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Essential Entertaining Business Stories

Jeffrey Swystun
The list author says: "This is a bit of a mix of stories covering nefarious activities, cool deals, market shambles, exposes into commonly accepted practices, consumerism, greed, and often, stupidity. Each offers up lessons and entertainment one may have not thought possible from business subjects."
The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron
The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron
"The Enron fiasco is undeniably fascinating and sadly entertaining. The hapless leadership group and the bad boys who developed models that did not pass basic accounting scrutiny. These boys were selling hot air."
Conspiracy of Fools: A True Story
Conspiracy of Fools: A True Story
"Eichenwald writes a great story and that is why his Enron effort is worth a read. You feel as if you were privy to each meeting where all the bad decisions were made."
When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management
When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management
"Here is a reason to fear sure-fire models and PhD's. Arrogance and greed as always plays a part. Be aware that this is quite the detailed book but well worth the effort."
Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco
Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco
"One of my all time favorites and only partly because Ross Johnson hails from my hometown of Winnipeg. This is the best story on 1980's greed and deal making (and silly valuations)."
The Predators' Ball: The Inside Story of Drexel Burnham and the Rise of the JunkBond Raiders
The Predators' Ball: The Inside Story of Drexel Burnham and the Rise of the JunkBond Raiders
"Michael Milken and Drexel Burnham - need I say more."
Den of Thieves
Den of Thieves
"More on Drexel Burnham Lambert. How one firm created a market and how that market underlying value was false."
Liar's Poker (Norton Paperback)
Liar's Poker (Norton Paperback)
"Hailed as an instant classic, the book is written from the heart from someone on Wall Street who actually had a heart."
Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the FinancialSystem--and Themselves
Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the FinancialSystem--and Themselves
"Written close to the events but with a highly objective and engaging viewpoint. The broken financial system was far more broken than the public will ever know."
House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street
House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street
"I really enjoyed this story covering how the venerable Bear Sterns failed using the backdrop of the entire financial crisis for context and clarity."
The Last Tycoons: The Secret History of Lazard Frères & Co.
The Last Tycoons: The Secret History of Lazard Frères & Co.
"Written with detail from an insider, this bio of Lazard Freres is a story of a boutique leader going public along with a cool profile of Rohatyn."
Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
"A book that put a lens on the problem and the debate on almost everyone's lips. Knowledge is power."
Serpent on the Rock
Serpent on the Rock
""A real-life thriller—the story of kickbacks and payoffs, of shady deals struck in secret with known felons; a story in which half a million people lose enormous sums—some their life’s savings—in the largest securities fraud of the 1980s, with names like Onassis and Bush numbered among the victims.""
Final Accounting: Ambition, Greed and the Fall of Arthur Andersen
Final Accounting: Ambition, Greed and the Fall of Arthur Andersen
"Not the best book on the list but having worked at Deloitte & Touche and Price Waterhouse, I had to include it because AA was so revered during my time in the industry."
The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine
The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine
"Arguably the best book on our most recent crisis (2008). Lewis can tell a complex story clearly and in a highly engaging way."
King of Capital: The Remarkable Rise, Fall, and Rise Again of Steve Schwarzman and Blackstone
King of Capital: The Remarkable Rise, Fall, and Rise Again of Steve Schwarzman and Blackstone
"The rise of Blackstone is amazing - the capital they control boggles the mind.  A captivating story."