The Aleph Blog » Crisis


All the Devils are Here (5 Stars)

Anyone willing to read a longish book could benefit from this book.  It is the best book on the crisis so far.

If you want to, you can buy it here: All the Devils Are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis.

Street Fighters (5 Stars)

This is a good book that deserves to be read by those that want a clear view of how Bear Stearns went down.  It is engaging and informative.

You can buy it here:

Street Fighters: The Last 72 Hours of Bear Stearns, the Toughest Firm on Wall Street

Complicit (5 Stars)

Most people would benefit from this book on the crisis.  The book is available here: Complicit: How Greed and Collusion Made the Credit Crisis Unstoppable (Bloomberg)

Confidence Game (5 Stars)

Most average investors could benefit from the book.  It would tell them that economic systems that rely on third-party appraisals are inherently fragile.  They can be gamed by those with a concentrated interest for a time, until reality catches up with them.

I recommend this book highly.  If you want to buy the book, you can buy it here:  Confidence Game: How a Hedge Fund Manager Called Wall Street’s Bluff.

Slapped by the Invisible Hand (4 Stars)

Anyone looking to understand the fundamental reasons behind the crisis will benefit.

If you want to buy it, you can find it here: Slapped by the Invisible Hand: The Panic of 2007 (Financial Management Association Survey and Synthesis)

13 Bankers (4 Stars)

Almost everyone would benefit.  It does a great job laying out the problems, and the solutions that they offer are eminently reasonable.  Again, you have to be willing to read a book where the words are big, the sentence structures are complex, and you already understand something about economics.

If you want to buy the book, you can buy it here: 13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown.

Financial Shock (3 Stars)

All in all a very good book.  If you have a relative that doesn’t understand the crisis, this will explain it to him in a simple way.  If you want to buy it, you can buy it here:

Financial Shock (Updated Edition), (Paperback): Global Panic and Government Bailouts–How We Got Here and What Must Be Done to Fix It

When Giants Fall (2 Stars)

If you get easily dismayed, this is not the book for you.  Michael Panzner paints an “end of the era” picture for America, with the nation as a whole less well off.

For those that are willing to look at the pessimistic side of what is possible, When Giants Fall is a reasonable account of what could happen.  Warning: the book is long on description, and short on solutions, both personal and national.

You can buy it here: When Giants Fall: An Economic Roadmap for the End of the American Era.


David Merkel is an investment professional, and like every investment professional, he makes mistakes. David encourages you to do your own independent "due diligence" on any idea that he talks about, because he could be wrong. Nothing written here, at RealMoney, Wall Street All-Stars, or anywhere else David may write is an invitation to buy or sell any particular security; at most, David is handing out educated guesses as to what the markets may do. David is fond of saying, "The markets always find a new way to make a fool out of you," and so he encourages caution in investing. Risk control wins the game in the long run, not bold moves. Even the best strategies of the past fail, sometimes spectacularly, when you least expect it. David is not immune to that, so please understand that any past success of his will be probably be followed by failures.

Also, though David runs Aleph Investments, LLC, this blog is not a part of that business. This blog exists to educate investors, and give something back. It is not intended as advertisement for Aleph Investments; David is not soliciting business through it. When David, or a client of David's has an interest in a security mentioned, full disclosure will be given, as has been past practice for all that David does on the web. Disclosure is the breakfast of champions.

Additionally, David may occasionally write about accounting, actuarial, insurance, and tax topics, but nothing written here, at RealMoney, or anywhere else is meant to be formal "advice" in those areas. Consult a reputable professional in those areas to get personal, tailored advice that meets the specialized needs that David can have no knowledge of.

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