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I read a fair amount these days. I do it strictly for pleasure which frees me to take my time and explore a wide range of topics. While not everything I read is about investing, I find many to have relatable themes. Below is a catalog of books and papers that I consumed over the past year. For a running list of my top recommendations visit the Favorite Reads page and see prior years’ lists here.


The Myth of the Robber Barons:

A New Look at the Rise of Big Business in America

by Burton W. Folsom

Burton Folsom details the business activities of several well-known entrepreneurs in his book The Myth of the Robber Barons. He challenges the conventional wisdom that businessmen near the turn of the 20th Century succeeded by exploiting an unwilling public. Folsom divides the group into two categories: market entrepreneurs and political entrepreneurs. He shows how political entrepreneurs did, in fact, act in this way. Using special favors, they mobilized the power of government to take advantage of people. However, many did not. Market entrepreneurs like Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, James J. Hill, Andrew Mellon, Charles Schwab, and the Scranton family made their fortunes via voluntary, win-win transactions, building the U.S. into a major economic power along side.

America’s Revolutionary Mind:

A Moral History of the American Revolution and the Declaration That Defined It

by C. Bradley Thompson

In America’s Revolutionary Mind, C. Bradley Thompson describes how the American Revolution was much more than a war. It was the culmination of a major shift in mindset. Using the founders’ own words, Thompson shows how the American Revolution was a moral revolution as much as it was a political one. The radical ideas that permeated throughout the colonists’ “American mind” developed before 1776, leading to revolution.


Free and Unfree

by George Selgin

Money, is a collection of essays primarily written on the “free banking” era in the U.S. George Selgin and others discuss a variety of monetary issues in this little-known period when currencies were issued by private, competing banks in the absence of a central bank. Money’s essays profoundly impacted my views of banking, money, and regulation. In fact, I owe the founding of this blog to some that I had previously encountered.

Banks and Politics in America:

From the Revolution to the Civil War

by Bray Hammond

Bray Hammond masterfully details how politics influenced the creation of America’s banking industry in Banks and Politics in America. The Founders modeled it on England’s, inextricably linking banks to politics from the start. While Banks and Politics in America is extremely well-researched and truly fascinating, I found it hard to read at times. I would have preferred a shorter and less-detailed overview.

A Culture of Growth:

The Origins of the Modern Economy

by Joel Mokyr

In A Culture of Growth, Joel Mokyr explains his theory for what caused the Industrial Revolution. Combining ideas from economics and cultural analyses, he shows how and why specific conditions in Europe—and nowhere else— laid the foundations of our modern economy. Unlike other theories, the role of ideas feature prominently in Mokyr’s analysis creating compelling arguments.


Quantitative Investing

Volatility Spreads and Expected Stock Returns, by Turan G. Bali and Armen Hovakimian, 2007.

Multi-task Envisioning Transformer-based Autoencoder for Corporate Credit Rating Migration Early Prediction, by Han Yue, Steve Xia, and Hongfu Liu, 2022.


The Lag from Monetary Policy Actions to Inflation: Friedman Revisited, by Nicoletta Batini and Edward Nelson, 2001.

Have Monetary Policies Failed?, by Milton Friedman, 1972.

A Simple Framework to Monitor Inflation, by Adam Hale Shapiro, 2022.

Decomposing Supply and Demand Driven Inflation, by Adam Hale Shapiro, 2022.

Still Flying Blind After All These Years: The Federal Reserve’s Continuing Experiments with Unobservables, by Dimitri B. Papadimitriou and L. Randall Wray, 2021.

Lessons From the American Experience With Free Banking, by Hugh Rockoff, 1989.

Why Do We Think That Inflation Expectations Matter for Inflation? (And Should We?), by Jeremy B. Rudd, 2021.

Portfolio Management

Should Your Portfolio Protection Work Fast or Slow?, by AQR Portfolio Solutions Group, 2022.

Use CARMa to Price Your Stock: Equity Risk Premiums Reinvented with Exchange-Traded Funds, by Stephen Antczak, 2023.

The Hidden Cost in Costless Put-Spread Collars: Rebalance Timing Luck, by Steven Braun, Corey Hoffstein, Roni Israelov, and David Nze Ndong, 2023.

Cost of Capital: A Practical Guide to Measuring Opportunity Cost, by Michael J. Mauboussin and Dan Callahan, CFA, 2023.

Sharpening the Arithmetic of Active Management, by Lasse Heje Pedersen, 2018.

Fixed Income

DTS (Duration Times Spread), by Arik Ben Dor, Lev Dynkin, Jay Hyman, Patrick Houweling, Erik van Leeuwen, and Olaf Penninga, 2007.

On the Nature and Predictability of Corporate Bond Returns, by Daniel Haesen and Patrick Houweling, 2012.

What Do We Know About Corporate Bond Returns?, by Jing-Zhi Huang and Zhan Shi, 2021.


Birth, Death, and Wealth Creation: Why Investors Need to Understand Corporate Demographics, by Michael J. Mauboussin and Dan Callahan, CFA, 2023.


Bloated Disclosures: Can ChatGPT Help Investors Process Information?, by Alex G. Kim, Maximilian Muhn, and Valeri V. Nikolaev, 2023.

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