Friday, November 19, 2010

Mr. Aaron Brown - The Poker Face of Wall Street

I have recently finished reading Mr. Aaron Brown’s book, The Poker Face of Wall Street. I have some mixed emotions about this book. I really liked the economic ideas he presented, but I did not care much for the poker parts. This is because I personally am not interested in poker. However, for those who are interested in poker, I think these parts would be of interest to you. Nonetheless, I did want to read the book, and in the end I am glad I did. I have also added it to my recommended reading list.

I think it would have been better if Mr. Brown separated the subjects of poker and finance into two books. I can understand the relationships between finance and gambling, but I was more interested in his insights on economic history and theory. I enjoyed learning about John Law and Fischer Black’s ideas. I found the section on expected value and utility value interesting. And I can also buy into his thesis that risk and gambling lead to capital concentration and further reinvestment. He did a nice job in all the subjects he discussed. I feel I now have a better understanding of why gambling is important for a society and its economy.

Lastly, Mr. Brown adds detailed references and recommendations of many other books at the end of his book. A good book, in my opinion, stimulates learning and ideas. Mr. Brown’s book did this for me, and I will be reading some of his recommended books in the near future.

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