100 books like The Match King

By Frank Partnoy,

Here are 100 books that The Match King fans have personally recommended if you like The Match King. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Man Who Stole Portugal

Patrick Honohan Author Of Currency, Credit and Crisis: Central Banking in Ireland and Europe

From my list on big financial scams.

Why am I passionate about this?

There’s something clinical and yet human about big financial crises, especially those that involve some kind of trickery or fraud. I’ve always been fascinated by this dark side of the world of money, and have been fortunate enough in my career to have had ring-side seats at a few such events in rich and poor countries. Fraud is not at the heart of the “social contrivance of money” but the monetary system is built on an edifice of trust that can all too easily be abused by scammers. From these episodes, we can learn a lot about people, credit, and society’s ways of protecting itself.

Patrick's book list on big financial scams

Patrick Honohan Why did Patrick love this book?

I found this book to be not only an astonishing story of outright fraud and theft, but one which raises unexpected questions about the nature and function of money.

A confidence trickster managed to persuade the eminent banknote printing company Waterlow to reprint and give him a large stock of Bank of Portugal escudo banknotes, which he proceeded to spend.

Learning how the scam was uncovered is fascinating in itself, but even more intriguing is the question of who lost from this scam, and by how much. 

By Murray Teigh Bloom,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Man Who Stole Portugal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Details the story of Artur Virgilio Alves Reis, who developed an ingenious scheme to legally counterfeit Portugal's currency


Book cover of John Law: Economic Theorist and Policy-Maker

Patrick Honohan Author Of Currency, Credit and Crisis: Central Banking in Ireland and Europe

From my list on big financial scams.

Why am I passionate about this?

There’s something clinical and yet human about big financial crises, especially those that involve some kind of trickery or fraud. I’ve always been fascinated by this dark side of the world of money, and have been fortunate enough in my career to have had ring-side seats at a few such events in rich and poor countries. Fraud is not at the heart of the “social contrivance of money” but the monetary system is built on an edifice of trust that can all too easily be abused by scammers. From these episodes, we can learn a lot about people, credit, and society’s ways of protecting itself.

Patrick's book list on big financial scams

Patrick Honohan Why did Patrick love this book?

I have always wondered whether John Law, the creator of the ill-fated Mississippi System that brought the financial system of France to its knees in 1720, a genius who understood money better than anyone before him, or a deluded fantasist who had learnt just enough to create a monetary weapon of mass destruction?

In his careful and well-researched account, Antoin Murphy leans towards the first interpretation, but he offers enough information to allow the reader to form their own conclusions.

By Antoin E. Murphy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked John Law as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

John Law (1671-1729) left a remarkable legacy of economic concepts from a time when economic conceptualization was very much at an embryonic stage. Yet he is best known-and generally dismissed-today as a rake, duellist, and gambler. This intellectual biography offers a new approach to Law, one that shows him to have been a significant economic theorist with a vision that he attempted to implement as policy in early-eighteenth-century Europe.

Law's style, marked by a clarity and use of modern terminology, stands out starkly against the turgid prose of many of his contemporaries. His vision of a monetary and financial system…


Book cover of Anglo Republic: Inside the Bank that Broke Ireland

Patrick Honohan Author Of Currency, Credit and Crisis: Central Banking in Ireland and Europe

From my list on big financial scams.

Why am I passionate about this?

There’s something clinical and yet human about big financial crises, especially those that involve some kind of trickery or fraud. I’ve always been fascinated by this dark side of the world of money, and have been fortunate enough in my career to have had ring-side seats at a few such events in rich and poor countries. Fraud is not at the heart of the “social contrivance of money” but the monetary system is built on an edifice of trust that can all too easily be abused by scammers. From these episodes, we can learn a lot about people, credit, and society’s ways of protecting itself.

Patrick's book list on big financial scams

Patrick Honohan Why did Patrick love this book?

I was an eye-witness as every single one of the banks serving the Irish economy effectively failed during the crisis of 2008-10.

Some were bailed out by their foreign shareholders, some by the Irish Government, which in turn had to be bailed out by the IMF and European Union. Worst of all, by a long distance, was Anglo Irish Bank, whose buccaneering executives lent billions to over-optimistic property developers, distorting economic activity and luring the other banks into unwise lending also.

Eventually, their desperate last-ditch attempts to save the bank and its shareholders led top management into illegal share support activities. Simon Carswell captures well the social dynamics involved.

By Simon Carswell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Anglo Republic as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As late as 2007, Anglo Irish Bank was a darling of the markets, internationally recognized as one of the fastest growing financial institutions in the world. By 2008, it was bust. The Irish government's hopeless attempts to save Anglo have led the state to ruin - culminating in a punitive IMF bailout in late 2010 and threatening the future of the euro.

Now, for the first time, the full story of the Anglo disaster is being told - by the journalist who has led the way in coverage of the bank and its many secrets. Drawing on his unmatched sources…


Book cover of Lying for Money: How Legendary Frauds Reveal the Workings of Our World

David Gerard Author Of Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain: Bitcoin, Blockchain, Ethereum & Smart Contracts

From my list on cryptocurrency and finance crimes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started writing about bitcoin and cryptocurrency for the funny dumb crook stories. It was ridiculous and arrogant in a particular way that needed and needs puncturing. Somehow this turned into a second job as a finance journalist specialising in the area. The crypto promoters are reprehensible, but their self-sabotaging foolishness makes their comeuppance extremely satisfying. I feel I’m making the world a better place with this.

David's book list on cryptocurrency and finance crimes

David Gerard Why did David love this book?

Davies’ Lying For Money lays out a taxonomy of fraud, illustrated with amazing stories of real-life frauds.

Per Davies: “A long firm makes you question whether you can trust anyone. A counterfeit makes you question the evidence of your eyes. A control fraud makes you question your trust in the institutions of society and a market crime makes you question society itself.”

Davies’ key trick to spotting a fraud: look at something that’s growing unusually quickly, and examine it in some way it hasn’t been examined before.

Only the second chapter is about cryptocurrency specifically, but understanding how frauds think is fabulously useful in understanding how crypto works. Not even crypto’s frauds are new.

Davies used different stories in the UK and US editions of the book – so get both.

By Dan Davies,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Lying for Money as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Financial crime seems horribly complicated but there are only so many ways you can con someone out of what's theirs. In fact, there are four. A veteran regulatory economist and market analyst, Dan Davies has years of experience picking the bones out of some of the most famous frauds of the modern age. Now he reveals the big picture that emerges from their labyrinths of deceit.

Along the way you'll find out how to fake a gold mine with a wedding ring, a file and a shotgun. You'll see how close Charles Ponzi, the king of pyramid schemes, came to…


Book cover of Faith's Reckoning

Susan S. Scott Author Of Healing with Nature

From my list on inspiring resilience in the face of adversity.

Why am I passionate about this?

Whether I read fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or prose, I especially love books by authors whose voices resonate with authenticity and originality, and who write imaginative page-turners about characters who change and grow personally, regardless of the difficulties they face in life. When their changes lead to creating conducive conditions for others to thrive, I feel gratified and inspired by them. As a practicing psychotherapist and writer I have devoted my career to supporting people in discovering and nurturing the creative sparks within themselves. My PhD in psychology and Post-Doctoral studies, presentations, and publications over the past 45 years have focused on the healing aspect of the creative process.  

Susan's book list on inspiring resilience in the face of adversity

Susan S. Scott Why did Susan love this book?

Barbara Small’s novel is about the interwoven lives of a Black family and a White family facing the challenges of surviving while raising their children in the Jim Crow South during the Great Depression.

The vivid language and sense details of Faith’s Reckoning transported me completely into the very different worlds the characters experienced in this riveting page-turner. What I loved most was how they transformed their suffering into a desire to improve the worlds they inhabited, not only for themselves but also others. The personal reckonings they made by changing their lives evoked a depth of empathy that has changed me.

These characters continue to stay in my heart, and like friends I cherish them still. In fact, I hope to see a sequel and a movie one day!

Book cover of The Moneychangers

Paddy Hirsch Author Of The Devil's Half Mile

From my list on glimpse into the dark heart of the financial markets (without being bored to tears).

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a career financial and business journalist, only recently turned novelist. I’m obsessed with the way that history repeats itself in the financial markets and that we never seem to learn our lessons. Fear and greed have always driven the behavior of bankers, traders, and investors; and they still do today, only barely inhibited by our regulatory system. I want to help people understand how markets work, and I like combining fiction with fact to explain these systems and how they’re abused. With that in mind, I work during the day as a reporter at NPR and by night as a scribbler of historical fiction with a financial twist.

Paddy's book list on glimpse into the dark heart of the financial markets (without being bored to tears)

Paddy Hirsch Why did Paddy love this book?

I love it because it describes exactly how Wall Street used to work in the bad old days of the early 1900s, before the Great Crash and the Great Depression, before sweeping reforms turned it into what is today. I learned so much from this story about the characters who dominated the Street and set it up for failure.

I see all sorts of parallels with the growth of cryptocurrencies and the scams that surround that industry. I love the way Sinclair describes the Wild West, the ferociously greedy mentality of the players back then, and how he details the machinations of Ponzi schemers and fraudsters before there were any laws barring such scoundrels from doing whatever they pleased with gullible investors’ money.

Book cover of End of Globalization: Lessons from the Great Depression

Tobias Straumann Author Of 1931: Debt, Crisis, and the Rise of Hitler

From my list on the Great Depression and its impact on history.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since I began to study history at the university, I have always wondered why things could get so wrong in Europe in the 1930s. The key to understanding this crucial period of world history was the failure of economic policy. In the course of my studies, many of my questions have been answered, but I am still wondering about the extent of human and institutional collapse. Hence, to me, the Great Depression is such a fascinating topic that you can never leave once you started doing research about its causes and consequences.

Tobias' book list on the Great Depression and its impact on history

Tobias Straumann Why did Tobias love this book?

Financial crises are not only catastrophic because of their devastating economic consequences. They also unleash radical political forces undermining the foundations of our free and open society. Widely praised for his work on Germany in the interwar years, Harold James is the best historian to describe the vicious circle of crisis, radicalization, and national isolation in the 1930s and to discuss the question: can it happen again?

By Harold James,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked End of Globalization as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Globalization" is here. Signified by an increasingly close economic interconnection that has led to profound political and social change around the world, the process seems irreversible. In this book, however, Harold James provides a sobering historical perspective, exploring the circumstances in which the globally integrated world of an earlier era broke down under the pressure of unexpected events.

James examines one of the great historical nightmares of the twentieth century: the collapse of globalism in the Great Depression. Analyzing this collapse in terms of three main components of global economics--capital flows, trade, and international migration--James argues that it was not…


Book cover of The Great Depression of the 1930s: Lessons for Today

Tobias Straumann Author Of 1931: Debt, Crisis, and the Rise of Hitler

From my list on the Great Depression and its impact on history.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since I began to study history at the university, I have always wondered why things could get so wrong in Europe in the 1930s. The key to understanding this crucial period of world history was the failure of economic policy. In the course of my studies, many of my questions have been answered, but I am still wondering about the extent of human and institutional collapse. Hence, to me, the Great Depression is such a fascinating topic that you can never leave once you started doing research about its causes and consequences.

Tobias' book list on the Great Depression and its impact on history

Tobias Straumann Why did Tobias love this book?

This book is highly recommended for those who want to get an overview of the newest research on the Great Depression. Written by leading economic historians, the book explains what made the catastrophe possible, why it spread across the globe, and how it was ended. Most importantly, the authors manage to explain the scholarly literature in a language that can be understood by everyone interested in the period.

By Nicholas Crafts (editor), Peter Fearon (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Great Depression of the 1930s as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Understanding the Great Depression has never been more relevant than in today's economic crisis. This edited collection provides an authoritative introduction to the Great Depression as it affected the advanced countries in the 1930s. The contributions are by acknowledged experts in the field and cover in detail the experiences of Britain, Germany, and, the United States, while also seeing the depression as an international disaster. The crisis entailed the collapse
of the international monetary system, sovereign default, and banking crises in many countries in the context of the most severe downturn in western economic history. The responses included protectionism, regulation,…


Book cover of Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World

Alan Bollard Author Of Economists at War: How a Handful of Economists Helped Win and Lose the World Wars

From my list on how economists agree and disagree amongst each other.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an economics professor at Victoria University of Wellington. As a previous Secretary of the New Zealand Treasury and Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, I have had quite a bit of experience watching economists’ ideas succeed and fail in the real world. I have written a number of books about policy economists and their lives in peace and wartime. (And a couple of novels too!)

Alan's book list on how economists agree and disagree amongst each other

Alan Bollard Why did Alan love this book?

This is the story of four (European and American) central bankers fighting the dramas and crises during the lead-up to the Great Depression. When crisis looms, Bank of England Governor Montagu Norman puts on a disguise and boards a cruise ship to consult with his friend Benjamin Strong in New York. If only financial crises could still be fought that way today! I liked it because I used to be a central bank governor myself!

By Liaquat Ahamed,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Lords of Finance as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

"Erudite, entertaining macroeconomic history of the lead-up to the Great Depression as seen through the careers of the West's principal bankers . . . Spellbinding, insightful and, perhaps most important, timely." -Kirkus Reviews (starred)

"There is terrific prescience to be found in [Lords of Finance's] portrait of times past . . . [A] writer of great verve and erudition, [Ahamed] easily connects the dots between the economic crises that rocked the world during the years his book covers and the fiscal emergencies that beset us today." -The New York Times

It is commonly believed that…


Book cover of Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston

Katherine Giuffre Author Of Outrage: The Arts and the Creation of Modernity

From my list on maverick creativity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent my career as a sociologist studying how creative people work, what social settings are most conducive to creativity, and how to foster creativity for everyone in our daily lives. I know that creativity is often not easy and can even be met with hostility much more frequently than we might think. Creativity is, after all, a type of deviance and creative people can face real obstacles in finding and following their vision. But a richer understanding of how and why creativity happens – and of its obstacles – can be a tool for making a more vibrant, creative, inclusive, and just world.

Katherine's book list on maverick creativity

Katherine Giuffre Why did Katherine love this book?

On top of having written one of the most profound novels of the 20th century, Zora Neale Hurston was a fierce and fearless proponent of authenticity in literature and art – and she paid the price for that.

Boyd’s biography of her is the best, delving into this complex woman who was both deeply of her time and way ahead of it. Boyd quotes Hurston in one of my all-time favorite lines by a writer responding to a demeaning critic: “I will send my toe-nails to debate him…” An inspiration for all creative people facing rejection for being true to themselves!

By Valerie Boyd,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wrapped in Rainbows as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From critically acclaimed journalist Valerie Boyd comes an eloquent profile of one of the most intriguing cultural figures of the twentieth century—Zora Neale Hurston.

A woman of enormous talent and remarkable drive, Zora Neale Hurston published seven books, many short stories, and several articles and plays over a career that spanned more than thirty years. Today, nearly every black woman writer of significance—including Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, and Alice Walker—acknowledges Hurston as a literary foremother, and her 1937 masterpiece Their Eyes Were Watching God has become a crucial part of the modern literary canon.

Wrapped in Rainbows, the first biography…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Great Depression, Sweden, and presidential biography?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Great Depression, Sweden, and presidential biography.

The Great Depression Explore 132 books about the Great Depression
Sweden Explore 74 books about Sweden
Presidential Biography Explore 19 books about presidential biography