Customer Reviews for

More Money Than God: Hedge Funds and the Making of a New Elite

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  • Posted August 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A gripping hedge fund history lesson

    As hedge funds increase in size, variety and number, they also exercise growing power over central banks and national governments, as well as companies and industries. Unfettered by a fixed investment philosophy, hedge fund managers bank on the flexibility to buy assets and sell them short as dynamic markets dictate. Some hedge funds have succeeded spectacularly and some have failed, such as those holding too many mortgage securities when the U.S. housing industry collapsed in 2007. But over its history, the hedge fund industry's performance has been remarkably good. Here, business journalist Sebastian Mallaby forcefully argues that hedge funds contribute to economic stability by chasing the true value of mispriced assets. His richly detailed book centers on the successes and occasional missteps of famous hedge fund managers, including such luminaries as Stanley Druckenmiller, Paul Tudor Jones II, Michael Steinhardt, Julian Robertson and George Soros. getAbstract recommends this book as a vivid introduction to hedge funds for those who are unfamiliar with them, and as a valuable, often entertaining, reference for financial professionals. And if you want to know even more, read the illuminating footnotes.

    To learn more about this title, check out the following web link: http://www.getabstract.com/summary/14311/more-money-than-god.html

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 7, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Definitely a good introduction into the Hedge Fund world!

    I was recommended this book from a hedge fund manager when I first started in this industry. I thought it was a quick read on the history of hedge funds and extremely beneficial in gaining more knowledge in this field. Anyone with an interest should pick up this book to learn more!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2013

    The New Elite Camp

    Title says all >:)

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  • Posted October 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Revealing study of hedge funds

    Sebastian Mallaby, the Paul Volcker Senior Fellow in International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations and a Washington Post columnist, has written a most illuminating book on hedge funds.

    The top three hedge-fund managers in the USA get $1 billion each a year. The money comes from fees (often a fifth of the profits), short selling and leveraging bets with borrowed money. Then they apply the whole package to bonds, futures, swaps and options. Mallaby calls it a 'carnival of creativity and greed'

    Hedge funds claim that they make the market work. They believe the myths that the markets are always right, that they correct themselves, that the chaos after the credit crunch could only happen once every billion years. They base their models on assumptions of 'rational expectations' and 'efficient markets'.

    But the efficient-market theory crashed with the 1987 crash, the bond market meltdown of 1994, the Long-Term Capital Management bust in 1998 and the crisis that started in 2008. Currency markets, like equity markets, do not tend towards an efficient equilibrium. As Keynes said of those gambling on bubbles, "the market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent."

    In reality, hedge funds are not about making markets more efficient or prices more accurate. They are all about seizing profits from other people's wealth-creation. They are parasites.

    Michael Steinhardt, for example, made his fortune by milking discounts offered by pension funds and mutual funds. His collusion with brokers harmed the funds, which would have got better prices for their stock if insiders hadn't fixed the market. So the losers were millions of ordinary Americans, the winners were the millionaires who invested with Steinhardt.

    Britain's membership of the Exchange Rate Mechanism (1990-92) gave speculators an opening. The Major government spent $27 billion of reserves trying to save the overvalued pound. After we left the ERM, the pound fell 14 per cent, losing the taxpayers $3.8 billion. The great philanthropist George Soros got $1 billion, in a 'vast transfer of wealth from taxpayers to traders'.

    In 1997, the hedge funds caused Asia's financial crisis. Soros' fund sold the overvalued Thai baht short. His fund made $750 million from the forced devaluation; Thailand's output fell by 17 per cent, plunging millions into poverty. Then Soros told South Korea it must 'restructure' by making it easier for employers to sack workers.

    As Mallaby sums up, "During the crises of 1997, hedge funds had profited by betting against governments that set illogically high prices for their currencies. In the hangover from those crises, hedge funds would profit by betting against governments that set illogically low prices for the broken jewels of their economies."`

    Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs boasted of their independence from governments, yet when in trouble in 2008 begged for government funds. The International Monetary Fund said the bailouts cost the taxpayer $10 trillion.

    Future crises are bound to happen. As Mallaby writes, "When banks can pocket the upside while spreading the cost of their failures, failure is almost certain."

    As he notes, "government insurance encourages financiers to take larger risks; and larger risks force governments to increase the insurance. It is a vicious cycle", which, he warns, "will go on until governments are bankrupt." Or until we stop them.

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