Looking forward to the beach, but dreading the long train ride to Montauk? The Weil Bankruptcy Blog has got just the thing to keep you company. For this week’s edition of Bankruptcy Beach Reading we put together a list of our favorite bankruptcy related books. With titles ranging from non-fiction to murder mystery, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. After all, nothing makes time fly like a good bankruptcy read.
Conspiracy of Fools, by Kurt Eichenwald
An in-depth look at the collapse of Enron.
Dance with Chance: Harnessing the Power of Luck, by Spyros Makridakis
A book about what we can and cannot predict (the stock market) and how to embrace luck in our lives.
Debt’s Dominion, by David Skeel
An account of the history and uniqueness of American bankruptcy.
Distressed Investment Banking – To the Abyss and Back, by Henry F. Owsley and Peter S. Kaufman
An explanation of how investment bankers assist distressed companies.
Fool’s Gold, by Gillian Tett
A good account of the expansion of the derivatives market and the subprime mortgage crisis.
House of Morgan, by Ron Chernow
The story of J.P. Morgan’s (the person) rise from obscurity to empire builder.
Lombard Street: A Description of the Money Market, by Walter Bagehot
This 19th century classic puts the world of international and corporate finance, banking, and money in plain language.
Our Lot: How Real Estate Came to Own Us, by Alyssa Katz
The story of how people’s homes came to own them during the housing bubble.
Predator’s Ball, by Connie Bruck
An inside look at the fall of Drexel Burnham.
Republic of Debtors, by Bruce Mann
A Supreme Court Justice is in debtor’s prison. The richest man in America is on the run from creditors. Read about these and other factors that led to the Bankruptcy Act of 1800.
Smartest Guys in the Room, by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind
Unlike Eichenwald’s blunt title, McLean and Elkind prefer a more tongue in cheek title for their book chronicling the demise of Enron.
Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History, by Sidney W. Mintz
The story of how sugar has helped shape history. After reading it, you may consider investing in sugar instead of gold.
The Big Short, by Michael Lewis
A story about the fortunes some people made by betting against the market before its collapse in 2008.
The Great Crash of 1929, by John Kenneth Galbraith
An investigation of the factors that led to the market crash of 1929. Do any ring a bell?
The Vulture Investors, by Hillary Rosenberg
Tells the story of some of the largest bankruptcies in history and the arbiters who profited from them.
When Genius Fails: The Rise and Fall of Long Term Capital, by Roger Lowenstein
Predators and Geniuses, didn’t we do this already with the Smart Guys and Fools with the Enron books? In Genius Fails, Lowenstein looks at what went wrong at Drexel Burnham.
Bleak House, by Charles Dickens
With shortened exclusivity, this would never happen in bankruptcy, would it?
Little Dorritt, by Charles Dickens
Dickens’s famous novel about the Marshalsea debtor’s prison.
The Last Billable Hour, by Susan Wolfe
While not bankruptcy-related, it is real beach reading – a quick-read mystery that can take your mind off of the stock markets and the debt wall. Not to mention that a lawyer saves the day.
The White Tiger, by Aravind Adiga
A story of capitalism arriving in India through the eyes of a chauffeur. This book has a little of everything: a rags to riches story; revenge; murder; and, of course, debt.