The best books about economics and investment

Selwyn Parker Author Of The Great Crash: How the Stock Market Crash of 1929 Plunged the World into Depression
By Selwyn Parker

The Books I Picked & Why

The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World

By Alan Greenspan

The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World

Why this book?

Apart from revealing and sometimes dismaying insights into the workings of the White House, this legendary chairman of the US Federal Reserve presents a tour d’horizon of the economic thought that underpins the creation of wealth. As such, it should be obligatory reading for anybody interested in how nations prosper (or don’t), how governments routinely make disastrous interventions even if they aim to act for the right reasons, why Adam Smith continues to influence our lives (even though we don’t know it), and why capitalism is so foolishly demonised by banner-waving grandstanders.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World

By Niall Ferguson

The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World

Why this book?

Money is not the root of all evil, as this book makes clear in a highly entertaining romp through the major events in the history of coin and their derivatives. The author, who made his name with Empire, covers everything that really matters including the rise of the loan sharks, historic bubbles, the development of currencies, the egregious behaviour of a few very greedy and/or crooked people, supposedly fool-proof money-making schemes that backfired, and much else. If you want to understand how money works, you can hardly do better.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

The Great Crash 1929

By John Kenneth Galbraith

The Great Crash 1929

Why this book?

A classic by the late great liberal economist, this book tells the American story of the greed, naivety and duplicity that laid the foundation for the implosion of Wall Street in 1929. It provides salutary reading for all investors. As Galbraith makes clear, bubbles always burst but few investors including professionals can summon the independence of mind to step aside before it’s too late. The author brings a sardonic rationality to this account of what was an avoidable disaster.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Stocks for the Long Run: The Definitive Guide to Financial Market Returns & Long Term Investment Strategies

By Jeremy J. Siegel

Stocks for the Long Run: The Definitive Guide to Financial Market Returns & Long Term Investment Strategies

Why this book?

Professional investors troop to Wharton School to sit at the feet of professor Siegel and learn about why stocks – or shares – should be the bedrock of any investment strategy for the very obvious reason that it’s the best way to capitalise on the steady growth of the American economy. And by implication, other growing economies. If you haven’t got skin in the game, you’re on the sidelines. A dry book unless you have an intellectual interest in investment, it is nevertheless extremely thought-provoking and enlightening. It’s been through several editions and is routinely updated to reflect the latest developments such as exchange-traded funds, the phenomenon of the millennium.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

By Michael Lewis

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

Why this book?

A former investment banker, the author brings a sceptical view to books like Liar’s Poker, his first big success, but The Big Short is without a doubt the definitive account of the sub-prime debacle that led directly to the Great Financial Crisis of 2008 and put an abrupt and painful end to what had been called The Great Moderation. It took a decade to recover from the disaster of 2008, just in time for the economic devastation wrought by the pandemic. By dint of old-fashioned journalism, The Big Short exposes the herd-like mentality of much of Wall Street and, ultimately, the cupidity that underpinned it. On the New York Times’ best-seller list for 28 weeks, the book was made into a film.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Closely Related Book Lists

Distantly Related Book Lists

Random Book Lists