Recommending Readings for #FinReg Observers

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My position on financial regulation has dramatically changed in the past 2 years since I began following the TARP bailout debates. I think we need smarter regulation and in particular, a systemic risk regulator with tools and resources to prevent Too Big To Fail and future taxpayer bailouts from happening again.

I have spend many hours watching CSPAN hearings, searching in the Congressional Record for historic references to “derivatives,” working on the Crashopedia web site and reading several books on derivatives, the great depression, and economic history. I would recommend several books to others who are following this debate and wanted to be informed by scholars and by history itself about what we are really facing in this debate on Wall Street reform.


13 Bankers: Wall Street Takeover; Next Financial Meltdown (2010) by Simon Johnson, James Kwak

A Demon of our own Design (2007) by Richard Bookstaber

Beckoning Frontiers (1951) by Marriner Eccles

The Big Short (2010) by Michael Lewis

Crisis Economics: A Crash Course in the Future of Finance (2010) by Nouriel Roubini & Stephen Mihm

Infectious Greed (2003) by Frank Partnoy

Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Easy Money, High Rollers and the Great Credit Crash (2007) by Charles R. Morris


“Recipe for Disaster: The Formula That Killed Wall Street” by Felix Salmon (Wired Magazine, 2-23-09)

Intractibility of Financial Derivatives (Blog Post)

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2 Responses

  1. John Hyde

    Paul–we met a couple weeks back at SLC’s finest restaurant Encore. I was intrigued by our “digression” into the financial sector and searched for you blog to read your posts on it. Per the reading list, is there one book you’d recommend above the others? Or which book is best to get started?

  2. paulballen

    Infectious Greed is several years old, but I would start with it. Study it, and then it will really help you understand all the more recent books. Frank Partnoy has apparently now created a study guide to go along with the Academy Award winning documentary “Inside Job.” He has been a guest on NPR as well. He is a great scholar, former derivatives trader, but a great story-teller and his writings are very accessible.

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