"[T]he bright light shed by More Money Than God is particularly welcome. Mr. Mallaby... brings a keen sense of financial theory to his subject and a vivid narrative style."
-The Wall Street Journal
"[S]plendid ... the definitive history of the hedge fund history, a compelling narrative full of larger-than-life characters and dramatic tales of their financial triumphs and reversals... Mallaby weaves into his narrative just the right amount of economic theory and market history, and he has a wonderful knack for explaining complex trading strategies in simple and elegant prose."
-The Washington Post
"[A] splendid account of the ups and downs of an industry in which few of the twenty-something hedge-fund wannabes know their history. They, and meddling politicians, should read this book before they are condemned to repeat it."
-The Financial Times
"Mallaby's book is informative and entertaining..."
"More Money Than God is an expert primer on America's most obscenely lucrative investment tool... [Mallaby is] incisive, informative, and as good a financial writer as he is a storyteller."
-NPR's All Things Considered
"In MORE MONEY THAN GOD, his smart history of the hedge fund business, Mallaby does more than explain how finance's richest moguls made their loot. He argues that the obsessive, charismatic oddballs of the hedge fund world are Wall Street's future-and possibly its salvation."
-The New York Times Book Review
"Sebastian Mallaby's history of hedge funds is well written, smart, and balanced."
"Sebastian Mallaby's in-depth research and clear writing style is engaging... With great insight into the lucrative world of hedge funds, More Money Than God is one of the best, most engrossing of the current financial books."
-The Finance Professional's Post (A publication of the New York Society of Security Analysts)
"[A] superb book"
-David Brooks, The New York Times
"Mallaby... effectively combines an insider's knowledge with a colorful storytelling ability... A lively, provocative examination of a little-understood financial realm."
"A superbly researched history of hedge-fund heroes stretching back to the 1950s, it is a fascinating tale of the contrarian and cerebral misfits who created successful, flexible businesses in an otherwise conventional financial world."
"More Money than God shines a fascinating light on what is still the most obscure route to becoming a billionaire--the mysterious world of hedge funds. Sebastian Mallaby's rollicking tour of industry legends--famous and otherwise-- tells the improbable story of A.W. Jones, the vagabond journalist-sociologist and daring anti-Nazi activist who, after the war, would create the first "hedged" investment fund. From there, we get rip-roaring profiles of investing titans from the full-throated gambler Michael Steinhardt to the bold TmigrT George Soros and the courtly stockpicker Julian Robertson to the ill-fated intellects of LTCM and the hedge fund stars of the present day. Even as Mallaby entertains he advances an unorthodox yet compelling brief: rich as they are, hedge funds are probably the best vehicles society has for assuming risk. Any who disagree will have to contend with the evidence of the recent Wall Street collapse. If one shudders at the prospect of concentrating risk inside giant banks whose chieftains wager other people's money and cavalierly call for taxpayer bailouts then, as Mallaby points out, hedge funds are a necessary antidote."
-Roger Lowenstein, author of The End of Wall Street
"Sebastian Mallaby takes us into the secretive world of hedge funds and the result is a wonderful story and an education in finance. The book is full of colorful characters playing high stakes' games. Throughout, with his customary intelligence, Mallaby helps us understand this important transformation of the financial industry."
-Fareed Zakaria, author of The Post American World
"When Alfred Winslow Jones started the first hedge fund, he had no idea where it would lead. Sebastian Mallaby, who must be the keenest student of hedge funds anywhere, now does-and he shares it with you in this crackling good read."
-Dr. Alan S. Blinder, Professor of Economics, Princeton University, and Former Vice Chairman, Federal Reserve
"A fascinating history. Mallaby combines vivid description of key personalities and episodes with thoughtful discussion of the sources of advantage for different investment styles in different periods of financial history. I enthusiastically recommend this book to colleagues and students in academia and asset management."
-John Y. Campbell, Chairman of the Department of Economics, Harvard University, and Partner, Arrowstreet Capital
In More Money Than God, his smart history of the hedge fund business, Mallaby does more than explain how finance's richest moguls made their loot. He argues that the obsessive, charismatic oddballs of the hedge fund world are Wall Street's futureand possibly its salvation…If you are looking for the nose-pressed-into-his-sweaty-armpit carnal intimacy of today's best narrative journalism, I'm afraid you won't find much of it here. Mallaby tells some great stories, but he is more interested in his principals' spreadsheets than their psyches. His forte is a clear and sophisticated explanation of the economic model that earned billions for each of the financiers he profiles.
The New York Times
Journalist Mallaby (The World's Banker) gives unusually lucid explanations of hedge funds and their balancing of long and short positions with complex derivatives, but what really entrances him is their freedom from regulation, high leverage, and outsized performance incentives. In his telling, they empower a heroic breed of fund managers whose inspired stock picking, currency trading, and futures contracting outsmart the efficient market. In engrossing accounts of epic trades like George Soros's 1993 shorting of the pound sterling and John Paulson's shorting of subprime mortgages, the author celebrates hedge titans' charisma, contrarianism, and market insights. Mallaby contends that hedge funds benefit the economy by correcting market anomalies; because they put managers' money on the line and are small enough to fail, they are more prudent and less disruptive than heavily regulated banks. Mallaby's enthusiasm for an old-school capitalism of unfettered risk taking isn't always persuasive, but he does offer a penetrating look into a shadowy corner of high finance. (June)
A history of hedge funds that also looks at their role in the recent market crash. Using his extensive background in international finance, Washington Post columnist and Council on Foreign Relations senior fellow Mallaby (The World's Banker: A Story of Failed States, Financial Crises, and the Wealth and Poverty of Nations, 2004, etc.) effectively combines an insider's knowledge with a colorful storytelling ability. What we now know as hedge funds began in the late 1940s as a "hedged fund" invented by a low-profile investor named Alfred Winslow Jones. By then nearing 50, Jones had traveled the world before becoming a Fortune magazine writer. In clear, accessible language, Mallaby explains how Jones devised a specific combination of buying and selling stocks simultaneously, which allowed him to capitalize on bull and bear markets alike-i.e., he hedged against market downturns while riding higher on market upturns than most other money managers. After relating the Jones saga, the author provides a mostly chronological account of later investors who earned billions from variations on the Jones model. Mallaby avoids the sex-drugs-and-rock-'n'-roll aspects of the fast pace and fabulous wealth within the hedge-fund realm to concentrate on the buy-and-sell philosophies promulgated by the "boys." And it is indeed a boys' world-in more than 400 pages of text, no significant female players emerge. In the final third of the book, Mallaby explores the role of hedge funds in the horrific collapse of markets during the first decade of the 21st century. The author explains why he believes hedge funds are less of a risk to the markets than banks and insurers that grew too big to fail. One caveat:Hedge-fund managers usually invest lots of their own money, which means they lose wealth when clients lose wealth. A lively, provocative examination of a little-understood financial realm.