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RedStickBR
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Member since Sep 2009
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Economics Book Club (EBC): Book 4 Starts Aug 21 (The Smartest Guys in the Room)
Overview:

This is a book club exclusively for TigerDroppings posters with a primary focus on economics. Participants encompass a wide range of professional backgrounds and various levels of prior economics exposure. Read more about the club below - we look forward to a robust dialogue and new members joining at any time.

Why do this?

Reading a book in isolation does wonders for the intellect, but reading a book and then discussing it with folks who've also read it challenges views, aids comprehension, benefits from different interpretations/insights, and leads to an altogether more fruitful reading experience. In addition, the group setting and structured timeline should result in greater reading discipline, allowing the book club members to perhaps read more frequently than they otherwise would on their own.

Why economics?

The dismal science was intentionally selected as the guiding topic partly because of the importance of and general interest on this board in economics, but also because economics is really a patchwork of disciplines including business, finance, politics, history and other social sciences. This will allow us to tread into other areas as needed while keeping a core focus on economics so as to remain true to the book club's mandate. For instance, while the majority of the books read may relate purely to what can be understood as economics, one book may suggest a deeper understanding of a related historical context could be beneficial, and a book detailing that history may be chosen as the succeeding book even though it's more of a "history" book than an "economics" book.

How will we decide which books are read?

This is an economics book club, so the market (in our case, a majority vote of the members of the club) will dictate which books are read. To aid the process, members may provide a list of recommendations from time to time, but the majority vote will always dictate the final book that is selected.

How will this work?

In order for this to work, we'll need ample participation. If interested, respond to this post stating such. When you respond, also indicate how many hours per week you think you can dedicate to reading and a brief background (educational, professional and/or political) on yourself if you desire. These factors will guide us in how aggressive we are with our weekly reading assignments.

Also, in order to prompt discussion and keep the conversation moving along as fluidly as possible, I suggest we have a designated "moderator" for each book who has no formal responsibilities but is instead just asked to be active, ask a lot of questions, and try to be the one driving the discussion. This person would ideally be someone different each time.

Note we've also set up a group Goodreads account to keep track of everything. That account can be accessed with the username "TDbookclub225@gmail.com" and password "geauxtigers1" and is open for all to use.

Group Stats:

Below are some brief statistics of the book club's membership composition when it was first started in June of 2017.

Participants: 29

Target hours / week: 5

Starting out reading level: Intermediate

Professional backgrounds represented: business, energy, entrepreneurship, real estate, corporate finance, asset management, equity research, venture capital, business law, tax law, commercial banking, teaching, economics, engineering, accounting, management, sales, MBA studies, finance studies, commodity trading, agriculture, corporate development, military officer, medicine, teaching

Weighting of Books in Queue:

Image: https://i.imgur.com/SIDAD1W.jpg


Trophy Room

1. Henry Hazlitt - Economics in One Lesson

2. Thomas Sowell - Applied Economics

3. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels - The Communist Manifesto

4. Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind - The Smartest Guys in the Room
This post was edited on 9/30 at 10:01 am


TerryDawg03
Georgia Fan
The Deep South
Member since Dec 2012
5466 posts

re: Economics Book Club (EBC): Book 4 Starts Aug 21 (The Smartest Guys in the Room)
Sounds interesting. I can probably toss up a few hours per week. I have a BBA and MBA and have worked in banking for 13+ years. I'm also involved in real estate valuation and have completed all required QE hours for certified general appraisers.

I enjoy Sowell's writings, but there are also plenty of other great economists. Economic theory and economic history topics are good, as is the subject of behavioral economics.

Hope there's a decent turnout.


RedStickBR
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Member since Sep 2009
12439 posts
 Online 

re: Economics Book Club (EBC): Book 4 Starts Aug 21 (The Smartest Guys in the Room)
Great. Since we've started the background piece already, I have a legal and finance background and have worked in a variety of finance and business roles. I'm a political independent and fiscal conservative, but believe government is at times the logical supplier of certain essential services.

I've got a keen interest in behavioral finance and am always amazed how applicable its tenets are to everyday life, so we definitely have some shared interest on the behavioral side. I'm also a history buff, so economic history is a favorite topic. I've read many Sowell articles, but never any of his lengthier works. I am definitely a fan.


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Slevin7
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2015
461 posts

re: Economics Book Club (EBC): Book 4 Starts Aug 21 (The Smartest Guys in the Room)
I'm interested but am most likely a stalker and rarely find the beta version where the book board appears. Willing to give it a few hours a week.

I've got a couple of undergrad degrees in business and was in oil and gas for ~8 years before venturing out into the small business world.

I'm interested in the subject. I worry you guys are going to be out of my pay grade. Ive started a handful of books but honestly usually end up wanting to blow my brains out vs finish the book. My experience with economic books is they often read like a 500 page math problem. I hope I've been picking the wrong books.

I will probably read whatever you guys vote on and will probably be behind in comments.

I'll be lurking though and I'll probably ask some questions.


Lsujacket66
Member since Dec 2010
838 posts

re: Economics Book Club (EBC): Book 4 Starts Aug 21 (The Smartest Guys in the Room)
I'm in, I read a lot anyways and love economics/business/politics anyways. Have a undergrad in business and have started a few companies. Young guy (26) but fairly conservative, though I can be convinced some gov programs are ok. Social issues I couldn't care less about and think the Gov should stay out of them. One kind of radical thing I disagree with most conservatives on is welfare. I think welfare is basically an economic stimulant as most who receive welfare don't save any of this money and it all goes right back into the economy anyways.

Anyways I read like 10-20 hours a week already so would love any kind of schedule y'all would want to pursue.


RedStickBR
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Member since Sep 2009
12439 posts
 Online 

re: Economics Book Club (EBC): Book 4 Starts Aug 21 (The Smartest Guys in the Room)
No worries. It's not meant to be a stressful experience. Participate when you can and get as much out of it as you want. The energy background is noted. My business background is also in the energy sector. We'll have to layer in some energy topics which are obviously tremendously relevant to the broader economic landscape historically and, especially, now.

I've learned enough economics as needed to be relevant to my finance work and to get me through the CFA exams, but am by no means an expert. Most of my knowledge is on the quantitative side, so I have a lot of qualitative/theoretical learning to do. I think you'll find your "pay grade" is more than sufficient. It will also be great to have the small business perspective - we will have to draw on some local case studies where relevant.


Slevin7
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2015
461 posts

re: Economics Book Club (EBC): Book 4 Starts Aug 21 (The Smartest Guys in the Room)
quote:

I enjoy Sowell's writings


quote:

I've read many Sowell articles, but never any of his lengthier works. I am definitely a fan.


So what would you say would be your "Sowell" recommendation?

Eh eh? Yeah.

First economic book board down votes I'm sure. That says a lot.

I'm serious though.



Lsujacket66
Member since Dec 2010
838 posts

re: Economics Book Club (EBC): Book 4 Starts Aug 21 (The Smartest Guys in the Room)
thanks for posting on the poll board btw, I never knew this board existed. I love to read and having a community to interact with should make it even better. Ive got over 700 books on my Goodreads list and I may end up broke from audible haha


RedStickBR
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2009
12439 posts
 Online 

re: Economics Book Club (EBC): Book 4 Starts Aug 21 (The Smartest Guys in the Room)
Good stuff. The entrepreneurial background and spirit will be a great addition. I have strong personal beliefs on certain social issues, but for me, they are just that - personal beliefs that I attach little political relevance to. I likewise agree most should not be the realm of government and that they are primarily used as wedge issues that don't contribute to the greater good of the country.

I think the kind of 10ish hours a week is sounding right. We'll see what kind of additional input we get, but I fear if we start out too ambitiously we'll quickly lose steam. Five to ten hours feels like a doable amount.


RedStickBR
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2009
12439 posts
 Online 

re: Economics Book Club (EBC): Book 4 Starts Aug 21 (The Smartest Guys in the Room)
I've only read his articles as I happen to stumble upon them so I will defer to TerryDawg for specific Sowell book recommendations if he has any. Maybe Sowell would be a good place to start.

I was also considering this one just for an easy first read to get the ball rolling. It's also available free online. It was recommended on another thread and the first few pages I read were very much on point and interesting.

LINK


Lsujacket66
Member since Dec 2010
838 posts

re: Economics Book Club (EBC): Book 4 Starts Aug 21 (The Smartest Guys in the Room)
agree... and politically I'm always able to be swayed by good arguments. Im actually extremely interested in the future of a guaranteed basic income. In theory its cheaper than welfare, but human behavior tells me that won't be that easy.


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RedStickBR
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Member since Sep 2009
12439 posts
 Online 

re: Economics Book Club (EBC): Book 4 Starts Aug 21 (The Smartest Guys in the Room)
That's an impressive Goodreads track record. I've got over 1,100 Rotten Tomatoes ratings , but only recently got into Goodreads. It's an incredible resource and a great way to centralize all of the knowledge you've gained over the years and organize things to revisit or use for reference later on.


Lsujacket66
Member since Dec 2010
838 posts

re: Economics Book Club (EBC): Book 4 Starts Aug 21 (The Smartest Guys in the Room)
quote:

I've only read his articles as I happen to stumble upon them so I will defer to TerryDawg for specific Sowell book recommendations if he has any. Maybe Sowell would be a good place to start.

I was also considering this one just for an easy first read to get the ball rolling. It's also available free online. It was recommended on another thread and the first few pages I read were very much on point and interesting.

LINK



agree this would be a good start


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Lsujacket66
Member since Dec 2010
838 posts

re: Economics Book Club (EBC): Book 4 Starts Aug 21 (The Smartest Guys in the Room)
quote:

That's an impressive Goodreads track record. I've got over 1,100 Rotten Tomatoes ratings , but only recently got into Goodreads. It's an incredible resource and a great way to centralize all of the knowledge you've gained over the years and organize things to revisit or use for reference later on.


Oh I haven't read all of those! rather books I want to read.


Slevin7
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2015
461 posts

re: Economics Book Club (EBC): Book 4 Starts Aug 21 (The Smartest Guys in the Room)
Started reading this (Hazlitt) Thursday! Haven't gotten too far but it started off strong!

I have to sleep. Good times. Glad I came here. Will be back.
This post was edited on 6/4 at 1:09 am


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RedStickBR
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2009
12439 posts
 Online 

re: Economics Book Club (EBC): Book 4 Starts Aug 21 (The Smartest Guys in the Room)
Ah, I suffer from the same disease. I buy more books than I can keep up with.

Are you an e-reader or physical reader? I swore off e-readers for the longest time but finally realized they have a place in the avid reader's arsenal and are certainly much easier on the eyes.


Lsujacket66
Member since Dec 2010
838 posts

re: Economics Book Club (EBC): Book 4 Starts Aug 21 (The Smartest Guys in the Room)
Im extremely add so I struggle to focus to read hard copies... I end up reading the same thing 3 times because I lose my place ha. I do pretty well with reading on my laptop, but would much rather audio. audible the app is amazing. I get through so many more books using it, and I feel i remember more as well.


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blowmeauburn
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Sep 2006
5705 posts

re: Economics Book Club (EBC): Book 4 Starts Aug 21 (The Smartest Guys in the Room)
Would love to participate. I usually tend to read 3 separate books at once because I either have ADD or I just get bored really easily.

Right now I'm finishing up "The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Modern World", A Random Walk Down Wall Street, and the ESPN Book.

I absolutely love biographies and nonfiction books that make you think.

My background is in political and PR but I majored in Economics.


Lsujacket66
Member since Dec 2010
838 posts

re: Economics Book Club (EBC): Book 4 Starts Aug 21 (The Smartest Guys in the Room)
had a professor who's favorite book was random walk down wall st


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RedStickBR
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Member since Sep 2009
12439 posts
 Online 

re: Economics Book Club (EBC): Book 4 Starts Aug 21 (The Smartest Guys in the Room)
Great. Your participation rounds us out to at least five so I think we're good to go. Random Walk's a great book and I fully expect we will get into some finance topics like this as well.

I say we start with an easy economics read and see where things go from there. I'll give this thread another half day or so to see what kind of additional participation we get and then I'll compile all of the recommendations that have been suggested so far and we can pick one to start with.


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