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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says on the tin, 6 Nov 2012
This review is from: How the Trading Floor Really Works (Bloomberg Financial) (Hardcover)
You can find lots of books explaining the theory of financial instruments and lots of newspaper articles about the (generally shocking) behaviour of "City traders". None of that tells you how a bank actually works.

With this book, you get
- the theory set out in terms a layman can understand
- an understanding of why we do actually need these banks
- clear explanations of what the different parts of the bank do and how they work with each other and their clients on transactions (including particularly helpful examples of the conversations traders, salesmen, clients etc might have with each other)
- a feel for what the average day is like for the different jobs you could have in a bank and the skills required.
- some anecdotes for a bit of light relief.

If you're interested in the City for any reason, this is the book for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars De-mystifing financial markets, 10 Nov 2012
This review is from: How the Trading Floor Really Works (Bloomberg Financial) (Hardcover)
Whilst this book does explain the trading floor, I think it has a much broader value. There are a lot of academic texts on finance, but they don't provide practical insight about the organisation, processes, products and language of financial business. You could absorb a dozen of those and still turn up to a bank as a corporate customer, advisor or graduate trainee and be as lost as the next person. There are also a lot of good narrative books describing various events in financial markets, "Too Big to Fail" is a great example. Whilst they equip you with some nuggets of understanding and anecdotal knowledge, they don't systematically explain the opaque interior workings of banks and securities markets or the jargon business is conducted in.

"How the Trading Floor Really Works" is unique because it does lift the lid of opaqueness. It explains the financial products and their economics, the activities, roles and organisations in financial companies (not just the trading floor) and, perhaps most importantly, the language insiders use, which is usually baffling to the non-insider.

I'd recommended it to anyone trying to start a career in finance, but also to anyone in a senior business role who has sat in a meeting with bankers and finance specialists and had that uneasy feeling, when something really important is being discussed, that they don't fully get it but are not in a position to ask "dumb" questions. It's NOT as complicated as finance people make it sound, and investing a few hours in reading this book could give you some very useful knowledge on those occassions when "knowledge is power" and the specialists are playing their knowledge and jargon to its full.....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't know which direction to focus your career, this textbook is a must read, 4 Nov 2012
This review is from: How the Trading Floor Really Works (Bloomberg Financial) (Hardcover)
Having worked in the finance/banking sector for a number of years, I am often approached by training program interns for guidance as to career direction. In many instances, there is a lack of clarity as to the many functions existing within an investment banking framework e.g. from short-term money market products to structured products, including derivatives (equity, credit, interest-rate, etc). It's not until one steps onto a trading floor do you truly appreciate the multitude of products offered by an investment bank, and the roles/responsibilities of each individual necessary to issue/trade these products.

"How the Trading Floor Really Works" is a terrific resource to fulfil this void -- the reader will gain insight into the many products developed, marketed and traded within an investment banking framework, as well as the workings of the various departments behind these products. This easy to read, and technical where necessary, textbook should be a staple in any business curriculum. And, most importantly, this textbook is written by an individual with a significant amount of trading floor experience at various investment banks, in the U.S. as well as Europe.

Students, you must read this textbook before sitting another investment banking interview.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real break through in the obscure world of traders and the trading floor, 17 Jan 2013
This review is from: How the Trading Floor Really Works (Bloomberg Financial) (Hardcover)
A real break through in the obscure world of traders and the trading floor that re-elaborate from the ground why finance is so important to our society and at the same time what can and should be changed in the system.

The author succeeded in doing what most newspapers articles and books have been trying to do since the start of the crisis. It gives an unbiased and informed explanation of why trading floor are fundamental to the efficiency of the world's economy with real examples and diagrams.

The book explains the complicated dynamics of the trading floor in a spectacularly fluid and original manner based on real life experiences. Moreover it shades light on the different roles existing in a bank with clear and coherent arguments that can help graduates and new hire understand which product and team best fit their personality and their interest.

Most importantly this book does not glorify the role of bankers. It looks behind the sexy image of traders to illustrate the right reasons why people should want to go into banking these days. While the author transmits her passion for the exciting world of finance it does not present banking as a glamorous job but for what it actually is with his bad and good sides.

What I particularly liked (and why you could really enjoy this book):

- All over the book you can find framed anecdotes that give you real insight into the cryptic social interaction of those working on the floor. Through these curious stories the author really makes you feel a few step closer to the complicated jargon of bankers.

- All technical worlds are explained throughout the books. Even though the author is a an insider she writes from the point of view of someone that really understand how complicated and elitist finance is perceived from the outside.

- The book explores in depth the delicate concept of managing risk for traders. Recently risk management in financial institutions has been criticized and taking risk is seen as something to be avoided. This book explains how the intrinsic role of traders is to take risk and how this can be done in a way that is useful for the finance industry.

- A clear explanation of how the two sides of the Chinese wall work together. Very often both sides tend to think that their business is the only one fundamental for the bank. In fact, this book clearly shows through useful examples how capital markets and investment banking are complementary to each other and how they interact.

Who should read it:

I highly recommend this book for everyone who genuinely wants to learn about the City, who wants to get into banking or who wants to change role within a bank. Personally I would say that this is a terrific preparation for internships or interviews both in IBD and markets and...for parents that never really fully understood what their children do.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent - clear, concise and educational, 11 Nov 2012
This review is from: How the Trading Floor Really Works (Bloomberg Financial) (Hardcover)
Terrific book covering the spectrum of financial markets in language that it easy to assimilate for both lay readers and those already working in the environment. The author has managed to balance both the content and the breadth very well and I would expect this to be of considerable value to many.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Authentic, entertaining and informative, 6 Aug 2013
By 
Danail Irinchev "D.Irinchev" (Zurich, Switzerland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How the Trading Floor Really Works (Bloomberg Financial) (Hardcover)
I bought the book after I saw the author's appearance in a PBS Frontline documentary (Money, Power and Wall Street). The book is highly informative, entertaining and gives quite an authentic feel about what a trading floor is and how it operates. It touches the romantic side of the business but in fact is a serious essay on modern investment banking and its internals. Enjoyed thoroughly every page of it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gets to the point of what actually happens in the financial markets, 30 May 2013
It's very hard as an outsider (or, sometimes, as an insider) to understand what exactly is the function of a bank trading operation. This book makes clear the various roles, and how the banks interact with their clients and each other. Would be extremely useful reading for anyone coming into contact with the trading floor, but also for those simply interested in understanding what is actually not such a complicated business once it is explained properly!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Want a job on the trading floor? read this, 22 Jan 2013
This review is from: How the Trading Floor Really Works (Bloomberg Financial) (Hardcover)
A message to anyone in the final year of a degree/MBA and who wants to work in and around a trading floor: buy this book. Your competition might not so make sure you get ahead of them. This book is great at explaining the various roles in finance, the relationships (or lack of) between departments, and some great anecodotes along the way. It also de-shrouds the mysteries the mainstream press like to build up about practices in the shadow banking industy. A briliantly stripped-down and practical Finance for Dummies. The HR guys will be impressed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Important reading for students of finance, 20 Sep 2012
This review is from: How the Trading Floor Really Works (Bloomberg Financial) (Hardcover)
This book is an excellent introduction to the ways in which financial trades are created and implemented. It is full of telling insights and anecdotes, many drawn from the author's own experience, as to what motivates the different actors on the trading floor and the strategies that they employ in order to achieve their goals. The book provides a compelling introduction to the language and vocabulary of the trading floor as well as a clear account, of immense value to the non-specialist, of the key instruments that are now deployed across the financial sector. All students of finance would benefit from reading it. It will be an invaluable tool for any graduating student who seeks to find employment in the high end of the financial sector.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Must read book for professionals, participants and those with an interest in financial services, 19 Sep 2012
This review is from: How the Trading Floor Really Works (Bloomberg Financial) (Hardcover)
For anyone seeking to read a balanced account of the dynamics and mechanics, which drive our financial services industry, the options have been limited to either overly emotive or sensationalised accounts of the meteoric rise or catastrophic fall of so-called Masters of the Universe; or to particularly pedestrian theoretical accounts in academic books. Until now, that is.

'How the Trading Floor Really Works' provides an invaluable insight into the concepts, processes and people who are critical to the way in which the industry operates. The book skilfully blends a balanced and tempered narrative, engaging personal anecdotes and worked-through practical examples to create an easily digestible and comprehensive overview of the practices of the trading floor. The writing is extremely clear and strips the subject matter down to its bare essentials, without patronising the reader. Its clear but flowing structure enables the book to be enjoyed equally well as a one-off read, or as a point of reference.

The book aims to provide a framework for understanding how markets are made and the roles and responsibilities of the individuals in such markets. It achieves this aim with ease.

Whilst the book does not attempt to explain directly what caused the turbulence in the market and the challenges faced by the financial services industry, by going back to first principles, the text draws upon the author's impressive insight into this unique industry and provides the all important context against which we can seek to interpret, understand and rationalise events in these troubled times.

I would strongly recommend anyone with a present or future interest in financial services - whether professionals working with or in the sector, participants in the markets themselves or simply those with an interest - to invest in a copy.
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How the Trading Floor Really Works (Bloomberg Financial)
How the Trading Floor Really Works (Bloomberg Financial) by Terri Duhon (Hardcover - 7 Sep 2012)
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