MicroCapitalist Today

Reading List

I often get asked about ‘good books on x’ so whilst I occasionally make reference to them in my posts, here is a reading list.

1.The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor by David Landes is a brilliant introductory text to Economic Development and the Problems that are encountered. This was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize, but disappointingly didn’t win it.

2.A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa Times to the Presentby Andrew Gordon is probably the best Revisionist and concise history of Japan from the conclusion of the Battle of Sekigahara to Koizumi’s Tenure as Prime Minister. Not just economics and politics, the book covers many differing topics such as cultural developments and what happened at a household level.

3. The Chinese Economy: Transitions and Growthby Barry Naughton

More textbook than ‘book’ it is the best book in English to give you a quick overview of contemporary economic development in China. The book chronicles the pains as well as the trials and tribulations of China’s economic policies over the years.

Theoretical Books

4.The Fish Rots from the Head: The Crisis in Our Boardrooms: Developing the Crucial Skills of the Competent Directorby Bob Garratt is a very good contemporary overview of the crisis that is corporate governance. He very clearly review and highlights the major hurdles that many multinationals, American, Asian and European have failed to do and implement.


5.The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable: With a new section: “On Robustness and Fragility”by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

If you haven’t heard of this I would be surprised. Although more theoretical and conceptual, the Black Swan is a well argued thesis on how society should deal with ‘fat-tail’ or rare events. In short we have to stop trying to predict it.

6. The Holy Grail of Macroeconomics: Lessons from Japans Great Recession by Richard C Koo.

Although I am not the biggest fan of Richard Koo, mainly because I can’t tell whether he is justifying his time as a senior policy advisor to the Japanese government or whether he is just a good economist. Either way, his work is worth reading

7. Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Povertyby Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo

One of the few books in Development Literature that uses real data from real experiments to constructively explain  and improve the plight of poor  people everywhere. I believe the book won several accolades