FIASCO: Blood in the Water on Wall Street and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $16.95
  • Save: $3.41 (20%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 5 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all itâ?TMs still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

FIASCO: Blood in the Water on Wall Street Paperback – April 6, 2009


See all 8 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$13.54
$2.00 $0.01


Frequently Bought Together

FIASCO: Blood in the Water on Wall Street + The Match King: Ivar Kreuger, The Financial Genius Behind a Century of Wall Street Scandals + Infectious Greed: How Deceit and Risk Corrupted the Financial Markets
Price for all three: $33.64

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (April 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393336816
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393336818
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The game of Russian roulette is alive and well and living on Wall Street, where it's known as the derivatives market. In his aptly named book F.I.A.S.C.O., Frank Partnoy, a former derivatives trader at Morgan Stanley, exposes the seamier side of high-stakes finance. Derivatives are securities whose worth is determined by the value of other securities; according to Partnoy, however, the derivatives market is an elaborate illusion performed with smoke and mirrors. In fascinating, frightening detail Partnoy describes several of Morgan Stanley's slick deals that, in his eyes, are just this side of outright fraud. More than just dishonest, the bait-and-switch tactics Wall Street traders employ to rig the markets are downright dangerous, since the massive debt these deals conceal will inevitably come back to haunt the dealmakers.

F.I.A.S.C.O. could be subtitled Portrait of the Trader as a Young Man, for Frank Partnoy is indeed young, and his short tenure on Wall Street left him sadly disillusioned but much wiser. His book will leave you wiser, too--and probably very worried. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Before his recent return to practicing law, Partnoy was a derivatives salesman for the prestigious Wall Street investment bank Morgan Stanley. In simple terms, a derivative is a tricky financial instrument whose value depends on another security, such as a stock or bond. Partnoy takes us inside the complex world of high finance, deriving his title from Morgan Stanley's competitive skeet-shooting event, the Fixed Asset Annual Sporting Clays, which "set the mood for the firm's barbarous approach to its clients' increasing derivatives losses." This is a story about deceit and manipulation by fund managers wanting big bonus checks and a wake-up call to the average investor. Partnoy explains in easy language the investment alternatives used by the very wealthy to avoid paying capital gains taxes. In addition, we get an in-depth look at well-known derivative "fiascoes," namely Orange County, Procter & Gamble, and others. This fascinating book will appeal to serious investors. Recommended for all business collections.?Bellinda Wise, Nassau Community Coll. Lib., Garden City, N.Y.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 1, 1998
Format: Hardcover
A very good introduction to derivatives (and even some general finance for novices) and one of the better looks at how degenerate Wall Street culture can be. Though comparisons are frequently made to Liar's Poker, I found FIASCO to be a more useful read, even though it's not quite as funny as Liar's Poker was at its best. The usual tales of arrested development among Wall Street's community are here, but there's a much more gripping and sobering tale of how rapacious greed knows no bounds, and how a large number of actors, including large multinationals and even governments, ultimately pay the price.
Partnoy doesn't tell his story as smoothly as he could, and his narrative sometimes feels larded with anecdotes that don't add much color or relief. He also struggles at times to weigh his role in the big picture. Overall though, he describes his experiences and general Wall Street culture with enough insight that you can feel his disgust, and applaud when he eventually steps away from it all.
A great business book, flaws and all, and a perfect antidote to all the puffery surrounding coverage of financial markets and Wall Street these days. Now when will we see a book of investment banker/derivatives trader jokes, to add to all the great lawyer joke books?
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Littrell HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Partnoy, now a law professor at the University of San Diego, was a derivatives salesman for First Boston and then Morgan Stanley, 1993-95. In this "tell all," revenge-tinged book, he makes the crew at Morgan Stanley look like nerdy brutes without conscience, intent only on ripping off people's faces. (Their expression.) The acronym in the title stands for "Fixed Income Annual Sporting Clays Outing," during which the traders at Morgan Stanley "honed their killer instincts." Partnoy quotes his boss at Morgan Stanley as saying after some derivative losses, "There's blood in the water. Let's go kill someone," meaning, sell them risky derivatives while we cut ourselves a huge commission.
Strangely readable book. The greed and money lust and the pathetic macho posturing of the derivatives sales people fascinated. The stupidity of the bankers, insurance fund managers, etc. who bought the risky and complicated derivatives concocted by the Morgan Stanley people, amazed. Partnoy himself comes across as someone who went along with the program until it got just a little too ugly and then got out. I suspect there is another side to this story.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 24, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I am a trader working in derivatives in one of those financial firms. I thought this book was on a more detailed(complex) level than Liar's Poker. While I highly related to Liar's Poker during the earlier part(trainee/junior analyst) of my career (many similar events occured for me as well) I can now relate even more with this book (after working for four years). I think many people can have trouble with the complexities as FIASCO tries to explain in depth the structures of complex derivatives. I though that these explanations which were fascinating in showing the creativity of certain banks. This was an element missing in Liar's Poker. Also I don't think that Partnoy's main focus was that banks were just ripping off "innocent victims". There are many people in finance who are restricted from leverage (increasing risk) and willing to pay for it. If Wall Street has the monopoly on giving leverage to those who don't have legal access, they will certainly get large profits for creating those derivatives. This is a basic law of economics. I believe that the main point that Partnoy was making was the extent to which large financial institutions were disguising the risk they were taking and how Wall Street gave them the instruments to do so. It is more of a "scheme" then anything else. Anyway, I thought this book is definitely something for all traders to read (especially those in FX and fixed income).
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By jc7k on March 25, 2001
Format: Hardcover
F.I.A.S.C.O. offers a look at the ruthless game of derivatives trading on Wall Street, and the devastation of losses upwards of billions suffered by the fools off Wall Street. In this fast paced book, Frank Partnoy chronicles his journey as a derivatives salesman at Morgan Stanley. You will learn how institutions ranging from banks to governments got "blown up" or had their "faces ripped off" by Wall Street's army of fierce derivative salemen. You will cringe at how many organizations that touch your life may be involved in trading these complex, highly leveraged, instruments when they may not even know it or be legally allowed to invest in them.
Portnoy tells his story in a fluid style, leaving the reader wanting more, page after page. This book exposes the greed and ignorance of the market's fools, or customers, and the eagerness of the Wall Street investment firms to offer ever more enticingly packaged derivative instruments to help them achieve their ruin. Everyone who has money in the markets should read a few books like this to get a more realistic idea of what these venerable Wall Street institutions really think of their customers.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By William M. Doolittle on April 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
Looking back from a 2009 perspective, this horrifying book, depicts the inner workings and the amoral habits of the Wall Street criminals at work. It is hard to ignore like a bloody car wreck. These rotten people knowingly robbed their clients, then all of us and ultimately dumped the world economy down the toilet, Once these types of scum were said to be freaks on Wall Street. Now we know better.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews