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March 22, 2006


China Law Blog

I liked Blink. The book I am always recommending on China is One Billion Customers, by James McGregor. I would find myself nodding along to virtually all of the stories and to nearly all of the end of the chapter suggestions on how to conduct business in China. It was not until I finished the book, however, and really started thinking about it that I realized that well over 90% of my Chinese business encounters are very different from those described in the book. This caused me to realize that this is not really a book about doing business in China so much as it is a book about doing big business in China. Among other things, the book eloquently details the difficulties of establishing a foreign wireless network, a foreign media empire, and a large scale foreign investment bank, but it never delves into the nitty gritty of the small and medium sized manufacturing and service businesses that operate so successfully in China. So while this is the best book I have read for understanding the Chinese business persona, the China picture it paints does not really apply to most foreign businesses coming in to China. Indeed, early on, the book reveals that nine out of the ten most successful brand names in China are foreign. If everything were indeed so bad there, this obviously could not be true.

I also loved The Koreans, Who They Are, What They Want and Where Their Future Lies,by Michael Breen. I love reading books on different peoples and this is the best one out there.


Check out A Random Walk Down Wallstreet.


I enjoyed the Misbehavior of Markets by Benoit Madelbrodt. It is a much more clear explanation of the failures of MPT than anything else I've read and it gives a sense of how a scientist approaches these problems. In general I find popular science writing gives me a somewhat different perspective on financial markets a longer view of technological change maybe. In that regard Matt Ridley is the best there is Nature via Nurture is a wonderful book about the growing awareness of the interplay between our heredity and our environment. I dislike his chicken-little-ism but Guns, Germs and Steel is really fine book too. In history, I found the new bio of Jay Gould fun and fascinating account of that lawless time.


If anyone's interested, Under The Banner of Heaven (mentioned in the comments above) is sensationalism and a bunch of lies mixed with a bunch of truths. Being a Mormon, I'd definitely recommend something less sensational, or at least do your homework and research the author and text if you're going to read it.


The Hedge Fund Edge by Mark Boucher is terrific.

Hot Commodities by Jim Rogers provokes plenty of ideas.

Intermarket Technical Analysis by John Murphy remains a classic.

Anything by Jack Schwager.


My own list of must-reads focusing more on management than investments:

Anything by Henry Mintzberg, and especially

The Strategy Process, by Mintzberg, Lampel, and Quinn. The best book on management period. Mintzberg and crew manage to cover the entire realm of business theory in one book.

The Strategy Safari, by Mintzberg. Where the Strategy Process is more broad, this book zeros in on strategic thinking by categorizing, explaining and contrasting the dominant views on strategy.

More well known are Michael Porter's book, Competitive Strategy and Competitive Advantage, but both are also worthwhile reads.

And just for fun, my personal favorite is a more recent Mintzberg book,

Managers Not MBAs: A hard look at the soft practice of management and management development.

I wouldn't call it a must read, but its certainly entertaining and witty. Mintzberg takes on the business schools in full force.


mr.china is my all time favorite.......funny- most people in the states havent really heard about it.

Manny Mendelson

I have a wall of motivational books and tapes, but there are few that enabled me to make actual measurable progress. This one did: “Flawless Execution” by James D. Murphy. I am a trader, and the use of the techniques in this book transformed my trading. The resultant change in my equity curve is available on my website Murphy’s techniques are use by fighter pilots. They will help you capture any scrap of positive results you achieve, and spin those results into vastly improved outcomes. Similarly, you will be able to codify your errors and address them, so as to minimize those errors. Highly recommended.

Simon Jung

To echo with Andy's "How we got here", I found this book which I thought it's pretty good. It's more economics analysis based. Enjoy!


The Prize : The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power by Daniel Yergin

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