Principles for Navigating Big Debt Crises by Ray Dalio

Ray Dalio…. Doesn’t this name sound familiar to literally any person who is interested in finance? Well of course it does! Ray Dalio is a billionaire and the CEO of the largest hedge fund on Earth: Bridgewater Associates. Every investor and trader probably watched at least one video or read an article on the structure of his fund. Precisely due to this, I highly recommend all of you to read his new book “Principles for Navigating Big Debt Crises.” This book covers the multiple crises, which happened over the period between 1918 and 2018. Dalio analyses the period preceding the 30 most significant crises of our time and how governments dealt with these problems.

If you want to learn more about the Great Depression, the post-World War One crisis, the Russian Defolt of 1998, and similar crises, this book is a must-read for you! Prominent investors will also find this book interesting because Dalio gives his readers an abundance of knowledge that could be used to identify a new big debt crisis when it is still developing.

Have you read or are you planning on reading “Principles for Navigating Big Debt Crises?” Let us know in the comments!


The Prince

I suppose almost everyone enjoys discussing politics, when sitting at a family dinner or when gathering with friends. If you are one of these people, Machiavelli’s “The Prince” is a must-read. Written in XVI century, it still causes many debates and arguments. Some blame the author of being too radical, others posit that Machiavelli’s ideas were vital at the time and place he lived. Nevertheless, the book can surely be listed amongst classic political books, staying up-to-date for centuries already. Reading this book opened my eyes on many modern policies, and I sincerely hope that it will do so for you!


Why Nations Fail

I picked up this book in 2017 — around six years after the publication — and I could not put it down. Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinsonseeks to explain why some nations are rich while others are poor. The authors present a simple hypothesis: institutions. If you like reading about institutional economics, Why Nations Fail is a must-read. Even though the book does contain some hard-to-grasp concepts, it is highly readable. Even though I first read it a few years ago, I come back now and then to reread it. As in the words of Steven Levitt, “Brilliant in its simplicity and power.”


List of Books

23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism by Ha-Joon Chang

Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely

Nudge by Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler

The Bottom Billion by Paul Collier

The End of Alchemy by Mervyn King

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahnemann

Freakonomics by Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

Winners Take All by Anand Giridharadas

End This Depression Now! by Paul Krugman

This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein

The Finance Curse by Nicholas Shaxson

Nine Crisis by William Keegan

Thinking Strategically by Avinash Dixit and Barry Nalebuff

Economics, a User Guide by Ha-Joon Chang

The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich Hayek

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins

Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson

Optional Section related to International Development

Development as Freedom by Amartya Sen

The Anti-Politics Machine by James Ferguson

Kicking Away the Ladder by Ha-Joon Chang

State-Directed Development by Atul Kohli

The Great Transformation by Karl Polyani


The Finance Curse

The Finance Curse, which was written by Nicholas Shaxson, was absolutely mind-blowing. This book explains how different places have set up their whole tax system to be more appealing to companies who set up their headquarters in these countries. Although Shaxson focuses mainly on the case of London and tax havens such as Luxembourg, the book is nonetheless a must-read. Personally, I did not find the book too hard to understand even though I had no previous knowledge in the finance field when I started reading the book. In “The Finance Curse,” Shaxson explains how money flows from the customer to tax havens and how small companies may actually be owned by huge companies based in tax havens.  


Steps to publish your summary

Step 1: Pick a book from the list of books (below) that you want to read

Step 2: Read the book

Step 3: Write a summary (75 to 200 words long) about the book and how you found the book. You can use the following template to write your summary, but you do not have to. However, please do make sure that you do include all of the points in your summary.

  • personal opinion/first impression
  • main point, key takeaways, or argument
  • level and accessibility

Step 4: Email your summary to the following address:

After you email me your summary, I will go through it and then publish it in your name under the recommended books section on EconIR WEB.