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Traders, Guns & Money: Knowns and Unknowns in the Dazzling World of Derivatives (Financial Times Series) [Paperback]

Mr Satyajit Das
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
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Traders, Guns and Money: Knowns and Unknowns in the Dazzling World of Derivatives (Financial Times Series) Traders, Guns and Money: Knowns and Unknowns in the Dazzling World of Derivatives (Financial Times Series) 4.0 out of 5 stars (1)
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Book Description

13 Jan 2010 Financial Times Series

Traders Guns and Money is a wickedly comic exposé of the culture, games and pure deceptions played out every day in trading rooms around the world. And played out with other people’s money.

A sensational insider’s view of the business of trading and marketing derivatives, this revised edition explains the frighteningly central role that derivatives and financial products played in the global financial crisis.

This worldwide bestseller reveals the truth about derivatives: those financial tools memorably described by Warren Buffett as ‘financial weapons of mass destruction’. Traders, Guns and Money will introduce you to the players and the practices and reveals how the real money is made and lost.

The global financial crisis took almost everyone by surprise and even now new problems keep appearing and solutions continue to be elusive. In the original version of Traders, Guns and Money, Satyajit Das provided a highly prescient insight into the structure and risk of the world financial system exposing the problems that are becoming readily apparent. In a 2006 speech – The Coming Credit Crash – Das argued that: "an informed analysis … shows that risk is not better spread but more leveraged and (arguably) more concentrated…. This does not improve the overall stability and security of the financial system but exposes it to increased risk of a "crash".

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Traders, Guns & Money: Knowns and Unknowns in the Dazzling World of Derivatives (Financial Times Series) + Extreme Money: The Masters of the Universe and the Cult of Risk (Financial Times Series)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Financial Times/ Prentice Hall; 1 edition (13 Jan 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0273731963
  • ISBN-13: 978-0273731962
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 13.2 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 82,843 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


EXTREME MONEY: THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE AND THE CULT OF RISK, the new title from bestselling author Satyajit Das, is now available to pre-order on Amazon.

"Funny, readable and peppered with one-liners from Groucho Marx, "Traders, Guns & Money" offers an ideal primer for anyone tempted to take a walk on the derivative side."
James Pressley,

 ‘……a distinctly timely book ....Traders, Guns and Money, tries to reach out to the mathematically challenged to explain how the world of derivatives “really” works.’
Gillian Tett, Financial Times

‘The sexier side of finance ... at last ... a convincing picture of what life is like in today's modern financial industry.’
Corporate Financier

‘...a fascinating and compelling insight into the world of derivatives... a page turning quality more reminiscent of a John Grisham novel than a dissertation on derivatives.’

‘....more riveting than the Da Vinci the mould of Liars' insider’s account of how derivatives markets work...’ 
Goola Warden, The Edge

this is possibly the best insider account of a career in investments since Michael Lewis's book Liar's Poker….I can't recommend this book strongly enough.'

‘... a beginner's guide to the often unsavoury and murky world of trading...a surprisingly gripping account ....’
Money Week   

‘A worthwhile read for anyone with connection to the financial world.’

…. must read for all CEOs, CFOs, bankers and anyone who cares about what banks are doing with their money.’
Lara Wozniak,

‘…an amusing, down-to-earth look behind the scenes of the derivatives market….There were several times I laughed out loud….’

‘... a scalpel of a book’
Financial Engineering News

“Das’ audacity is commendable as he does not hesitate to challenge the greatest intellectuals of quantitative finance like Myron Scholes and Fischer Black….Overall, he does a splendid job of portraying the obsessive mentality of the traders that anything can be traded.”
Medill Money Mavens, August 2010

About the Author

Satyajit Das is a leading international authority in the area of financial derivatives and treasury management. He was the treasurer for the TNT Group on Australia for six years. Prior to this he worked in the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Citicorp Investment Bank and Merrill Lynch Capital Markets. He is the author of Swap Financing and has published widely on financial derivatives, corporate finance, treasury and risk management. He has presented seminars on financial derivatives and treasury management/corporate finance all over the world.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Far Better Book than The Black Swan 31 Jan 2011
Satyajit Das's dry sense of humour might not be to everyone's couple of tea and I guess that explains the diametrically opposing views on this book. However, to me no other book demonstrates Mark Twain's famous quote on history is particularly true for the last 30 years of derivatives trading. As someone who has worked in finance for 14 years I can assure the more critical reviewers that the "fictional" stories in the book are not exaggerations. If you're looking for something more academic than Lewis' "Liar's Poker", more entertaining than Tett's "Fool's Gold" and more readable than Taleb's "Fooled by Randomness", this is it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but Not.At.All.Easy 23 Jan 2012
If you're accustomed to Michael Lewis level forays into the financial world like this reader was, you're in for a shock. I suppose I'm not the aimed-for audience. But unless this was first offered to Oxford's University Press who passed, I'm not sure many are.

The topic and insights gained by Das are most certainly interesting. However, the book is distinctly different than say, Liar's Poker overview style. Just picking up the book and flicking through it shows that its nearly instructive where Lewis aims more for entertainment/information (like a less political Michael Moore).

This reader sought this book after seeing Das interviewed as part of the cast in the 2010 film 'Inside Job' on the financial crisis. In this film, Das speaks with clarity, conciseness and cogency. In this book, however, he seems stuck in back-office jargon with a writing style which leaves one wanting. This reader is staying with it for pursuit of more knowledge. But such obdurate energies could probably be better spent on taking the various concepts and researching separately in one's own time.

At best, a flip of the coin.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good Cook's tour of the subject 7 May 2011
Mr. Das knows his stuff and is fully believable when he claims to have been present at most Derivative developments from the 1980s on.
I was involved in the area too - as a follower, not as an innovator, and it all rings true.

It gets a little boring in the very last few chapters as the differences between the products become smaller - variations on a theme. It may well be that derivatives have largely run their course and that this book essentially says it all. Ignoring this small criticism, whether or not there are further major developments to come, this book will be of particular interest to College students mulling whether or not to pursue studies in Financial Theory, Financial Engineering, Financial Economics or the like.

It is well written, giving the flavour of the deals as well as the technical details. Mr Das has done a service to the industry. I'm glad I bought it and it's few books I'd say that about.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
An interesting and scary world of financial creativity, and how decisions are made with other peoples money.

Who would have thought that buying and selling could be so complex.

It all seems to come back to what the financiers want to earn for themselves.

I suppose most of us want to be rich, but at what cost.

A glossary of the acronyms would be handy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good read but quite technical! 21 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is very detailed and a great read for anyone working in investment arena who wishes to get a better understanding for the world of derivatives. It's technical, maybe a bit too drawn out at times and I think requires a basic understanding of derivative instruments.
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