken as a slight.

The barn door crack was not aimed at your book, but at the skew of the piece in general. Sorry: your book may well be wonderful and it might, indeed, have been prescient, but I maintain that it would not be my choice for the beach.

Sunday, July 26, 2009 at 10:32:00 AM PDT  

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