'A charming, provocative and readable book.' Financial Times

Longlisted for the FT & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award

How can finance become more accessible and also recover its nobility? The Wisdom of Financeis a lively, accessible and erudite account that simplifies complex notions of finance and uses them to solve our most human of dilemmas. Harvard Professor Mihir Desai draws on literature, film, history, and philosophy to explain finance's inner workings:

  • - Jane Austen and Anthony Trollope are guides to risk management;
  • - Jeff Koons becomes an advocate of leverage;
  • - Mel Brooks' The Producers teaches us about fiduciary responsibility.


The principles of finance also provide answers to critical questions in our lives: bankruptcy teaches us how to react to failure, the lessons of mergers apply to marriages, and the Capital Asset Pricing Model demonstrates the true value of relationships.

You can read the first chapter of the book here:


With deft wit, The Wisdom of Finance is a wholly unique book, offering an enlivening new perspective on one of the world's most complex and misunderstood professions.

You can also buy the audiobook here.