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The Greed Merchants: How the Investment Banks Played the Free Market Game Paperback – 25 May 2006


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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (25 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141017678
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141017679
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 685,110 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Philip Augar worked in investment banking for over twenty years and he now writes, broadcasts and lectures on financial services and related issues. He is the author of two books, The Death of Gentlemanly Capitalism and (with Joy Palmer) The Rise of the Player Manager, both of which are available in Penguin. He has a doctorate in History and is a Visiting Fellow of Cranfield School of Management.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By DOPPLEGANGER TOP 500 REVIEWER on 13 July 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When Philip Augar wrote this forensic treatise in 2005 of the transgressions of the investment banking fraternity, he was unaware of the spectacularly appalling self-inflicted demise of the Global Credit infrastructure that occurred a year or so later. But he sought of predicted it in this very well written, verging on erudite, account of the dangers inherent in the now regarded financially suicidal practice of allowing investment banking industry to act simultaneously for buyers, sellers and themselves, and in this confusion of duty of responsibilities, make an absolute fortune for themselves.

From the 1980's until the start of 2000, the author reckons that the big bashers of Wall Street and the City creamed off upwards of $180 billion in the form of excess profits for their firms and excessively disproportionate remuneration awards to themselves. They did it by skimming fees and commissions and trading profits out of corporate clients, retirement funds and individual investors, like you and me, often by bending the rules or simply breaking them.

Games were played in abundance, all driven by the over-dominant positions of the big boys like Citicorp, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs and the 'integrated' nature of their businesses, where all under one roof, financiers whose job is to persuade companies to float shares on the stock market, analysts whose job is to persude investors to buy those shares, and traders whose job is to make profits from those shares both long and short selling. In the old days , no one firm could undertake all of these activities, which provided clients and investors with a good degree of protection from the obvious potential of conflict of interest.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By P. Mcdermott on 2 Nov 2008
Format: Paperback
Sadly, the 3 star reviewer here got it wrong. What does this tell us about the smug insight of the 'insider'?
The greed of bankers has landed us in it again.
Unfortunately, I didn't read this book 2 years ago or I might have saved myself a lot of money.
The underlying patterns have been repeated relentlessly over 100 yrs or more and there is no reason to believe that the future will be any different.
'Don't trust a banker' should be added to ' don't take sweets from strangers'.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Aaron C. Brown on 7 Jun 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is a thoughtful analysis of the new integrated model investment bank that seems to have taken over the world financial system. Whether you want to work for one of them or tear them down, this is an essential read.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 25 Nov 2005
Format: Hardcover
For those in the industry: Maybe he's a little out of touch now. Gentlemanly Capitalism was right on the pulse and added value, this seems not quite so.
However for those outside the industry, may still add plenty of colour.
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