With a new Afterword addressing today’s financial crisis A BUSINESS WEEK BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR In this business classic—now with a new Afterword in which the author draws parallels to the recent financial crisis—Roger Lowenstein captures the gripping roller-coaster ride of Long-Term Capital Management. Drawing on confidential internal memos and interviews with dozens of key players, Lowenstein explains not just how the fund made and lost its money but also how the personalities of Long-Term’s partners, the arrogance of their mathematical certainties, and the culture of Wall Street itself contributed to both their rise and their fall. When it was founded in 1993, Long-Term was hailed as the most impressive hedge fund in history. But after four years in which the firm dazzled Wall Street as a $100 billion moneymaking juggernaut, it suddenly suffered catastrophic losses that jeopardized not only the biggest banks on Wall Street but the stability of the financial system itself. The dramatic story of Long-Term’s fall is now a chilling harbinger of the crisis that would strike all of Wall Street, from Lehman Brothers to AIG, a decade later. In his new Afterword, Lowenstein shows that LTCM’s implosion should be seen not as a one-off drama but as a template for market meltdowns in an age of instability—and as a wake-up call that Wall Street and government alike tragically ignored.
The Triumph of Finance and the Decline of America, 1970 to the Present
Author: Jeff Madrick
Category: Business & Economics
A vividly told history of how greed bred America’s economic ills over the last forty years, and of the men most responsible for them. As Jeff Madrick makes clear in a narrative at once sweeping, fast-paced, and incisive, the single-minded pursuit of huge personal wealth has been on the rise in the United States since the 1970s, led by a few individuals who have argued that self-interest guides society more effectively than community concerns. These stewards of American capitalism have insisted on the central and essential place of accumulated wealth through the booms, busts, and recessions of the last half century, giving rise to our current woes. In telling the stories of these politicians, economists, and financiers who declared a moral battle for freedom but instead gave rise to an age of greed, Madrick traces the lineage of some of our nation’s most pressing economic problems. He begins with Walter Wriston, head of what would become Citicorp, who led the battle against government regulation. He examines the ideas of economist Milton Friedman, who created the plan for an anti-Rooseveltian America; the politically expedient decisions of Richard Nixon that fueled inflation; the philosophy of Alan Greenspan, on whose libertarian ideology a house of cards was built on Wall Street; and the actions of Sandy Weill, who constructed the largest financial institution in the world, which would have gone bankrupt in 2008 without a federal bailout of $45 billion. Significant figures including Ivan Boesky, Michael Milken, Jack Welch, and Ronald Reagan play key roles as well. Intense economic inequity and instability is the story of our age, and Jeff Madrick tells it with style, clarity, and an unerring command of his subject. From the Hardcover edition.
A Must-Read for Any Investor Looking to Maximize Their Chances of Success Big Mistakes: The Best Investors and Their Worst Investments explores the ways in which the biggest names have failed, and reveals the lessons learned that shaped more successful strategies going forward. Investing can be a rollercoaster of highs and lows, and the investors detailed here show just how low it can go; stories from Warren Buffet, Bill Ackman, Chris Sacca, Jack Bogle, Mark Twain, John Maynard Keynes, and many more illustrate the simple but overlooked concept that investing is really hard, whether you're managing a few thousand dollars or a few billion, failures and losses are part of the game. Much more than just anecdotal diversion, these stories set the basis for the book's critical focus: learning from mistakes. These investors all recovered from their missteps, and moved forward armed with a wealth of knowledge than can only come from experience. Lessons learned through failure carry a weight that no textbook can convey, and in the case of these legendary investors, informed a set of skills and strategy that propelled them to the top. Research-heavy and grounded in realism, this book is a must-read for any investor looking to maximize their chances of success. Learn the most common ways even successful investors fail Learn from the mistakes of the greats to avoid losing ground Anticipate challenges and obstacles, and develop an advance plan Exercise caution when warranted, and only take the smart risks While learning from your mistakes is always a valuable experience, learning from the mistakes of others gives you the benefit of wisdom without the consequences of experience. Big Mistakes: The Best Investors and Their Worst Investments provides an incomparable, invaluable resource for investors of all stripes.
The 10th anniversary edition, with new chapters on the crash, Chimerica, and cryptocurrency In this updated edition, Niall Ferguson brings his classic financial history of the world up to the present day, tackling the populist backlash that followed the 2008 crisis, the descent of "Chimerica" into a trade war, and the advent of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, with his signature clarity and expert lens. The Ascent of Money reveals finance as the backbone of history, casting a new light on familiar events: the Renaissance enabled by Italian foreign exchange dealers, the French Revolution traced back to a stock market bubble, the 2008 crisis traced from America's bankruptcy capital, Memphis, to China's boomtown, Chongqing. We may resent the plutocrats of Wall Street but, as Ferguson argues, the evolution of finance has rivaled the importance of any technological innovation in the rise of civilization. Indeed, to study the ascent and descent of money is to study the rise and fall of Western power itself.
Top Hedge Fund Traders on Profiting in the Global Markets
Author: Steven Drobny
Pubpsher: John Wiley & Sons
Category: Business & Economics
New commentary and updates to enlightening interviews with today's top global macro hedge fund managers This updated paperback edition of Inside the House of Money lifts the veil on the typically opaque world of hedge funds offering a rare glimpse at how today's highest paid money managers approach their craft. Now with new commentary, author, Steve Drobny takes you even further into the hedge fund industry. He demystifies how these star traders make billions for their well-heeled investors, revealing their theories, strategies and approaches to markets. Whereas some still maintain that rationality permeates financial markets, Drobny captures a different dimension, showing how the unquantifiable human forces of emotion and intuition are also at play. Along the way, readers get an inside look at firsthand trading experiences through some of the major world financial crises of the last few decades. Discusses how no market or instrument is out of bounds for these elite global macro hedge fund managers Offers unique and illuminating insight into an inaccessible and sometimes downright secretive world Written by respected industry expert Steven Drobny Highly accessible and filled with in-depth expert opinion, this updated paperback edition of Inside the House of Money is a must-read for financial professionals and anyone else interested in understanding how greed, fear, and the human forces of emotion drive world markets.
In the midst of the most disastrous economic climate of Wall Street’s history, one executive has weathered the storm more deftly than any other: Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase. In 2008, while Dimon’s competitors watched their companies crumble, JPMorgan not only survived, it made an astonishing $5 billion profit. Dimon’s continued triumph in the face of an industry-wide meltdown has made him a paragon of finance. In Last Man Standing, award-winning journalist Duff McDonald provides an unprecedented and deeply personal look at the extraordinary figure behind JPMorgan’s success. Using countless hours of interviews with Dimon and his full circle of friends, family, and colleagues, this definitive biography is by far the most comprehensive portrait of the man known as the Savior of Wall Street. Now, in an updated prologue, McDonald offers insight into the future of Wall Street and how Dimon will overcome the challenge of aggressive new regulation from Washington—and how he plans to continue to thrive as the world’s preeminent banker.
Bank bailouts in the aftermath of the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the onset of the Great Recession brought into sharp relief the power that the global financial sector holds over national politics, and provoked widespread public outrage. In The Power of Inaction, Cornelia Woll details the varying relationships between financial institutions and national governments by comparing national bank rescue schemes in the United States and Europe. Woll starts with a broad overview of bank bailouts in more than twenty countries. Using extensive interviews conducted with bankers, lawmakers, and other key players, she then examines three pairs of countries where similar outcomes might be expected: the United States and United Kingdom, France and Germany, Ireland and Denmark. She finds, however, substantial variation within these pairs. In some cases the financial sector is intimately involved in the design of bailout packages; elsewhere it chooses to remain at arm’s length. Such differences are often ascribed to one of two conditions: either the state is strong and can impose terms, or the state is weak and corrupted by industry lobbying. Woll presents a third option, where the inaction of the financial sector critically shapes the design of bailout packages in favor of the industry. She demonstrates that financial institutions were most powerful in those settings where they could avoid a joint response and force national policymakers to deal with banks on a piecemeal basis. The power to remain collectively inactive, she argues, has had important consequences for bailout arrangements and ultimately affected how the public and private sectors have shared the cost burden of these massive policy decisions.
The Financial Crisis, the Response, and the Work Ahead
Author: Alan S. Blinder
Category: Business & Economics
New York Times Bestseller One of our wisest and most clear-eyed economic thinkers offers a masterful narrative of the crisis and its lessons. Many fine books on the financial crisis were first drafts of history—books written to fill the need for immediate understanding. Alan S. Blinder, esteemed Princeton professor, Wall Street Journal columnist, and former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, held off, taking the time to understand the crisis and to think his way through to a truly comprehensive and coherent narrative of how the worst economic crisis in postwar American history happened, what the government did to fight it, and what we can do from here—mired as we still are in its wreckage. With bracing clarity, Blinder shows us how the U.S. financial system, which had grown far too complex for its own good—and too unregulated for the public good—experienced a perfect storm beginning in 2007. Things started unraveling when the much-chronicled housing bubble burst, but the ensuing implosion of what Blinder calls the “bond bubble” was larger and more devastating. Some people think of the financial industry as a sideshow with little relevance to the real economy—where the jobs, factories, and shops are. But finance is more like the circulatory system of the economic body: if the blood stops flowing, the body goes into cardiac arrest. When America’s financial structure crumbled, the damage proved to be not only deep, but wide. It took the crisis for the world to discover, to its horror, just how truly interconnected—and fragile—the global financial system is. Some observers argue that large global forces were the major culprits of the crisis. Blinder disagrees, arguing that the problem started in the U.S. and was pushed abroad, as complex, opaque, and overrated investment products were exported to a hungry world, which was nearly poisoned by them. The second part of the story explains how American and international government intervention kept us from a total meltdown. Many of the U.S. government’s actions, particularly the Fed’s, were previously unimaginable. And to an amazing—and certainly misunderstood—extent, they worked. The worst did not happen. Blinder offers clear-eyed answers to the questions still before us, even if some of the choices ahead are as divisive as they are unavoidable. After the Music Stopped is an essential history that we cannot afford to forget, because one thing history teaches is that it will happen again.
The Freakonomics of math—a math-world superstar unveils the hidden beauty and logic of the world and puts its power in our hands The math we learn in school can seem like a dull set of rules, laid down by the ancients and not to be questioned. In How Not to Be Wrong, Jordan Ellenberg shows us how terribly limiting this view is: Math isn’t confined to abstract incidents that never occur in real life, but rather touches everything we do—the whole world is shot through with it. Math allows us to see the hidden structures underneath the messy and chaotic surface of our world. It’s a science of not being wrong, hammered out by centuries of hard work and argument. Armed with the tools of mathematics, we can see through to the true meaning of information we take for granted: How early should you get to the airport? What does “public opinion” really represent? Why do tall parents have shorter children? Who really won Florida in 2000? And how likely are you, really, to develop cancer? How Not to Be Wrong presents the surprising revelations behind all of these questions and many more, using the mathematician’s method of analyzing life and exposing the hard-won insights of the academic community to the layman—minus the jargon. Ellenberg chases mathematical threads through a vast range of time and space, from the everyday to the cosmic, encountering, among other things, baseball, Reaganomics, daring lottery schemes, Voltaire, the replicability crisis in psychology, Italian Renaissance painting, artificial languages, the development of non-Euclidean geometry, the coming obesity apocalypse, Antonin Scalia’s views on crime and punishment, the psychology of slime molds, what Facebook can and can’t figure out about you, and the existence of God. Ellenberg pulls from history as well as from the latest theoretical developments to provide those not trained in math with the knowledge they need. Math, as Ellenberg says, is “an atomic-powered prosthesis that you attach to your common sense, vastly multiplying its reach and strength.” With the tools of mathematics in hand, you can understand the world in a deeper, more meaningful way. How Not to Be Wrong will show you how.
Release on 2008-10-16 | by Greg Alexander,Aaron Bartels,Mike Drapeau
How to Use Sales Benchmarking to Drive Performance
Author: Greg Alexander,Aaron Bartels,Mike Drapeau
Category: Business & Economics
The essential tool kit to achieve breakthrough sales performance improvements. Numbers don’t lie: 40 percent of all salespeople miss their targets each year. How can sales managers ensure their teams are doing everything possible? The key lies in benchmarking, which is not new for finance or manufacturing but rarely gets applied to sales. Making the Number will teach executives to embrace data-driven decision making and rely less on gut instinct. Comparing a sales force to those of relevant peers leads to many opportunities to improve performance. The authors take readers through their five-step methodology for sales benchmarking, showing how to select metrics; gather, compute, and compare internal and external data; and then actually use the data. Making the Number includes case studies of sales benchmarking in action. For example, find out how Discover Financial Services plays David to the Goliaths of MasterCard and Visa. Whether you’re a sales rep, a manager, or a CEO, this book will show you a better way to make your number.