MacroScope

from Global Investing:

What’s on your reading list?

If anyone needed a reminder that Christmas and NewYear holidays are almost here, Societe Generale has provided it. Analyst Dylan Grice has picked up the mantle of the departed James Montier to offer a seasonal reading list for those with a fixation about investment and economics.

True, some people might prefer to immerse themselves in a rollicking sea tale from Patrick O'Brian or a good old  Sookie Stackhouse vampire mystery. But we know that Reuters blogs' readers are a discriminating lot with a keen understanding of and passion for finance. So here is Dylan's list of six must-reads:

1. Manias, Panics and Crashes, by Charles P. Kindleberger;
2. The Essays of Warren Buffet, edited by Richard Cunningham;
3. Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, by Edwin Lefevre;
4. Fooled by Randomness, by Nassim Taleb;
5. The Case against the Fed, by Murray Rothbard;
6. Judgement under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases, eds Kahneman, Slovic and
Tversky.

So what is your reading list? Tell us what you would include  and why.

Crisis reading: What’s in the book bag?

Readers of MacroScope who live in the northern hemisphere will be gearing up for some summer reading.

James Montier, the market psychologist who is also an equity analyst at Societe Generale, has come up with his annual recomendations of what to read. The full list is here, but for the current economic and market crisis he has this to offer:

My favourite book in this category is Bill Fleckenstein’s ‘Greenspan’s Bubbles’ – an excellent exposé of incompetence during Alan Greenspan’s tenure as Fed Chairman. The next choice in this group is Whitney Tilson and Glen Tongue’s ‘More Mortgage Meltdown’. This book explains clearly how we ended up in this mess (and is based on the authors — real time experience), and an added bonus is the insight into Tilson’s investment process provided by the case studies. My final choice in this section is Jim Grant’s ‘Mr. Market Miscalculates’. I’ve mentioned this excellent book before, and I believe it deserves a place on all investors’ bookshelves.

Gauging recovery with Google

Disappointing U.S. data on Tuesday and other negative corporate news have poured cold water into hopes that the worst is over for the global economy.

Fixed income strategists at Societe Generale looked up ”green shoots economy” on search engine Google and the website delivered 12.5 million hits over the past month. Today, there are about 5 million references. There are a mere 1.82 million references on “bear market rally”.

Could Google searches be taken as a contrarian indicator?  SocGen analysts say recovery hopes are overrated. “More bank news will be coming along this week and the risk now looms to the downside, given the better news already priced in,” the bank says in a note to clients.

Greenspan slammed II

Criticism of former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, as delineated earlier on MacroScope by Mark Felsenthal, is stretching beyond his legacy.  Calls are being made in Britain for Greenspan to be stripped of his honorary knighthood.

The latest salvo comes from Albert Edwards, an outspoken London-based analyst at Societe Generale.  He accuses the ex-Fed chief of “criminally poor policy making, economic negligence and a worrying total lack of insight for what he has done”.

Perhaps most hurtful for Greenspan — if he cares — is Edwards’ idea that Greenspan should lose the  ”Sir” before  Sir Fred Goodwin does.  In Britain, the former chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland, has become the poster child for irrationally exuberant executive payouts.