From Publishers Weekly
Smith's memoir of a career spent brokering sales of sovereign debts (also known as government debts) makes for a gripping read. With a raconteur's gusto, the author describes his flight from a solidly conservative New England Jewish upbringing into a world of high-stakes wheeling and dealing. He plied his trade in developing markets, where shortages of hard currency force governments to offer promises of payment for imported goods or services. The author bought and sold these debts, thriving on the risk (he lost $15 million in one day in "the ruins of the Russian economy" in 1988) and the rewards (in three years he had more than made up his losses). He details his travels to five continents seeking creditors looking to cut their losses and investors willing to take on the tremendous risk, hoping for a windfall should an ailing government ever fulfill its obligation. Smith clearly explains the mechanics of international debt trading—now a $1.7 trillion industry—and his yarns of successes, failures and dangerous near-misses are thrilling. (Mar.)
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“A gripping read….his yarns of successes, failures, and dangerous near-misses are thrilling.” Publishers Weekly
"This crackling good yarn about a high roller in the age of globalism will appeal to financial specialists and to general readers."
“… a rambunctious rollercoaster that dodges bullets and missiles, maneuvers around shady characters, and speeds through all sorts of danger…shines an unnerving light on the state of today’s economy.”
Conference Board Review
“…one of the best books I have read about what it has been like to do business in the crazy…international debt markets of the past 30 years. It's an immensely engaging and often exciting memoir... lessons are particularly germane to today's financial crisis…”
“Usually, the world of finance doesn’t yield memoirs that keep you turning the pages… Riches Among the Ruins is the true exception to the rule…great reading and insight to the way the real world operates.”
“Smith offers lessons relevant for U.S. investors seeking opportunity overseas…also shares his take on the importance of narrowing the gap between rich and poor; the U.S. role in the global economy; and an increasingly integrated world trade system.” -- Associated Press
"With his ear and eye for the telling detail, his vignettes have the stamp of authenticity and are often screamingly funny."-- Financial Post
“Wow! This is one fascinating book; it reads like an adventure story...Not only is it a terrific book, but Smith and Zheutlin are great teachers….Enjoy!” -- Life Insurance Selling
“… it’s great to read a book like this and live vicariously through some of these incredible stories.” -- 800 CEO-Read
“…a treasure trove of stories of profit and loss and of warnings of the on the ground reality of economic crisis.” -- Blog Business World
“…riveting adventure that takes you deep within the world of emerging market debt….we thoroughly enjoyed learning more through his roller coaster ride.” -- MarketFolly.com