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Traders, Guns and Money: Knowns and unknowns in the dazzling world of derivatives Revised edition (Financial Times Series) Paperback – July 17, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0273731962 ISBN-10: 0273731963 Edition: 1st

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Traders, Guns and Money: Knowns and unknowns in the dazzling world of derivatives Revised edition (Financial Times Series) + Extreme Money: Masters of the Universe and the Cult of Risk + The Devil's Derivatives: The Untold Story of the Slick Traders and Hapless Regulators Who Almost Blew Up Wall Street . . . and Are Ready to Do It Again
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Product Details

  • Series: Financial Times Series
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: FT Press; 1 edition (July 17, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0273731963
  • ISBN-13: 978-0273731962
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #404,403 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

EXTREME MONEY: THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE AND THE CULT OF RISK, the new title from bestselling author Satyajit Das, is now available to pre-order on Amazon.

"Funny, readable and peppered with one-liners from Groucho Marx, "Traders, Guns & Money" offers an ideal primer for anyone tempted to take a walk on the derivative side."
James Pressley, Bloomberg.com

 ‘……a distinctly timely book ....Traders, Guns and Money, tries to reach out to the mathematically challenged to explain how the world of derivatives “really” works.’
Gillian Tett, Financial Times

‘The sexier side of finance ... at last ... a convincing picture of what life is like in today's modern financial industry.’
Corporate Financier

‘...a fascinating and compelling insight into the world of derivatives... a page turning quality more reminiscent of a John Grisham novel than a dissertation on derivatives.’
FINASIA

‘....more riveting than the Da Vinci Code...in the mould of Liars' Poker...an insider’s account of how derivatives markets work...’ 
Goola Warden, The Edge

this is possibly the best insider account of a career in investments since Michael Lewis's book Liar's Poker….I can't recommend this book strongly enough.'
www. dna.bloggingstocks.com

‘... a beginner's guide to the often unsavoury and murky world of trading...a surprisingly gripping account ....’
Money Week   

‘A worthwhile read for anyone with connection to the financial world.’
WorldFinance.com

…. must read for all CEOs, CFOs, bankers and anyone who cares about what banks are doing with their money.’
Lara Wozniak, www.financeasia.com

‘…an amusing, down-to-earth look behind the scenes of the derivatives market….There were several times I laughed out loud….’
www.runningofthebools.typepad.com

‘... a scalpel of a book’
Financial Engineering News

“Das’ audacity is commendable as he does not hesitate to challenge the greatest intellectuals of quantitative finance like Myron Scholes and Fischer Black….Overall, he does a splendid job of portraying the obsessive mentality of the traders that anything can be traded.”
Medill Money Mavens, August 2010

From the Back Cover

‘…a distinctly timely book ... Traders, Guns & Money tries to reach out to the mathematically challenged to explain how the world of derivatives “really” works.’

Gillian Tett, Financial Times

 

‘...a scalpel of a book that pulls back the skin on the derivatives and risk management industry to expose the blood, guts and circulatory system underneath…’

Nina Mehta, Financial Engineering News

 

 ‘... a beginner's guide to the often unsavoury and murky world of trading ... a surprisingly gripping account ...’

Money Week   

 

‘ ... more rivetting than The Da Vinci Code...in the mould of Liar's Poker...an insider's account of how derivatives markets work...’

Goola Warden, The Edge, Singapore

 

‘The sexier side of finance ... at last ... a convincing picture of what life is like in today's modern financial industry.’

Corporate Financier

 

‘…a page-turning quality more reminiscent of a John Grisham novel.’

JASSA, Finsia

 

 

Traders Guns & Money is a wickedly comic exposé of the culture, games and pure deceptions played out every day in trading rooms around the world. And played out with other people’s money.

 

A sensational insider’s view of the business of trading and marketing derivatives, this revised edition explains the frighteningly central role that derivatives and financial products played in the global financial crisis.

 

 

 

Customer Reviews

This book is well organized and very entertaining to read.
Yingying Liu
TRADERS, GUNS & MONEY - KNOWNS AND UNKNOWNS IN THE DAZZLING WORLD OF DERIVATIVES written by Satyajit Das is an interesting book about the market of derivatives.
Sunil khurana
If you are interested in reading this book I would highly recommend it, especially if it is your first book in finance.
Peter Perakis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 17, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is not another journalist musing on the financial world. This is not an academic explanation of how financial instruments work. It's something else entirely -- a rare inside glimpse into the world of derivatives by a literate professional who's been a handshake away (or closer) from the major events in the market. Das leavens a series of technical discussions about particular strategies with more entertaining glimpses into the culture the drives the deals. Although I have bones to pick with the book's episodic structure, I can't think of a better way to get a crash course in how the capital markets really work.
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91 of 96 people found the following review helpful By Chris Jaronsky TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 22, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Knowns and unknowns in the dazzling world of derivatives" great subtitle and the author really delivers. I love books on finance. Possibly stemming from being dropped on my head as a child. Some are pretty brutal to read but this one is as entertaining as it is educational.

I was familiar with some derivatives like futures contracts and options, before reading this book. Now derivatives like CDO (Collateralized Debt Obligations), CCO (Commodity Collateralized Obligations), currency swaps, interest rate swaps, or even inverse floaters make sense to me. Obviously I am far from being an expert on any of these, but after reading this book I can now understand why Warren Buffet called derivatives "Financial Weapons of Mass Destruction".

The author does a great job educating you in story-like fashion. The book told of numerous investors that ended up getting screwed by some pretty good salespeople at different dealer firms. Buyer beware comes to mind time and time again as I read these episodes. The treasurer of Orange County California got in way over his head because he was making a ton of money. Which he attributed to his financial wisdom. Then when interest rates went against him and his county lost 1.5 billion dollars he changed his tune saying he had some kind of brain defect and could not understand numbers. That would have been handy for the voters of Orange County to know BEFORE they elected him to office.

I guess there are many reasons to use derivatives like avoiding taxes, moving risk from highly regulated areas to less regulated areas, using loans as collateral for even bigger loans, or repackaging bad credit in a way that transfers the risk to someone else.
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69 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Valeri Pushnya on January 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
As a derivatives trader I've seen many of my colleagues who just enter the field paying hundreds of dollars for thousands of pages of Mr. Das highly unreadable and stupefying compendiums on the subject of structured products. It is impossible to imagine a more serious and devote approach to derivatives than that exuding from his technical volumes. In comparison this new book feels like a gush of fresh air and while demystifying and ridiculing what used to be his bread and butter Mr. Das may look a bit cynical it is an honest book full of interesting and plausible examples and stories. For novices it can be very educational and for experts quite entertaining. It is like a memoir of a spy who turned out to be a double agent on his lifetime in secret services. When a guy knows so much who cares what side he was serving on?
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Warren on June 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is really two, rather disimmilar, halves. I suspect that the kind of audience that would enjoy each half would be different too.

First, it is worth noting that Das is very knowledgeable about derivatives, not only in a marketing, but also a technical sense. He has written a series of (very lengthy and very good) books over the years on most aspects of derivatives/structured products.

Knowing his background and given my own significant experience with derivatives, I found the first half of the book (before the chapters on risk management and models)boring and not much more than a collection of trading floor anecdotes that tried to make the author sound more "hip" than I suspect he is. There was very little of substance, other than a bit of flavor.

If you can stay the course, the book gets progressively much better in the middle as it adresses risk management, models and structured products (first FX and interest rate, then equity and, finally, credit). It would be difficult to appreciate the full significance of some of the things Das was telling you about the shortcomings of these products, their risks and the ways they are sold without a decent prior knowledge. I felt there were still rather too many slick anecdotes and phrases, but that there was real substance too. I found myself saying, at several points: "oh, that's a very inciteful point," (e.g. for a convertible bond, from the investors' perspective, if they don't convert the bond into stock because the issuer's equity price is too low, that's probably precisely the time that, when they are left with a bond, the issuer's credit quality for the bond payments has suffered along with the stock price).
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Hedge Fund Analyst on April 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed reading the book Traders, Guns, and Money: Knowns and Unknowns in the Dazzling World of Derivatives by Satyajit Das. It is an interesting book in that it is a fictionalized autobiography of Das. As the book outlines the author's professional life in finance, it describes how he got involved in financial derivatives. The primary purpose of the book is to give a primer on derivatives, how they were created, how they are used, their benefits, and their dangers. The author's use of humor along with the hilarious vignettes of his finance associates (Nero, Clem/Crem, Adewiko, Budi, etc.) and funny anecdotes from his career made the book fun to read.

The book really helped explain what exactly derivatives are (giving me a good review of some of what I was taught in college) and how they are used today. I also appreciated the in-depth analysis of several well-known instances where derivatives were used by investors and companies which really helped to demonstrate their application in the real world as well as the oftentimes hidden dangers of using these financial tools. I found his discussion of the currency swap done by the Walt Disney Company in the 1980's to be of particular interest to me. Despite the fact that I previously read the HBS case study during a Derivatives and Risk Management course which I took as a student at Harvard, Das's explanation of the incident really gave me an even better understanding of how exactly the transaction was structured and how it eventually went wrong. His explanation of why Disney's financial advisors made the deal so complex was also amusing. (You will have to read the book to find out.)

Moreover, Satyajit Das really underscored the complex nature of derivatives and their use in either speculative bets or in hedges.
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