10 books like The Big Short

By Michael Lewis,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Big Short. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission (learn more).

The Devil in the White City

By Erik Larson,

Book cover of The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America

Larson takes us through two storylines. The first was of the 1893 World's Fair, explaining the politics, planning, personalities, and dynamics that made it so. The second story that parallels happened only blocks away is the story of one of the most notorious serial murderers, H.H. Holmes. This book teaches us about the time's atmosphere, mores, and norms. The wonder of the new technological era increased immigration and a mixture of all types of people in this new city. On the one hand, inspired things occurred, and concurrently, some of the most disturbing planning for homicides could only have happened at that place and time.

The Devil in the White City

By Erik Larson,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked The Devil in the White City as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Chicago World Fair was the greatest fair in American history. This is the story of the men and women whose lives it irrevocably changed and of two men in particular- an architect and a serial killer. The architect is Daniel Burnham, a man of great integrity and depth. It was his vision of the fair that attracted the best minds and talents of the day. The killer is Henry H. Holmes. Intelligent as well as handsome and charming, Holmes opened a boarding house which he advertised as 'The World's Fair Hotel' Here in the neighbourhood where he was once…


The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

By John Perkins,

Book cover of The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

Whereas I spent my time extracting secret information from corporations to potentially cause their demise, John Perkins was flying around the world trying to do the same thing to developing nations. A sobering tale of bad policies and bad leaders pushed on unsuspecting populations, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man is a nail-biting expose of what America is willing to do regardless of the collateral damage to other countries. 

The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

By John Perkins,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


***THE WORD OF MOUTH INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER NOW UPDATED WITH 15 EXPLOSIVE NEW CHAPTERS***

False economics. Threats, bribes, extortion. Debt, deception, coups, assassinations and unbridled military power. These are the tools used by the 'corporatocracy' - a vast network of corporations, banks, colluding governments and rich and powerful individuals - to ensure that they retain and expand their wealth and influence, growing richer and richer as the poor become poorer.

In his original, post 9/11 book, John Perkins revealed how he was recruited as an economic hit man in the 1970s, and exposed the corrupt methods American corporations use to spread…


Liar's Poker

By Michael Lewis,

Book cover of Liar's Poker

This is the book that lifted the lid on Wall St’s roaring eighties. It’s funny, personal, and true to life. It exposes the basic truth in investment banking: the customer comes second. "Who do you work for, this guy or Salomon Brothers?" a shame-faced Lewis is asked by his boss after inadvertently selling a bad bond to an unsuspecting client. It’s a question that every investment banker faces at some time in their career and it’s all laid bare in the book that established a genre.

Liar's Poker

By Michael Lewis,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Liar's Poker as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Michael Lewis was fresh out of Princeton and the London School of Economics when he landed a job at Salomon Brothers, one of Wall Street's premier investment firms. During the next three years, Lewis rose from callow trainee to bond salesman, raking in millions for the firm and cashing in on a modern-day gold rush. Liar's Poker is the culmination of those heady, frenzied years-a behind-the-scenes look at a unique and turbulent time in American business. From the frat-boy camaraderie of the forty-first-floor trading room to the killer instinct that made ambitious young men gamble everything on a high-stakes game…


When Genius Failed

By Roger Lowenstein,

Book cover of When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management

How financial rocket scientists were bested by financial markets. When Genius Failed is the rise and fall of the giant hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management. Its principals involved the best of Wall Street and two of the inventors of the Nobel-winning option price formula. Famed for its expertise in financial modelling, the firm leveraged its bets to make large returns but only for a while. It became unstuck when Russia defaulted on its debts in the summer of 1998 and was only saved from failure by a Fed bailout, which thereby set a bad precedent for the future: favoured Wall Street firms that take excessive risks could expect to be bailed out at other people’s expense. The LTCM fiasco shows the limits of academic modelling of financial markets, not least because even if the academic modelling is initially correct, it fails to account for the ways in which markets adapt…

When Genius Failed

By Roger Lowenstein,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked When Genius Failed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Picking up where Liar's Poker left off (literally, in the bond dealer's desks of Salomon Brothers) the story of Long-Term Capital Management is of a group of elite investors who believed they could beat the market and, like alchemists, create limitless wealth for themselves and their partners.

Founded by John Meriweather, a notoriously confident bond dealer, along with two Nobel prize winners and a floor of Wall Street's brightest and best, Long-Term Captial Management was from the beginning hailed as a new gold standard in investing. It was to be the hedge fund to end all other hedge funds: a…


More Money Than God

By Sebastian Mallaby,

Book cover of More Money Than God: Hedge Funds and the Making of a New Elite

Personally, I am not crazy about the title, but this book is an excellent account of the history of hedge funds. The book is thoroughly researched, very well written, and accurate based on my experience in writing about the same subject matter.

More Money Than God

By Sebastian Mallaby,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked More Money Than God as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first book of its kind: a fascinating and entertaining examination of hedge funds today Shortlisted for the Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award 'An enormously satisfying book: a gripping chronicle of the cutting edge of the financial markets and a fascinating perspective on what was going on in these shadowy institutions as the crash hit' Observer Wealthy, powerful, and potentially dangerous, hedge-find managers have emerged as the stars of twenty-first century capitalism. Based on unprecedented access to the industry, More Money Than God provides the first authoritative history of hedge funds. This is the inside story…


What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars

By Jim Paul, Brendan Moynihan,

Book cover of What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars

It is a shame the author of this book died in the 9/11 World Trade Center terrorist attack because I always wanted to hear more from him. As with most of the books on this list, for me the details of what he did (did he enter with moving averages? How did he apply stochastics to his entry signals? Etc.) are not nearly as important as his mental state of mind. What did he feel like losing $1 million? How did he recover mentally? For me, being a good trader involves dealing with losses, and this book does a superb job of detailing how one trader did just that.

What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars

By Jim Paul, Brendan Moynihan,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Jim Paul's meteoric rise took him from a small town in Northern Kentucky to governor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, yet he lost it all-his fortune, his reputation, and his job-in one fatal attack of excessive economic hubris. In this honest, frank analysis, Paul and Brendan Moynihan revisit the events that led to Paul's disastrous decision and examine the psychological factors behind bad financial practices in several economic sectors. This book-winner of a 2014 Axiom Business Book award gold medal-begins with the unbroken string of successes that helped Paul achieve a jet-setting lifestyle and land a key spot with the…


A Random Walk Down Wall Street

By Burton G. Malkiel,

Book cover of A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing

Okay, to be honest, this book can be summarized in just one sentence: You can’t predict the stock market. But, most investors, fed on a daily diet of silly and useless predictions from the financial press, need convincing that this is true. Enter Professor Malkiel. We’re talking almost 500 pages of convincing. At the end of the book, you’ll either be an index investor, or you will continue to throw your money at “active” managers (AKA stock pickers and market timers) and you will continue to underperform the broad stock market. Malkiel helped open my eyes with the first edition of this book, now almost half a century ago. The book, of course, has been continually updated for those who still need convincing. 

A Random Walk Down Wall Street

By Burton G. Malkiel,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked A Random Walk Down Wall Street as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Today's stock market is not for the faint hearted. At a time of frightening volatility, the answer is to turn to Burton G. Malkiel's advice in his reassuring, authoritative, gimmick-free and perennially best-selling guide to investing. Long established as the first book to purchase before starting a portfolio, A Random Walk Down Wall Street now features new material on "tax-loss harvesting"; the current bitcoin bubble and automated investment advisers; as well as a brand-new chapter on factor investing and risk parity. And as always, Malkiel's core insights-on stocks and bonds, as well as investment trusts, home ownership and tangible assets…


Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism

By Anne Case, Angus Deaton,

Book cover of Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism

Case and Deaton, Princeton economists (married to each other), explain how economic developments in recent decades, such as the rise of trade and the weakening of unions, have eroded the fabric of our society. Case and Deaton document the devasting impact on people and communities left behind by looking at deaths of despair—those from suicide, overdoses, and alcoholism. If you have the feeling that something is not right with capitalism—or even if you don’t—this is a book that will offer you a detailed look at America’s economic underbelly.

Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism

By Anne Case, Angus Deaton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A New York Times Bestseller
A Wall Street Journal Bestseller
A New York Times Notable Book of 2020
A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice
Shortlisted for the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year
A New Statesman Book to Read

From economist Anne Case and Nobel Prize winner Angus Deaton, a groundbreaking account of how the flaws in capitalism are fatal for America's working class

Life expectancy in the United States has recently fallen for three years in a row-a reversal not seen since 1918 or in any other wealthy nation in modern times. In the…


Showdown at Gucci Gulch

By Alan Murray,

Book cover of Showdown at Gucci Gulch: Lawmakers, Lobbyists, and the Unlikely Triumph of Tax Reform

Who knew that a book on tax reform could be so interesting? Showdown at Gucci Gulch, which tells the story of the 1986 federal tax reform, remains the best in depth look at how a bill really becomes a law, including a cast of interesting characters, from Ronald Reagan to Dan Rostenkowski. The book is also a good primer on what a good tax system ought to look like and how myriad special interests invariably oppose such a system. Murray and Birnbaum were reporters for the Wall Street Journal who covered the 1986 tax reform and write with a reporter’s eye for detail. Really, this is an entertaining book.

Showdown at Gucci Gulch

By Alan Murray,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Showdown at Gucci Gulch as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Tax Reform Act of 1986 was the single most sweeping change in the history of America's income tax. It was also the best political and economic story of its time. Here, in the anecdotal style of The Making of the President, two Wall Street Journal reporters provide the first complete picture of how this tax revolution went from an improbable dream to a widely hailed reality.


The Righteous Mind

By Jonathan Haidt,

Book cover of The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion

Readers will be informed and stimulated by any book by Haidt, one of psychology’s great public intellectuals. This influential volume speaks to our polarized world, by identifying the moral virtues of both left and right, and advocating cross-partisan dialogue. As such, it sets the foundation for Haidt’s Heterodox Academy initiative, which advocates open, free-spirited campus conversations. 

The Righteous Mind

By Jonathan Haidt,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The Righteous Mind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A landmark contribution to humanity's understanding of itself' The New York Times

Why can it sometimes feel as though half the population is living in a different moral universe? Why do ideas such as 'fairness' and 'freedom' mean such different things to different people? Why is it so hard to see things from another viewpoint? Why do we come to blows over politics and religion?

Jonathan Haidt reveals that we often find it hard to get along because our minds are hardwired to be moralistic, judgemental and self-righteous. He explores how morality evolved to enable us to form communities, and…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in financial crises, the economy, and the financial crisis of 2007–2008?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about financial crises, the economy, and the financial crisis of 2007–2008.

Financial Crises Explore 15 books about financial crises
The Economy Explore 131 books about the economy
The Financial Crisis Of 2007–2008 Explore 16 books about the financial crisis of 2007–2008