The Devil's Derivatives: The Untold Story of the Slick Traders and Hapless Regulators Who Almost Blew Up Wall Street . . . and Are Ready to Do It Again

The Devil's Derivatives: The Untold Story of the Slick Traders and Hapless Regulators Who Almost Blew Up Wall Street . . . and Are Ready to Do It Again

by Nicholas Dunbar
     
 

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A compelling narrative on what went wrong with our financial system—and who’s to blame.

From an award-winning journalist who has been covering the industry for more than a decade, The Devil’s Derivatives charts the untold story of modern financial innovation—how investment banks invented new financial products, how investors across the

Overview


A compelling narrative on what went wrong with our financial system—and who’s to blame.

From an award-winning journalist who has been covering the industry for more than a decade, The Devil’s Derivatives charts the untold story of modern financial innovation—how investment banks invented new financial products, how investors across the world were wooed into buying them, how regulators were seduced by the political rewards of easy credit, and how speculators made a killing from the near-meltdown of the financial system.

Author Nicholas Dunbar demystifies the revolution that briefly gave finance the same intellectual respectability as theoretical physics. He explains how bankers worldwide created a secret trillion-dollar machine that delivered cheap mortgages to the masses and riches beyond dreams to the financial innovators.

Fundamental to this saga is how “the people who hated to lose” were persuaded to accept risk by “the people who loved to win.” Why did people come to trust and respect arcane financial tools? Who were the bankers competing to assemble the basic components into increasingly intricate machines? How did this process achieve its own unstoppable momentum—ending in collapse, bailouts, and a public outcry against the giants of finance?

Provocative and intriguing, The Devil’s Derivatives sheds much-needed light on the forces that fueled the most brutal economic downturn since the Great Depression.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“The book has an expert guide in author Nicholas Dunbar, a financial journalist who covered derivatives for the trade press long before they caught the public's attention.” “The book written in a punchy prose that is easy to understand, is a triumphant romp through a decade of financial mismanagement. A must-read.” - The National

The Devil’s Derivatives” presents an intriguing and original analysis of the problems that Wall Street has been spreading to the world.” – Midwest Book Review

“… well written and will grab the interest of financial professionals before the first time they have to turn a page.” “Dunbar's great at taking the long view of things, and you won't find a better explanation, anywhere, of why banks shouldn't mark their assets to market.” - Reuters

“Even Warren Buffett could not have stated the case more simply.” – Absolute Return magazine

“… a well-researched account of the forces and events that led to the implosion of the financial system three years ago.” – The Irish Times

“Nicholas Dunbar follows the first rule of good journalism: talk to everybody. He has interviewed not only the leading players in the derivatives industry, but has also followed many key actors whose stories have never appeared in print—until now. As this book makes clear, the dark side of financial innovation is just getting darker, and it is only a matter of time before we suffer another derivatives fiasco.” — Frank Partnoy, George E. Barrett Professor of Law and Finance, University of San Diego School of Law

“Nicholas Dunbar offers an insider’s perspective into the complex and risky world of derivatives. The Devil’s Derivatives is a compelling book, one that takes clear aim at the risk-takers on Wall Street who contributed to both our economy’s growth and decline. Dunbar is a fine writer who combines a deep knowledge of finance with a great knack for storytelling.” — Edward Chancellor, author, Crunch Time for Credit and Devil Take the Hindmost: A History of Financial Speculation

The Devil’s Derivatives is a bold book written by a hardnosed journalist with a stiff backbone. With guts and nerve, Nick Dunbar investigates the gamblers and speculators who contributed to the latest financial crisis. At last, a book on the subject that shows true grit.” — Jules Kroll, founder of Kroll Inc., and Chairman and cofounder of K2 Global Consulting

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781422177815
Publisher:
Harvard Business Review Press
Publication date:
07/12/2011
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
1,193,713
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Devil's Derivatives

The Untold Story of the Slick Traders and Hapless Regulators Who Almost Blew Up Wall Street . . . an


By Nicholas Dunbar

Harvard Business Review Press

Copyright © 2011 Nicholas Dunbar
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4221-7781-5


Excerpt


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Devil's Derivatives by Nicholas Dunbar. Copyright © 2011 by Nicholas Dunbar. Excerpted by permission of Harvard Business Review Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author


Nicholas Dunbar is one of the most respected financial journalists in the United Kingdom, covering complex derivatives and risk management. He is the author of Inventing Money: The Story of Long-Term Capital Management and a columnist for Reuters. In 2007, he won the State Street award for institutional financial journalism.

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