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Awesome insight into the world of Global Macro hedge funds.
on May 22, 2009
Steven Drobny delivers a treasure trove of useful information in a very readable and user-friendly format. The book focuses on Global Macro hedge funds, providing a history starting with GM pioneer John Maynard Keynes to the mega funds run by Soros and Robertson, to the 21st century evolution of the leaner funds and their tactics. After describing the function and history of Global Macro, Mr. Drobny takes us deep into the minds of the operators themselves with over a dozen fascinating interviews.
For those who are new to the subject, Global Macro is basically a fund whose approach allows them to act nimbly in any global market using any class of asset including stocks, bonds, currency, and commodities. These funds employ a wide variety of hedging and arbitrage strategies using complex combinations of assets, and constantly seek out anomalies in any market that can offer superior returns.
I particularly liked the interview with Jim Leitner who has a very personal and unorthodox style that is hard not to marvel at. Jim offers this definition of GM, "The willingness to opportunistically look at every idea that comes along, from micro situations to country-specific situations, across every asset category and every country in the world. Its the combination of a broad top-down country analysis with a bottom-up micro analysis of companies. In many cases, after we make our country decisions, we then drill down and analyze the companies in the sectors that should do well in light of our macro view....Macro themes expressed in a micro style. Global Macro only means that you start at the top and work your way down." Jim also says that if there was only one thing he could ever read before choosing investments, it would be "The Economist".
If you are curious about hedge funds you will find this glimpse into the rarefied world of Global Macro a real eye opener. If you are an investor or investment professional, the book is loaded with gems of trading strategy. There are many great charts throughout the book, but it is not bogged down with heavy math. The format is similar to the Market Wizard books and there is something for everyone here. The main difference between this new edition and the 2006 is the addition of 2 new appendixes by Dr. Lee R Thomas III: "The Crash of '08"; and "Who Controls Liquidity?". Enjoy.