thewestchestarian's Reviews > The Sages: Warren Buffett, George Soros, Paul Volcker, and the Maelstrom of Markets

The Sages by Charles R. Morris
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's review
Mar 17, 2010

it was ok
Read in March, 2010

Exceedingly straightforward bios of the 3 business giants. Very little exposition is required about the book – Morris presents clear-cut medium-length biographical sketches of the greatest two contemporary American (where’s Carlos Slim’s bio?) investors and another on the government regulator Paul Volcker. He concludes with an essay that promises to synthesize the learnings from the three lives into a coherent whole but rather presents the tired to the point of exhaustion argument that economists make poor prognostications (his conclusion that economists are akin to meteorologists is insulting - at least the local weather girl can tell you it will be warm come July). He does a little compare and contrast with Buffet and Soros but mostly emphasizes that they exercised diametrically different trading styles – not a particularly show-stopping insight. So the three subjects’ bios and the concluding essay do not concordant book make but do the parts of the whole work? To a degree, yes, Morris lays out the lives and jaw-dropping accomplishments (had you invested $10,000USD in Soros’ fund at inception you would have cashed out with $43,000,000USD) in a clean, linear march from cradle to current economic catastrophe. There is a dearth of interesting asides or repeatable tales from their lives and Morris’ style is the classic academic style of first saying what you are going to say, saying it and then recapping what you said. If you need source material for a school project on any of the three crib from Morris. If you need a more substantial or entertaining recounting insight consult other sources such as the 900 page “The Snowball” about Buffet or any of the first-person accounts from Soros.
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