Thursday, July 26, 2012

The crisis: becoming informed

Source: via Pinterest
I like to think of myself as fairly intelligent.  When it comes to finance, though, I rarely feel smart.

When my husband starts to talk about iron condors, straddles, and strangles, my brain shuts down.  I listen, look intently, and try to follow his explanation, but somewhere among the puts, calls, and expiration dates, I get lost.  It seems like my brain just physically cannot follow his logic.

So I knew I had a huge task at hand.  I wanted to write a book about the recession, and this recession is all about economics.  How could I learn enough about it to accurately convey its meaning to my readers?

I started with Andrew Ross Sorkin's Too Big To Fail: The Inside Story of how Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System-- and Themselves.  This book was daunting at first; I gawked when the librarian handed it to me, the weight of it falling dead in my hands.

A woman behind me in line at checkout cooed.  "That looks miserable!  Are you going to read that whole book?"

At that moment, I was sure.  "Yes," I replied.  "I'm going to read every page."  I eyed the page count: 624 pages.  This would require discipline, for sure.

But Sorkin writes his book like a novel, with well developed characters that are fun to know.  I read the book in five days, and it left me thirsting for me.  It was a very good place to start, indeed.

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