Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Mother Lode - Part Two

Last week I wrote on the incredible finds that I discovered at the annual book sale at my local library. Here are the final four that I took home that day;

The Ordinary Business of Life – A History of Economics – Roger E. Backhouse

I think that most investors assume that Economics is a modern study, but Backhouse surveys its history from Ancient times to the present. He doesn’t seem to leave any society out, covering economic thought from Ancient Greece to Rome to Modern ideas that earned Economics its label as the Dismal Science. Economics is another weak spot for me and this should be a good primer on the subject.

The End of Oil – Paul Roberts

It’s no secret that I am bearish on oil prices, even after the decline from $140 to $115. If you don’t believe me then read these posts on my blog. This book looks like it covers both sides of the contentious issue of the timing of the depletion of oil reserves, written in a readable fashion.

The Game Makers – The Story of Parker Brothers – Philip E. Orbanes

I like to read books on individual companies, and how they were built. Although Parker Brothers is known mostly for bringing Monopoly to the public, its history predates that game by many years. George Parker self published his first game in 1883. The game was called the Game of Banking, and it featured bankers speculating and borrowing money to win. I guess some things never change.

Every Man a Speculator: A History of Wall Street in American Life - Steve Fraser

The last book is another tome that surveys the history of Wall Street from its beginnings in the late 1700’s up until the Modern Era. It is more than a dry historical rendering of the institution, but an account of how Wall Street has worked its way into the culture of each generation that it touched.

So now I have eight books to read. I’m not sure how long it will take to finish these off, but I will share any insights that I get from them. I bought these eight books for $24, compared to the published price of around $200. Now that’s Value Investing if I ever saw it.

This article was written by The Stock Market Prognosticator. You may email questions or comments to me at


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