Today's book is William Black's The Best Way to Rob a Bank is To Own One: How Corporate Executives and Politicians Looted the S & L Industry.
The savings and loan crisis of the late 1980s and 1990s has now passed into history but seems a precursor to today's crisis of financialization. Investigator William Black is a favorite of many observers for his tough, common sense insights and refusal to kowtow to conventional wisdom and platitudes.
The savings and loan crisis features many of the familiar culprits behind today's bank problems: banks being allowed to invest capital in risky areas, low requirements for reserves, overextension, and understaffed government regulatory agencies (among other). This crisis particularly affected the Southwest and you need to read this if you plan to be a businessperson here (it's part of our history).
William Black's book is an interesting read for banking junkies and accounting students and includes copious nitty gritty details.
This could be your introduction to the concept of control fraud: where the company executives knowingly misstate numbers and mislead investors (see Enron).
I prefer to think of control fraud as creating conceptual frameworks that make the reckless seem viable and logical. Spotting control fraud is very hard because of the accompanying social acceptance and official approval. It pays to think for yourself.