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4.5 out of 5 stars24
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on 27 November 2001
This book is a must for anyone new to financial markets, and particularly to the City of London.
It describes the history of finance in the City and how the different markets came about, what they're about, and how government policy shaped the competitive and busy financial centre that it is now.
This book isn't an in-depth study of the markets, and its easy style will appeal to anyone wishing to gain an insight into what makes the City tick.
I read this book 3 years after I started working in financial IT, and I wished I'd read it much sooner.
Buy it for your train journey.
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on 27 June 2011
The book is written in understandable language with any jargon fully explained. To aid the reader understand some of the topics covered the author includes many examples showing the reasoning behind much of the decisions made within the system by all parties involved. As you read through the book the author links each topic covered to how that subject material played a part in the financial crisis (2007-2009). This book is for anyone who is even slightly curious into how the city works and what all the economic newspaper columns are talking about. This book is also useful if you wish to highlight your bank manager's weakness in knowing his subject matter should you ever meet him/her.
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on 22 April 2010
Firstly, I have to say that the book is for "outsider" of banking world (as I am) to grab basic understanding about it. And it does this successfully. Its writing is clear, its analysis (sometimes with examples) is enjoyable. It very well tells you how financial concepts move around the city and the world, work together in a whole system. And little nonsense philosophy. However, there are some (although very few) places, the author seemed forget explaining some concepts.
It does not at all work your brain hard so you can read it on your way to work.
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on 12 December 2013
I have a background in Neuroscience, so I was looking for a book that introduce me to the world of Finance, so I could understand exactly what is going on in the news and such…

This book is perfect, extremely well written, I was so engrossed that I couldn't put it down.

It starts by broadly covering finance history (focusing more on recent history 40s onwards etc.), then going on to explain money and interest rates, banks and building societies, investment banks, the bank of england's role and function, the money markets, borrowers, investment institutions, hedge funds and private equity, shares, international bond market, insurance, risk management, foreign exchange and personal finance.

If you've read any micro/macro economic textbooks, you can probably skip through a few chapters here and there, but if you want a simple but detailed book on financial assets, this book gives a good grounding on all areas and will help you to read more advanced material.

Definitely buy if you're remotely interested in Finance and don't really understand all the different types of Financial institutions and their 'products'.
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on 15 September 2011
I bought this book upon entering a job for a financial services company, and found it to be a very clear and understandable introduction but one that didn't patronise.

I always recommend this book to any friends who want an understanding of ,for example, how the bond market works or how banks operate. Something which given current affairs is good knowledge to have.
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on 20 December 2009
This book is valuable even for the financial professionals. An excellent book due to its simpicity of writting.
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on 28 December 2008
A nice simple introduction to the workings of the institutions and systems of the City of London. Written by a journalist from the Financial Times newspaper, the latter part of the book is perhaps more directed at those who are interested in making a small, personal investment in the financial markets. The book provides some account about how the City of London became one of the world's leading financial centres.
Updated to
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on 14 September 2010
In my view, an essential read for anyone wishing to understand what makes the Financial Capital tick. Easily understood and covering a broad variety of specialities, this book provides an excellent insight for any reader wishing to grasp the principles of the inner workings of the City.
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on 29 April 2011
Having worked in the City for 25 years, I bought this for a colleague who is just starting her exposure to financial services. Easily readable by Philip Coggan, journalist on the Financial Times, and with warts-and-all coverage (Madoff, credit crunch). Highly recommended.
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on 3 February 2012
This is a great book; the short diversions on the history behind things are entertaining and informative, although at times some there are several pages of definition after definition of various financial instruments which were a little dull to read.

But BEWARE: even though this claims to be "fully revised and updated", it is actually a 2002 edition and a lot of the information is out-of-date/superseded/no longer relevant, particularly as several political references are made. In this sense it was rather mis-sold.

I bought this to get a better understanding of the recent financial crisis but, of course, there is no reference to this - apart from some interesting foresight on the short-term incentives of financial trading towards the end of the book.
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