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List of book choices

This page provides our list of book choices:

Current book choices


Investing in Change: A book of essays on financial reform in Europe.

These are tumultuous times for the banking industry in Europe. The financial crisis that erupted in 2008 has rarely been out of the headlines since. Yet this has not been solely a period of crisis management. It has also been a time of positive change and reform, involving self-examination by the banks; tough scrutiny by governments, regulators and the public; and a general determination to ensure that this crisis never happens again. This book seeks to explain what has been going on. Commissioned by the Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME), it is a collection of essays by some of the leading authorities in the field – senior regulators, specialists on pay and management, corporate CEOs and political and academic experts – about the reshaping of Europe’s banking sector. What has changed, and what still has to change? What has gone wrong, and how is it being put right? What are the challenges ahead for this vital industry and those who oversee it? The debate continues, and this volume is an essential contribution.

You can view extracts from each chapter from the book, ‘Investing in Change.’ Simply click on the relevant chapter below.

Foreword:      Gaël de Boissard

Introduction:  Simon Lewis

Chapter 1:     Banking in a market economy – the international agenda: Paul Tucker. Download the full Chapter 1

Chapter 2:     Where the G20 process went right and wrong: Shriti Vadera

Chapter 3:     Risk in financial institutions – is it managed?: Eddy Wymeersch

Chapter 4:     The impact of regulation on remuneration: Tom Gosling

Chapter 5:     A client’s view: Sir Martin Sorrell

Chapter 6:     Megatrends shaping the corporate banking landscape - a European outlook: Hans-Paul Bürkner

Chapter 7:     In defence of the indefensible: financial innovation and complex financial instruments: Avinash D. Persaud

Chapter 8:     Reputation in financial markets: Alan Morrison, William Wilhelm, Rupert Younger

Chapter 9:     Nostra culpa: Hugo Dixon

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Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington and the Education of a President

The hidden history of Wall Street and the White House comes down to a single, powerful, quintessentially American concept: confidence. Both centers of power, tapping brazen innovations over the past three decades, learned how to manufacture it.

Until August 2007, when that confidence finally began to crumble.

In this gripping and brilliantly reported book, Ron Suskind tells the story of what happened next, as Wall Street struggled to save itself while a man with little experience and soaring rhetoric emerged from obscurity to usher in “a new era of responsibility.” It is a story that follows the journey of Barack Obama, who rose as the country fell, and offers the first full portrait of his tumultuous presidency.

Wall Street found that straying from long-standing principles of transparency, accountability, and fair dealing opened a path to stunning profits. Obama’s determination to reverse that trend was essential to his ascendance, especially when Wall Street collapsed during the fall of an election year and the two candidates could audition for the presidency by responding to a national crisis. …

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   SA Kalahari



Darling-AlistairBack from the Brink: 1,000 Days at Number 11

By Alistair Darling

Alistair Darling’s long-awaited book will be one of the most reviewed, widely discussed and saleable political memoirs of recent years.

In the summer of late 2007, shares of Northern Rock went into free-fall causing a run on the bank – the first since the Great Depression. Northern Rock was only the first: in the ensuing months, Alistair Darling stood firm in the eye of this perfect storm – all over the world financial institutions thought ‘too big to fail’ were falling prey to the lethal toxicity of the US sub-prime mortgage market. Back from the Brink tells the gripping story of one thousand days of crisis. As Chancellor, Alistair Darling sanctioned the GBP37bn bailouts of RBS and HBoS just minutes before their cash machines would have ceased to function; at the 11th hour, he prevented Barclay’s from acquiring Lehman Brothers, telling US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson that he wouldn’t allow British banks to import America’s economic cancer; he used controversial legislation to stop Icelandic banks from withdrawing funds from the UK. From all night meetings at the White House, to confrontations with the titans of international banking and fractions relations with Gordon Brown, Darling places the reader in the rooms where the destinies of millions weighed heavily on the shoulders of a few. Back from the Brink is a gripping and immediate account of an unprecedented global financial catastrophe. Alistair Darling’s knowledge and understanding make this not only a unique perspective on the events that rocked global capitalism, but a vital and fascinating historical document.

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The Alchemists of Loss: How Modern Finance and Government Intervention Crashed the Financial System

An engaging look at how modern finance almost destroyed our global economy

Over the last thirty years, capital markets have been restructured through the tenets of modern finance. This has been enormously profitable for the financial services sector. However, these innovations, coupled with unsound risk and regulatory practices have proved disastrous for the global economy.

In a clear and accessible style, ex–investment banker and financial journalist Martin Hutchinson, and highly respected academic, Kevin Dowd show how modern finance combined with easy money threatened to bring down the world financial system. At the heart of the book is modern finance as a U.S. invention, the theories and practices associated with them, and the changes they made in business models and risk management on Wall Street and other major financial centers.

  • Breaks down the events involved in the 2007–08 financial collapse
  • Reveals how botched policy response made a bad situation worse
  • Focuses on lessons that the practice of finance must learn from recent events

The Alchemists of Loss will help you to understand how our financial system crashed and show you what it will take to make sure this won′t happen again as we move forward.

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Masters of Nothing

By Matthew Hancock

Behaviour is important. Whether this be the behaviour of those who saw it coming, or of those who constantly berated them. The behaviour of those who rode the boom and switched at the tipping point to ride the bust, or the behaviour of those who held on to their principled as the system collapsed around them. It was human behaviour after all, that led us to construct a bubble nobody suspected was dangerous, yet nonetheless would burst with disastrous consequences. Contrary to the views of many before the crash the cycle is inevitable – you cannot eliminate boom and bust. In a boom the bullish are promoted whilst the cautious are overlooked, reinforcing the cycle. This factor is generally ignored by the beautiful but flawed models of economic analysts. Since we cannot abolish the cycle, we must ensure that busts are not so dangerous in the future. The policy solutions are there if we’re brave enough, from changing incentives, and creating fiscal and financial regulators with clout and discretion, through to changing corporate governance and shifting the power of executives.

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Previous books choices


Banking on the Future: The Fall and Rise of Central Banking

By Howard Davies & David Green

The crash of 2008 revealed that the world’s central banks had failed to offset the financial imbalances that led to the crisis, and lacked the tools to respond effectively. What lessons should central banks learn from the experience, and how, in a global financial system, should cooperation between them be enhanced? Banking on the Future provides a fascinating insider’s look into how central banks have evolved and why they are critical to the functioning of market economies. The book asks whether, in light of the recent economic fallout, the central banking model needs radical reform.

Supported by interviews with leading central bankers from around the world, and informed by the latest academic research, Banking on the Future considers such current issues as the place of asset prices and credit growth in anti-inflation policy, the appropriate role for central banks in banking supervision, the ways in which central banks provide liquidity to markets, the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of central banks, the culture and individuals working in these institutions, as well as the particular issues facing emerging markets and Islamic finance.

Howard Davies and David Green set out detailed policy recommendations, including a reformulation of monetary policy, better metrics for financial stability, closer links with regulators, and a stronger emphasis on international cooperation.

Exploring a crucial sector of the global economic system, Banking on the Future offers new ideas for restoring financial strength to the foundations of central banking.

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***  More to be provided  ***

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