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April 17, 2011

Sunday Book Thread

I've been doing a fair bit of remedial reading in economics over the past couple of weeks to refresh my memory, all so I wouldn't make any rookie mistakes in my "Economics at AoSHQ U" series (Part One - The Economy, Part Two - Money, and I haven't finished Part Three yet).

The very best introductory book on basic economics is Henry Hazlitt's Economics in One Lessson. It's a slim little book first published more than fifty years ago (though updated since) that is simply the best primer on basic economics ever published. If you only buy one book on economics, this is the one to buy. It's also appropriate for younger readers -- I've long thought it should be required reading in high schools across the land.

A step up from Hazlitt's book is Thomas Sowell's Basic Economics, now in its fourth edition. This really should be the standard introductory text on the topic -- it's not a short book, but neither is it a difficult one. It's as lively and engaging as Sowell's other books.

I've also touched on Murray Rothbard's The Mystery of Banking, since the topic of Part 3 of my econ series will involve banking.

And since I like Wall Street soap-opera, I got the Kindle edition of Fatal Risk: A Cautionary Tale of AIG's Corporate Suicide. AIG, you'll recall, was the chump-sucka in the game being run by the investment banks during the runup to the 2008 subprime meltdown -- AIG was selling loads of Credit Default Swaps (CDS) that they had no possible way of ever paying off should the worst come to pass. AIG (and one of its counterparties, the investment bank Lehman Brothers) are classic examples of corporate delusion and failure to adequately manage risk.

What's everyone else reading?

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posted by Monty at 09:17 AM

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