Banking Books

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List of Top 13 Banking Books [Updated 2021]

The Banking Industry is the backbone of the financial marketFinancial MarketThe term "financial market" refers to the marketplace where activities such as the creation and trading of various financial assets such as bonds, stocks, commodities, currencies, and derivatives take place. It provides a platform for sellers and buyers to interact and trade at a price determined by market forces.read more with every economy. Below is the list of Top 13 Banking Books to read in 2021.

  1. The House of MorganAn American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance ( Get this book )
  2. Fragile By Design: The Political Origins of Banking Crises & Scarce Credit ( Get this book )
  3. Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World ( Get this book )
  4. The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine ( Get this book )
  5. Too Big to Fail ( Get this book )
  6. The Creature from Jekyll Island ( Get this book )
  7. The Greatest Ever Bank Robbery ( Get this book )
  8. The End of Banking ( Get this book )
  9. McColl: The Man with America’s Money ( Get this book )
  10. Exile on Wall Street: One Analyst′s Fight to Save the Big Banks from Themselves ( Get this book )
  11. Shredded: Inside RBS, the Bank That Broke Britain ( Get this book )
  12. America’s Bank: The Epic Struggle to Create the Federal Reserve ( Get this book )
  13. Nightmare on Wall Street: Solomon Brothers and the Corruption of the Marketplace ( Get this book )

Let us discuss each of the banking books in detail, along with its key takeaways and reviews.

Banking Books

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#1 – The House of Morgan An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance

Author – By Ron Chernow

The House of Morgan: An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance

Introduction 

This book is related to the most aspiring history of American finance, which had been considered a disaster about 20 years or two decades back and is not considered a classic example for the rest of the globe. Starting from J.P. Morgan and covering the financial crises of the year 1987. It has been regarded as a masterpiece of the financial history by the national book awards of the 20th century as The 100 Best Nonfiction book of the 20th by the Modern Library ‘The House of Morgan’ as it is an extraordinary institution, and so are the men who ran the same.

These men include Franklin Roosevelt, Charles Lindbergh, Henry Ford, Winston Churchill, and Nancy Astor. The author explains the great men behind 150 years of success of this institution, its men, and historical events related to the same.

Summary

This book covers a fantastic history of the great men behind the successful history of J.P. Morgan as an institution. The author, with the help of this book, has brought together all the moments to life by creating anxiety of stress in this epic novel. He describes the life of these men at the bank, the institution’s history, along with the flow of the world finance history deeply.

Best Takeaways

The best take away from this book is the experience of the best men in the financial industry at work. Their experience includes their drawbacks or failures, along with their success stories. Success stories of successful individuals are great motivation. Each one of us must make them our idols to follow in their footsteps.

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#2 – Fragile By Design: The Political Origins of Banking Crises & Scarce Credit

Author – By Charles W. Calomiris, Stephen H. Haber

Fragile by Design: The Political Origins of Banking Crises and Scarce Credit (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World, 48)

Introduction 

The author of this edition has very clearly put across the reason why some countries have a bad and unstable banking system, however, some are very stable with the same. For example, The USA had 12 banking crises in the year 1840, whereas Canada was absolutely stable. However, a few economies, such as Brazil and Mexico, have only been crises prone and increased their amounts of credits to business enterprises and households.

He has very closely monitored the banking history of countries of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Mexico, and Canada. He explains the difference between the accidents cause due to unforeseen circumstances and fluctuation results from a complex bargain. He explains the details of a well-started banking system and the control of the regulators on the same.

Summary

Banking crises and scarce credits are not accidents caused by unforeseen circumstances, and they are the after-effects of various bargains between bankers, politicians, shareholders of the bank, depositors, taxpayers, and debtors. A banking system can be fine only on the capability of the political institutions and to help the bankers maintain and limit the coalitions of different groups influencing the economy.

Best Takeaways

This book gives you a view of the entire financial system of an economy and how it has been dominated by various groups of people. The author confirms that the banking crises are rather avoidable than manageable.

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#3 – Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World

by Liaquat Ahamed

Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World

The book focuses on the then heads of the four central banks – the US, Britain, France and Germany, and narrates how they failed miserably resulting in the Great Depression of 1929

Book Review

This book is a real-life biography of four central bank heads – Benjamin Strong (Federal Reserve), Montagu Norman (Bank of England), Émile Moreau (Banque de France) and Hjalmar Schacht (Reichsbank). It explains how each of the central bank heads pursued different paths to recovery after the 1st World War, but none of them was able to find the right path. It is an exceptionally well-written book and you just can’t wait to see what happens next. Although it is not a textbook, yet the book provides enough details about some of the advanced finance topics, such as international lending, gold standardGold StandardThe gold standard was a monetary term used when gold exchange was used instead of paper currency.read more, and devaluation of the currencyDevaluation Of The CurrencyCurrency devaluation is deliberately done in order to adjust the established exchange rates by the government and it is mostly done in the cases of fixed currencies. This mechanism is used by economies with a semi-fixed or fixed exchange rate, and it should not be confused with depreciation.read more.

Best Takeaways

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#4 – The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

by Michael Lewis

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

The book narrates the story of four separate investment groups who successfully predicted the credit and housing bubble fiasco well before anyone else.

Book Review

In this book, the narration of the 2007-08 financial crisis is done through the actions of four investment firms – Scion Capital, FrontPoint Partners LLC, Cornwall Capital, and Deutsche Bank. It discusses the root causesRoot CausesRoot cause analysis is a problem-solving technique in which the source of a problem is identified, thereby finding the best possible solutions to it. It is a permanent fix to an issue since it establishes a cause-effect relationship for every adverse situation.read more of the crisis in great detail and how some of the financiers could anticipate the collapse well in advance. The author has honestly stated how the combination of corruption, arrogance, incompetence, and law-bending attitude resulted in the subprime mortgageSubprime MortgageA subprime mortgage is a loan against property offered to borrowers with a weak or no credit history. Since the risk of recovering is high, the interest rate charged on such mortgages is higher so that the lender can recover a maximum amount at the beginning of the loan.read more crisis. If you are interested in understanding how exactly the 2008 economic meltdown took place, that too in plain English, then this is the book for you.

Best Takeaways

  • It is undoubtedly one of the best (if not the best) account of the 2007-08 financial crisis.
  • It is easy-to-read and perfectly comprehensible even for people without any advanced degrees in the field of finance.
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#5 – Too Big to Fail

The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System from Crisis — and Themselves

by Andrew Ross Sorkin

Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System--and Themselves

This New York Times bestseller book is a moment-by-moment account of how the subprime mortgage crisis of 2007-08 unfolded to become one of the worst economic crisis of all time.

Book Review

Although the author hasn’t gone deep into the technical details, the dramatic narration of the events keeps you glued to the book and you can literally feel the uncertainty and seriousness of the decisions made on a day-to-day basis to avert the financial meltdown. Just like The Big Short, this book also suggests that some people anticipated the economic downturn well before most others. It also hints that people in control of billions of dollars are not as smart as their fat paychecks suggest, but are just as confused as the rest of us.

Best Takeaways

  • It gives a great insight into the events that took place on Wall Street leading up to the economic downturn.
  • It is an interesting read for people who are interested in the subprime mortgage crisis.
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#6 – The Creature from Jekyll Island

A Second Look at the Federal Reserve

by G. Edward Griffin

The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve

The title of the book refers to the founding of the Federal Reserve at a secret meeting that took place at Jekyll Island, Georgia in 1910. The book explains the workings of the Federal Reserve.

Book Review

This book is an easy-to-read critical review of present-day centralized banking. The research work has been done meticulously with a lot of references and links that none of the bankers can afford to disapprove. This book will open your eyes to what is actually happening around you in the World and you will realize that the central banking system is a massive scam. It reveals how a small number of psychopathic bankers are wreaking havoc upon the entire world. This text can potentially make you angry and emotionally charged.

Best Takeaways

  • It gives a great insight into the events that led to the planning and establishment of the Federal Reserve.
  • It narrates the real story of how some unscrupulous bankers enticed the politicians and ended up taking control of the world economy.
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#7 – The Greatest Ever Bank Robbery

The Collapse Of The Savings And Loan Industry

by Martin Mayer

The Greatest-Ever Bank Robbery: The Collapse of the Savings and Loan Industry

This book tells the story of the savings and loans thefts that took place way back in the 1980s and 1990s.

Book Review

This book is a crude illustration of how some individual miscreants committed these deliberate frauds on the back of negligent and incompetent legislation, which was extremely easy to manipulate. It states that the government was equally responsible for letting these things happen that eventually resulted in massive losses. The book provides a set of cases that clearly shows how the politicians colluded with some sociopathic narcissistic private actors to dent the entire banking system significantly. In short, it is a probing narrative that critically reviews the fiasco that left the entire banking system in a dilapidated state.

Best Takeaways

  • It is a well-constructed account of the events that were the driving factors for the savings and loans thefts.
  • It is a must-read for anyone as it provides a real perspective about the actual workings of the banking system.
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#8 – The End of Banking

Money, Credit, and the Digital Revolution

by Jonathan McMillan

The End of Banking: Money, Credit, and the Digital Revolution

The book cuts through the complex working of the modern financial system and touches upon the digital revolution to explain how it can mark the end of banking.

Book Review

If you are interested in looking behind the scenes at banking operations, then you should pick this book and you will not be disappointed. The authors have analyzed the banking system with some knowledge and a lot of passion, and thus the narration of the book is very simple and easy-to-comprehend. The first part of the book discusses the balanced relationship between the government and the banking system that existed in the industrial age. The second part clarifies how the digital revolution unsettled the balance and the rise of shadow banking culminated in the financial crisis of 2007-08. The third part explains how the digital revolution destabilized the efficacy of current banking system and left it redundant.

Best Takeaways

  • It discusses the fundamental financial techniques followed by all banking systems.
  • It provides a plain and easy-to-get account of the shadow banking system, which can be enlightening for many readers.
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#9 – McColl: The Man with America’s Money

by Ross Yockey, L. Beth Yockey

McColl: The Man with America's Money

The book is an exciting biography of Hugh McColl, who is a fourth-generation banker and the former CEO of Bank of America. It tells the story of how McColl created an entire banking empire.

Book Review

McColl is the man who is credited for creating the first national bank when NationsBank acquired the San Francisco based Bank of America in April 1998. This book is an authorized biography that presents an account of the rise of McColl to become the leader of a large banking empire. If you are interested to know what actually happens on Wall Street and various banks along with the internal politics, then this is the right book for you.

Best Takeaways

  • The book primarily lauds the achievements of Hugh McColl and gives a great insight into his professional life.
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#10 – Exile on Wall Street: One Analyst′s Fight to Save the Big Banks from Themselves

Author – By Mike Mayo

Exile on Wall Street

Introduction 

This edition is a must-read for audiences interested in business and finance, the future of banking, the root cause of the financial meltdown, and also US Capitalism. This book is an award-winning book with the details of one of the biggest financial and political crises of its time. This book covers 6 financial institutionsFinancial InstitutionsFinancial institutions refer to those organizations which provide business services and products related to financial or monetary transactions to their clients. Some of these are banks, NBFCs, investment companies, brokerage firms, insurance companies and trust corporations. read more and analyzing their banks, along with protesting against the same for their awful practices for the last two decades.

The Author has explained the practices that have been laid down to weaken the banking sector and capitalismCapitalismCapitalism is an economic system consisting of businesses, resources, capital goods, and labour. Private entities own it, and the income is derived by the level of production of these factors. Because of the private hands, these entities can be operated efficiently and maximize their production activity also.read more. He uncovers the real inner working of big banks and also shows how it has affected Wall Street, which makes as bad as it was just before the last pre-crash. This book is definitely no textbook; however, still very informational for students wanting to pursue their career in the financial sector along with others in and interested in the same business.

Summary

This efficiently highlights the bad practices of the banking sector by the author, giving us an example of 6 big banks and institutions on Wall Street. He fights against the truth of power used in some large banks, highlighting his scars and his escape and survival of the challenging status to be credited by some of the few who saw the crises hitting the economy. He also highlights a few holes that still exist in the system. To sum it up, he also offers practical solutions

Best Takeaways

The entire history of the banking industry is narrated in this book. The author has very generously displayed the open loopholes of the crises that have still not been closed by the system leading us to another crisis. He has also offered us practical solutions to help the system get better and healthier.

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#11 – Shredded: Inside RBS, the Bank That Broke Britain

Author – By Ian Fraser

Shredded: Inside RBS, the Bank That Broke Britain by Ian Fraser (5-Jun-2014) Hardcover

Introduction 

From being one of the world’s biggest banks to trying to regain the trust of the public, Shredded has the entire story of RBS that is the Royal Bank of Scotland. One of the biggest banks in the UK, having assets worth $3 Trillion and also more than 200,000 employees globally, was a name causing antagonism and antipathy against the former CEO of the bank Fred Goodwin. The Big name Fred Goodwin is known as the architect of the worse financial crises since the last one in 1929.

The author uncovers appalling mistakes made, which got the bank to collapse. He also explains the role of the directors of the banks who could not check on the crimes created by Goodwin. Both the colleagues and politicians who overlooked his happenings which kept the bank unsupervised. The toxic of his misconduct shattered rather closed or shut down a number of small businesses and also harmed the big ones badly.

Summary

This book is an amazing example of a toxic individual who, with the help of his misconduct, had the ability to evolve the most horrible crises. The breakdown of The Royal Bank of Scotland actually destroyed a number of little businesses and also hit the big ones majorly. The author has shown the inefficiency of RBS employees, directors, and politicians who were unable to uncover the same leading to a financial disaster, for the same could have been controlled.

Best Takeaways

The author here confirms that the higher the designation, the higher are the responsibilities you bare. This book confirms that if the directors and the politicians kept a close watch on the movement of the bank and the happenings in it, they could have had prevented this fraud and saved the livings of many little businesses.

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#12 – America’s Bank: The Epic Struggle to Create the Federal Reserve

Author – By Roger Lowenstein

America's Bank: The Epic Struggle to Create the Federal Reserve

Introduction 

The edition displays the birth of America’s Modern Central Bank. The fight to create the same was extremely stretched and conflict-ridden, and yet the same was created; its creation felt like a little miracle. Modernizing the reforms of America seemed completely impossible because America was the only one amongst the developed nations who did not trust a big government or big banks.

Every bank of the USA stood on its own without any central reserve or a regulator controlling the same. All of this divided the people of America their bankers and banks, their farmers, populists, and ordinary Americans who enacted to the Federal Reserve Act. However, the same was formed, and this book gives you details of the formation of striking clarity and gripping on the situations. The author focuses on the 4 men behind the creation of history in America and its regulations.

Summary

This edition will amuse you with the history of developed America who did not believe in big governments and big banks. Amid their belief was a requirement of regulators for different businesses, especially the banking sector, for it is one of the riskiest sectors and can really harm the economy if not well regulated. The book includes the formation of the regulator of the banking system in the United States of America.

Best Takeaways

This book steps out of the box and explains the formation of the biggest regulator of the global economy. It focuses on 4 men who made the same possible. Breaking old practices and stepping into new ones can really make management simple and swift.

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#13 – Nightmare on Wall Street: Solomon Brothers and the Corruption of the Marketplace

Author – By Martin Mayer

Nightmare on Wall Street: Salomon Brothers and the Corruption of the Marketplace

Introduction 

Showing off the influence and power of the epitome of Modern Wall Street, the writer describes the traders who become bankers without real experience but through the merits of luck and guts to build a financial giant. He talks about the breaking of traditional barriers by Salomon Brothers, who was a world power with the assets of $170 billion and a powerful force in London, New York, and Tokyo in the year 1991 and also the largest dealer in the government securities of the USA.

From traders to becoming a corporate bully, the firm manipulated in the government’s stock market with a scandal of $10 billion. They destroyed not only many careers but also a number of small businesses and reputation in business, which is very difficult to gain.

Summary

The writer describes the influential power Salomon Brothers with their stories describing the breaking of traditional barriers and becoming corporate bullies. He writes about their emerging and their steps towards destructions of self and others who relied on them. They not only manipulated and scandalized the US government for $10 billion, but they also ruined a number of careers, business reputations, and small businesses.

Best Takeaways

What can be better than learning a great lesson from the corporate bullies self and the destruction of others is not the real way of doing business? They spoilt their reputations in the market. The writer stresses on their arrogance and manipulative attitude towards destruction. Had the government taken care of the regulations and stopped them from creating their own regulations, they would never try the same.

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This has been a guide to Banking Books. Here we discuss the list of books not only for bankers or prospect bankers. It is for all those who really want to know more about this industry and how it has become the backbone. You may also read the following list of books-

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