FIASCO: Blood In the Water on Wall Street Paperback – 19 Feb 2009
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Take it from us that F.I.A.S.C.O. is absolute dynamite ... Partnoy doesn't take prisoners. (Euroweek)
Guns, booze and bloodlust: the truth about high finance (The Sunday Times)
Gripping, unreal stuff, delivered with wry humour. (Business Age)
F.I.A.S.C.O. is a ringside seat on the nastiest and most important game being played on Wall Street today. Think of derivatives trading as a blood sport, with the unsuspecting consumer as prey. Read this book, or else ... (Michael Lewis, author of Liar's Poker)
Huge bestseller about the cut-throat trading world returns with gripping new material.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Much of the book is delivered in the style of a bemused rant by the author, clearly shocked and frustrated by the conduct he saw around him and by the ease with which he abandoned principles and joined in.
Partnoy has become a hate figure within his industry which [...] suggests his home-truths are not well received by some.
I can't help wondering if, at one point in the book, he is describing the planting of seeds which may have helped precipitate the collapse of the Argentinian banking system a few days ago ...
Read it and see what you think.
You will fully enjoy this reading especially if you have worked in a trading room before.
Not only is it poorly written, it suffers from the fact that its author seems to have had very little understanding of what he was doing whilst at Morgan Stanley - this is apparent from simply reading his own explanations of the transactions. Mind you, this is no more than you'd expect from a junior associate who'd been on the derivatives desk for a very short period of time - derivatives trading is a difficult business (if it wasn't, people wouldn't get paid so much to do it) and it takes years to fully understand what is going on, let alone get any good at it. And that's something this author never allowed himself the time to do. If he had (and was any good), my guess is he'd still be doing the job, rather than writing the kiss and tell expose.
Partnoy gives himself away when he sensationally reveals the existence of a secret, off-balance sheet, non-disclosed Cayman SPV, identified only by a PO Box number in Grand Cayman and otherwise totally disassociated from Morgan Stanley. But far from being any real subterfuge, this sounds for all the world like a common or garden repackaging vehicle - of the sort used (quite legitimately and openly) by many investment banks for delivering funded derivative and asset-backed products to their clients. Had he taken the trouble to Google on the words "repackaging" and "Cayman" he would quickly get a sense for how common (and uncontroversial) these sorts of vehicles are.Read more ›
With such outlandish names as PERLS (Principal Exchange Rate Linked Security), PLUS (Peso-Linked U.S. Dollar Secured Notes), BIDS (Brazilian Indexed Dollar Securities), `quantoed constant maturity swap yield curve flattening trade' or `leveraged-indexed-inverse-floating-dual currency structured notes', brokers disguised the underlying risks of `emerging market" currencies or of wild interest rate swings for their `dumb' clients who bought their `miraculous' high coupon products.
By paying rating agencies top dollar fees, they even got triple A ratings for their high risk derivative products.
Other policies were, `sell your mother for a basis point' or if the customers were in trouble (called `distressed buyers') `try to convince them to `double-down' on their losses', in order to generate new juicy fees for the company.
At some point, one trader had a risk of 2 million UD$ per basis point change in the interest rate.
What were the results of these `strategies': monumental commissions for the brokerage houses, tremendous bonuses for the traders and billions of billions of losses for the customers (e.g., when National Banks didn't or couldn't continue to `manage' their local currencies).
What was the reaction of the US government in the face of those blatant rip-offs: less (!), not more regulation of the derivative markets. The political campaign contributions did their work.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
a brilliant account of frank's career in high finance. this, like liars poker, gives a great review of what it was like to work for one of the largest banks in the early to mid... Read morePublished on 17 Sept. 2011 by Gcrikey
This book has given me the best explanation yet of how financial products work and how they can be destructive. Read morePublished on 30 Aug. 2011 by Mike_Lisbon
Basically an extended magazine article. Lots on funny and entertaining stories but not as much serious analysis as I would have liked. Read morePublished on 14 Dec. 2010 by The Emperor
Frank Partnoy, nowadays a much respected academic, Director of The University of San Diego's Center for Corporate & Securities Law, writes of his days working in the Derivatives... Read morePublished on 21 Aug. 2010 by DOPPLEGANGER
This book is about "derivatives", which are the financial products which recently brought the entire world economy to the brink of collapse. Read morePublished on 3 May 2010 by Philip Mayo
I worked in the City for nearly two years in the late 90s. It was a horrid experience. I found that area around Liverpool Street soulless, the firm I worked for was home to grossly... Read morePublished on 29 Nov. 2008 by William Cohen
This is the best book ever about lies, deceit and lust for money in the financial markets. Partnoy writes like a dream. I keep giving it to people to read. Read morePublished on 6 Nov. 2006 by Julia Gardiner
Being in the industry myself (Equity Derivatives Sales/Structurer) I picked up this book with great enthusiasm. I was, however, a bit dissapointment. Read morePublished on 7 Jan. 2004 by Adi Rajguru
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