Best Business Longreads

From even more bank malfeasance to a British novel that reflects London’s transformation into a financial time bomb, The Daily Beast brings you the best business and finance stories from the week of February 17, 2013.

AP (2)

“The Way They Live Now”Michael Lewis, The New York Review of Books

When Michael Lewis was a graduate student in London, the city had no taste for high-octane financial capitalism (and the City was an afterthought). John Lanchester’s novel Capital captures an entirely different London.

“Gangster Bankers: Too Big to Jail”Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

The scourge of Goldman Sachs turns his attention to the British bank HSBC, which “helped to wash hundreds of millions of dollars for drug mobs, including Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel, suspected in tens of thousands of murders just in the past 10 years”―and got away with paying a fine.

“Stan Fischer Saved Israel’s Economy. Can He Save America’s?”Dylan Matthews, The Washington Post

Stan Fischer was born in Rhodesia, became an academic superstar at MIT, and moved to Israel to head its central bank—could he return to the U.S. and succeed his former student Ben Bernanke at the Federal Reserve?

“Your New Landlord Works on Wall Street”David Dayen, The New Republic

Guess who is driving the housing recovery: hedge funds spending billions on single-family homes looking to rent them out and turn a huge profit.

“Asset Quality Misrepresentation by Financial Intermediaries: Evidence from RMBS Market”Tomasz Piskorski, Amit Seru, and James Witkin, Social Science Research Network

Three academic economists find that 10 percent of mortgages included in the $2 trillion nonagency securities market were misrepresented to the investors who bought them.

“Positive-Sum Currency Wars”Greg Ip, The Economist

Is the world economy going to be dragged down by currency wars? Probably not—in fact, it may be just what a slow-growth world needs.