Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Diary of a Very Bad Year by N + 1

I had never heard of this book before being at the Phoenix airport and deciding I needed to buy a book to read. (I bought two: this and "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo") It took me about two flights and two additional sittings to finish this book. Diary is the quickest, lightest read in the realm of finance you are ever going to find. It was fun, but sort of disappointing.

The book is a series of transcribed interviews with an anonymous hedge fund manager, taken while the economy was sort of going down in flames. The hedge fund manager seems very clever, and had some laugh-out-loud analogies that I enjoyed.

I am a business major, in a career slightly related to finance, and I have an embarrassingly tenuous grasp on what all caused our delightful current economic situation. I hoped this book would give me insight. It did, to an extent. It was either too basic or way over my head though. It went from super basic, to tossing terms around without really explaining them. So, I still am not comfortable with what exactly a credit default swap is, or all that. But I do have a better grasp on exactly what hedge funds (and their managers) do for the economy.

My favorite part of this book was the vocabulary! I love learning and using really pretentious and obscure words. This book taught me no fewer than six new ones. That, at about one new word for every forty pages, might be a world record for books that are even worth reading! I am not sure I will ever be able to use any of these in a sentence, but I will sure try. My new words are the following, with definitions from Dictionary.com.

  • Solipsistic: extreme preoccupation with and indulgence of one's feelings, desires, etc.; egoistic self-absorption.

  • Parlous: perilous; dangerous.

  • Vitiate: to impair the quality of; make faulty; spoil.

  • Epistemology: a branch of philosophy that investigates the origin, nature, methods, and limits of human knowledge.

  • Importunate: troublesome; annoying.

  • Dunning: to make repeated and insistent demands upon, esp. for the payment of a debt.
  • 1 comment:

    1. Hmm, I might have to read this book. Sounds like a fun read, and I have a shamefully poor understanding of finance, beyond the math involved in balancing a checkbook.


    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...