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All but a few financial storytellers fall short in comparison with Michael Lewis. Satyajit Dasis is no exception. Like the others who failed, he was not Lewis-like enough to carry the narrative. On the plus side, I give Das credit for his clear explanations of the many derivative products that are out there today. Let’s award points, too, for his title, even though the book couldn’t quite live up to the humor it was meant to project. As for the shortcomings, the worst, I thought, was the short s...
Das, a derivatives and risk expert, takes a very snarky look at these complex products that exploded the financial world in 2008 (though he is writing in 2006). Few people understand them, but whenever investors are flush with cash, money has to end up somewhere, and it's often seeking the highest return. The quants who create them may understand the equations, but not the real world consequences. The salespeople who sell them don't really understand them, and the buyers - in a system ruled by a...
After reading this book, I learned how one of my annuities manages to guarantee the lesser of 6% per year or the actual market growth of my investments. (Zero coupon bond worth 106%, call option on my portfolio purchases, they keep a percentage for themselves.) I also learned that I was a sucker for buying into this annuity - except that I was lucky and did it a year before the market drop of 2008. Now if I can just get my 106% out...I was a big fan of Frank Portnoy's Fiasco and this is the geek...
Definitely not one of the better books on the subject. There are two major faults with this one:First, the writing is all over the place, with the author jumping hither and thither every other paragraph, with almost no cohesion.Second, there are a great deal of technical bits that are not explained well at all, and some times they don't even need to be that technical.Some interesting anecdotes and case studies, all marred by these downsides.
This book gets very technical and it is obvious that the author adapted his style to be similar to Nassim Taleb. If you can put up with it, Das gets into several very good explanations about the many types of derivatives used to bend tax-laws, redirect risk, and confuse investors.
A long walk for a medium sized drink that gets warm by the end. This is no Michael Lewis book, which is what I thing most readers desperately want it to be. The reader will be challenged which is good and bad. I have to admit this was one of the hardest books I've ever read as the material is pretty thick. The depth of the subject covered in this book not for a casual audience. I probably now know more than I'll ever want to about derivatives, and more than I probably should about the internal d...
A humorous account of the post crisis financial institutions. While the key concepts around derivatives i.e. weapons of mass destruction are explained without use of jargon, it get repetitive and tedious towards the later chapters.
I take back what I said earlier, which is that Traders, Guns and Money is rather disappointing for such a critically acclaimed book. I still stand by what I said about the book's tone -- from the punchy three-word title you could recognise it for the way it reads, sort of a stand up comic routine on the derivative markets. The first half wasn't especially compelling, as the castigation of financial professionals is so generalised. You have to be offensive to be funny, I guess. Once you get past
I did learn a few things about derivatives from this book. For example, I had not previously realized how mark to market accounting can be used to inflate profits and traders' bonuses and can lead to margin calls on illiquid top level CDO tranches when the failure of lower tranches causes a ratings downgrade in upper level tranches that would probably actually pay full value if held to maturity, so even if the models were right in predicting tiny risks of default, the accounting rules helped to
Let me put it like this: TG&M is 'Liar's Poker' for the financial industry. Technicalities were never this much fun. Satyajit Das reveals the shenanigans behind the murky world of high finance and gives us a good laugh at the same time. What makes this book even better is that the first edition came out in 2006, just before the world went into hell. Everything was hunky-dory at the time and this book shows us, in retrospect, it wasn't. Wonder how many people even considered this book at the tim
This book was a fictionalized story about high finance that was less entertaining than anything written by Michael Lewis, but Lewis sets the bar pretty high. It is about a trader who worked in the British banking system and his attempt to defend an Indonesian company that blew itself up with derivatives and leverage. The fake names (Nero and Neverfail) that he gives people are just a little too ridiculous. Most of the math that he is trying to explain is excellent. Off-hand, the only numerical e...
"Good reminder that derivatives, securitization, financial engineering, excess liquidity, leverage, lax regulation, compromised rating agencies, and culpable home buyers were key factors in triggering the financial meltdown in 2008. ABS, RMBS, CDO, CMO, CDS, SIV, mezzanine tranches, warehouse loans, risk transfer, etc. No matter how hungry investors are for yield, if you don't understand the product, don't buy it"
Detailed book on derivatives. Although it is an interesting read, it is so caustic in the generic description of the derivatives chaos that it quickly loses credibility. The author uses its experience to attack all bankers and financial institutions under all available lenses. Banking practices are joked about. Excesses, fraud and wrongdoing are not distinguished from serious, ethical work. It is hard to differentiate the joke from the reality.
The book literally gave me the opportunity to get an insider's look into quantitative finance. At some point while reading, however, I felt The author sounded a bit delusional, especially when describing the people that ran exotic options and futures desks at big institutions and hedge funds. Overall, it's pretty much an average book. Expected better than this.
Read it in 2006, a serious aha erlebnis. System made no sense, as proven 2 years later. History of the Asian crisis was another aha moment. Living there then, a lot also made little financial sense. Impressive book. Very personal.
Some new information in here about trading that was from a direct, "hands-on" perspective that I was lacking. A quick read that's both informative and enjoyable.
Three and a half. Pretty great.
Best book on finance that I have read
Great book. I learned a ton, but it jumps around a little and could use another review by the editor to clean up some typos.
I'll be blunt: sometimes this book is painful to read. It isn't because the author is a bad writer, I think it's just because he has no central narrative beyond "finance is a crapsack world". He also has no central story: it's basically a loosely (sometimes whiplash inducing) collection of short stories and narratives about his experiences in the derivative trading Universe.Some of these would make GREAT articles. Collectively, they do not make a good book or a good read.HOWEVER, the content, if...
I love a book written by someone with deep experience in a field but who is cynical of the industry, they tend to have the best stories. The tone of this book is quite funny. It points out how most financial derivatives are just a sophisticated form of gambling but one where the house edge is often very unclear. You probably need a basic understanding of finance and derivatives to enjoy this book because it can get a little technical. I certainly learned a lot more about derivatives after readin...
This is really Michael Lewis....... IT'S BETTERI've read so many reviews, it's doesn't explain this derivative well, etc. It's not a textbook! It's not marketed as one.Look when it was published! It's absolutely genius. The last paragraph in the book is a prophecy!!!!!!Michael Lewis has 20:20 vision writing after the crisis Das has foresight writing in 2016Laugh out loud funny. Very clever author. Michael Lewis would have no qualms with my review. They are not the same thing at all. Too many com...
This book is a very cynical (yet I suspect highly accurate) account of derivatives trading from a guy that's been there and done that. You do not need to be a financial geek to appreciate this book. It is written in a very entertaining way. For those that are interested you can expend some mental effort and get a basic understanding of derivatives, but you can ignore the details and still enjoy the story. The chapter on credit derivatives is particulary entertaining given the recent meltdown
Interesting Inside perspectiveGives a great inside of view of the financial crash of 2007. Gives an economic perspective of how financial markets work and adds quite a bit of humorous commentary to ease a complicated financial breakdown of the inside workings of the controllers of the nations money
Hilarious. Never read a derivatives book that readable. I took several classes on Derivatives during my MBA, and after having worked through assignments, I didn't feel like I understand the products at all. The author has a straight forward way of analyzing derivatives to make key points very accessible.
educational read of finance doublespeak
Started out interesting to me and then fizzled out.
Practical look at the business. Deserves a reread sometime due to the vast quantity of scenarios analyzed
Excellent book for an aspiring exotics trader
A bit of a chaotic journey through the 80s/90s/00s financial world, book-ended by the author's involvement in a massive business failure due to misunderstood derivatives and risk.There is a lot to learn here. The first few chapters were the most educational. The rest of the book tracked the progression of financial derivatives and the key players in the industry with a healthy dose of cynicism. The author was in insider in this world and comes across as very self-aware and jaded, which makes for...