ELSA Social Responsibility Series: Financial Books and Movies


On June 3rd, 2015, Mr. Alan Qiu shared interesting financial books and movies with the MF students. In the coming summer, most of the MF students will get an internship job. It’s great for them to read these books and watch these movies in their spare time.

Alan recommended many good books designed for an advancement of business knowledge. The first one was Business Adventure which Buffett recommended to Bill Gates, and that Gates has called the most valuable commercial book on many occasions. He also said that The Ascent of Money by Harvard University Economist Nail Ferguson is the first choice for students who want to consolidate their foundation in the economy. It is worth mentioning that Alan recommended many works by Michael Lewis including Liar’s Poker and The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine (the best book about the 2008 financial crisis). One of the prominent features of Michael Lewis’s works is his humor; his books describe numerous interesting ordinary people and everyday stories.

As to movies, Alan recommended Boiler Room, Too Big to Fail and Wall Street (the original 1987 movie). These movies have tight and dense plots, truly reflecting the changeable life on Wall Street.

As Einstein once said, “The difference between people lies not in their work time but in their spare time.” Motivated people try to improve themselves in their spare time, from small increments to abundance, thus they can run far ahead of those people who waste time in their career life. SAIF students are very busy in their study and work time, but if they can use their valuable spare time to read the books and watch the movies recommended by Alan instead of watching soap operas or playing computer games, they can learn something useful as they relax. The more knowledge and skills we acquire in normal times, the more we can contribute towards society in the future.

In another aspect, most of the books and movies that Alan recommended aim at revealing the nature of finance and its huge influence on society and economy. Through reading these books and watching these movies, students can get an insight into the development of finance, the famous financial bubbles in human history and some moral dilemmas of financial regulation in the world today.

Through vivid examples in commercial books and movies, students can attain a better understanding of the ability of finance to not only create fortune but also destroy it, and how the ethics and attainments of finance workers can directly impact the stability and prosperity of a nation. It’s more important to cultivate social responsibility based on professional ethics than to teach financial knowledge.