A Holiday Reading List From the Blackrock Investment Institute

‘Tis the season for holiday reading. Jean shares our top picks to take you through the new year.

‘Tis the season for holiday reading – and for our annual December list of book recommendations to add to your holiday gift list or to crack open by the fire during some end-of-year downtime.

My BlackRock Investment Institute (BII) colleagues and I recently discussed our top picks, compiling them into the list below of our recommendations. My colleagues’ recommendations are grouped by nonfiction and fiction, in alphabetical order by title.


Bankers and Bolsheviks: International Finance and the Russian Revolution by Hassan Malik

Lukas Daalder, Chief Investment Strategist for the Netherlands within the BII, says his holiday pick is this 2018 book chronicling how Western bankers ended up buying tons of Russian debt that was never repaid following the Russian Revolution. “A pretty interesting read on how the West got duped,” he says.

Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People by Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald

Janyne Quarm, a member of BII’s editorial team, says this 2013 book can help readers become aware of their “blindspot,” the part of the mind that stores hidden biases, which can influence behavior. “The book is scientific, detailed and eye-opening,” she says.

The Globotics Upheaval: Globalization, Robotics, and the Future of Work by Richard Baldwin

Elga Bartsch, BII’s Head of Macro Research, recommends this 2019 book for an interesting read on the future of the global economy in an age of escalating trade protectionism. Richard Baldwin, a professor of international economics at the Graduate Institute in Geneva, argues that the globalization and automation of service and professional jobs will disrupt the white-collar workforce faster than factory workers were displaced during industrialization. He predicts this will lead to worker backlash, government countermeasures and ultimately a transformation in the nature of work.