"The way they [bankers] talk about girls — a guy will say he’s going to short a girl because, you know, ‘There’s a lot of overvalue here.'" That's just one of the absurdist observations Amit Chatwani riffs on in his new book, Damn It Feels Good to Be a Banker, a pseudo guide to living the bonus-obsessed, MBA-name-dropping, vodka-Red Bull-fueled hyper-machismo lifestyle of an up-and-coming financier. Unfortunately, today's New York Times aptly crowns the 26-year-old blogger's first book, released by Hyperion in August, with the "Worst Timing Ever Award" ("It's just not the same to kick them when they’re down," admits the author).
Chatwani's not alone. As the market continues to flatline and bankers have been demoted to the near status of the dot come expats of 2001—and book publishers are trying to salvage their own business models—there's no shortage of terribly timed books. In spirit of the Times award, here are a few galleys that have landed on the desks of Fast Company writers that are seeming, well, mildly inappropriate:
The 100 Best Stocks You Can Buy 2009 by John Slatter, CFA. Release Date: October 14, 2008. Our favorite blurb from press materials: "Today's stock market can change in the blink of an eye."
The Jubak Picks by Jim Jubak. Release Date: December 30, 2008. Our favorite chapter title: "How I made 14.9% a year and you can too."
Do-It-Yourself Hedge Funds: Everything You Need to Make Millions Right Now by Wayne P. Weddington III. Release Date: January 2009. Our favorite Author's Note: "Note that the names of Barry Blingalot, Moishe Lowenstein...Jig Johnson, the Global Macro Trader...have been changed."
The publisher Free Press may, in fact, be the only one with a prognosticator's timing. Its author Harry S. Dent Jr, a forecaster and investment advisor, will grace shelves with his new book in January 2009: The Great Depression of 2010-2012: How to Prosper in the Crash that Follows the Greatest Boom in History.