Category: Book Reviews

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joy of x

The Joy of X

I realise that this is not strictly a financial-literacy/economic-understanding type topic – but this book on math by Steven Strogatz was mind-blowing. For me, at least. And actually, after consideration, I think it’s entirely relevant to the way one sees the finance world. It’s trite to put it this way: but mathematics is not just the […]

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Books: Adapt

The Zimbabwe Land Reform Program was only a program in the loosest sense of the word. But given enough time, it is highly likely that we will one day look back on it as a success story: because people eventually adapt. An illustrative example: the land grab that took place in the 2000s was very […]

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Books: The Zurich Axioms

Not so long ago, I wrote a post on risk. Admittedly, I actually spoke about it in the context of Unit Trusts – but sometimes, you need a springboard topic. Here’s the post: Unit Trusts: Match-making for Difficult Personalities FYI: there are some links in that post to free online risk assessment tests. You should […]

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Books: Outliers

I love it when you find something (a book, a theory, a talk) that explains the seemingly inexplicable. And by “explain” I mean “with actual reasons”-  not with general loose platitudes about fate and destiny. Yes – those elements are there in an existential sense, described in probabilistic terms as miraculous – but that doesn’t […]

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Books: Freakonomics

I almost hate myself for writing this. Freakonomics is a cliché. And far too famous for its “the reason that crime dropped in the United States in the 90s is the abortions that were happening in the 70s”. Nevertheless, for most of us, Freakonomics is an awesome way to be introduced to: economics; and general skepticism […]

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Books: Blink

Ah – the Malcolm Gladwell books. I love it when books are a trend. “The Power of Thinking Without Thinking” This sounds a lot like the life philosophy of the gentleman that’s about to win a Darwin Award*. But the actual theory is that your subconscious gathers and interprets information at a much wider and […]

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Books: Boomerang

So, this is the follow-up to the Big Short – the one that kind of makes it look like the prequel*. At the end of the Big Short, we are left in awe of the contrarian fund managers that foresaw the Subprime Mortgage Crash and went on a giant acquisition of CDSs** spree. Frankly – […]

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Books: The Big Short

Michael Lewis. That guy is awesome. So. The Big Short is my first pick of books that must be read on the Subprime Crisis. It is that good that I have bought it, given it away, bought it again, given it away again, and finally bought it as an iBook. But that doesn’t stop me […]

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liars poker

Books: Liar’s Poker

After yesterday’s post on Mortgage-Backed Securities (click here), I felt that I should write something on the book that talks about the origination of the MBS (which, for the record, is a pun: Origination refers to the collection of mortgages and repackaging them as an MBS). Michael Lewis, before he became famous for writing books, was a […]

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