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by Derek Loosvelt | December 06, 2007


10. Liar's Poker.  "It was sometime early in 1986, the first year of the decline of my firm, Solomon Brothers."  So begins Michael Lewis' memoir following his rise from trading trainee to millionaire bond trader that made a little game with large stakes famous.

9. Den of Thieves.  James B. Stewart's nonfiction book about the rise and fall of some of the most infamous men ever to walk on Wall Street.  It turned Milken, Boesky and the now-defunct firm Drexel Burnham Lambert into household names.

8. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.  Alex Gibney's fantastic documentary film about a fantastic turn of hubris.

7. The Economist.  Okay, this isn't only for economists or the financially-inclined, but how many other news outlets publish articles without bylines?  Another incentive: The U.K.-based magazine ran a great piece on can-do-no-wrong Goldman Sachs a few months ago that's now only available to subscribers.

6. Ironic cufflinks.  Or vintage ironic cufflinks.  The new ironic t-shirt, these gems will certainly get that executive on your list noticed.  And if irony is alive at his or her office, he or she might even emerge that way after a full day of sporting these.

5. R2-D2 Interactive Droid.  For late nights at the office when everyone's gone home but that executive on your list, and he or she wants to play a quick game of tag to take the edge off.  Weighing in at a svelte seven pounds, R2 comes in three modes: companion ("where he's friendly"), game ("where he plays tag, spins and dances") and command ("where he moves in different directions").  To boot, "say Princess Leia's name and R2 emits excited wolf-like whistles."

4. American Psycho, the book.  "Abandon all hope ye who enter here is scrawled in blood of Eleventh and First and is in print large enough to be seen from the backseat of the cab as it lurches forward in the traffic leaving Wall Street and just as Timothy Price notices the words a bus pulls up, but Price who is with Pierce & Pierce and twenty-six doesn't seem to care because he tells the driver he will give him five dollars to turn up the radio…" is how Bret Easton Ellis begins his 1991 piece of fiction that the late Normal Mailer called "the first novel to come along in years that takes on deep and Dostoyevskian themes" and that was turned into a pretty good movie a few years later directed by Mary Harron and starring Christian Bale as the troubled young Timothy Price.

3. Wall Street.  The 20th anniversary edition.  Watch director Oliver Stone at the top of his game, and Michael Douglas, as Gordon Gekko, spew out line after quotable line.  Including these: "Greed is good."  "Lunch is for wimps."  And "Every battle is won before it's fought."

2. The Art of War.  That last Gekkoism was taken from this, Sun-Tzu's bible of fighting wars, and closing deals.

1. Ca$h.  You can't play Liar's Poker without it.


Filed Under: Finance

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