General

  • “The City: Inside the Great Expectations Machine” – Tony Golding – easy-to-read discussion of life inside the City
  • “The Death of Gentlemanly Capitalism” – Philip Auger – history of investment banking and securities broking in London since 1985
  • “Goldman Sachs: The Culture of Success” –  Lisa Endlich – history of the world’s greatest investment bank
  • “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” – Stephen R. Covey
  • “Golden Handcuffs: The Lowly Life of a High Flyer” – Polly Courtney
  • “The Great Crash of 1929” – John Kenneth Galbraith
  • “Adventure Capitalist: The Ultimate Road Trip” – Jim Rogers
  • “Too big to fail” – Andrew Ross Sorkin – gripping account of how the 2008 financial crisis unfolded from the view point of not only wall street CEOs but also US government regulators
  • “The essays of Warren Buffet: Lessons for Investors and Managers” – Lawrence A. Cunningham – a collection of a letters written by Warren Buffet to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, detailing his investment philosophy covering a range of topics including M&A, investing strategies and corporate governance

Corporate Finance / M&A

  • “Big Deal” – Bruce Wasserstein – dauntingly large book, but actually very readable and easy to understand; starts with account of major recent M&A deals, then reviews the classic M&A / corporate finance services and techniques
  • “Barbarians at the Gate” – Bryan Burrough and John Helyar – classic business biography of the take-over of RJR Nabsisco in 1988; a thrilling account of a real deal; reads like a novel
  • “Den Of Thieves” – James Stewart – similar in style to ‘Barbarians’, but gives an account of the insider trading in the 1980s that brought down Michael Milken and Drexel Burnham Lambert; again reads like a thriller
  • “Monkey Business: Swinging Through the Wall Street Jungle” – John Rolfe and Peter Troob – two former associates recount their time as investment bankers at DLJ through use of humorous stories

Financial Markets

  • “Market Wizards – Interviews with Top Traders” – Jack Schwager – quite involved and is a compilation of interviews with traders about their trading strategies
  • “Liars Poker” – Michael Lewis – classic real-life account of Michael Lewis’ career as a bond trader at Salomon in London, where he reported to John Merriweather (see When Genius Failed)
  • “FIASCO” – Frank Partnoy – similar to Den of Thieves and Liars Poker but slightly more sensationalist
  • “The Collapse of Barings” – Stephen Fay – easy to read account of Nick Leeson’s wrongdoing than brought down Barings in 1995
  • “When Genius Failed – The Rise and Fall of Long Term Capital Management” – Roger Lowenstein –true-life account of the rise and fall of the largest hedge fund in the world run by John Merriweather – the star character in Michael Lewis’ Liars Poker

Films

  • “The Big Short” – fantastic film based on the book written by Michael Lewis on the housing credit bubble that lead up to the financial crisis. A must watch for anyone interested in a financial career
  • “Margin Call” – takes place over a 24 hour period during the early stages of the financial crisis, following the reactions of some key people at an investment bank