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on January 14, 2008
On a Tuesday in October 1987, the day after "Black Monday", bonds opened limit down in Chicago. The London bond future, which had no limit, was pushed down 3 points below the fair price indicated by the options in Chicago. I sat in a room with six or seven other analysts who knew the prices were too low and--in hindsight had a feeling that "bailout Al" would have to act. Yet we were all still watching when a trader picked up a phone on our desk and said "buy all you can below Chicago arb plus 50 more." What prepared him to act? To bet that bonds would de-couple from stock market action?

This book provides an historical perspective on how to recognize opportunities and how to spot a time when indicators reverse. It is not a how to guide. It aims to build the kind of perspective that allowed the trader I observed to go long $20 million of bonds right at the bottom.

I urge students of trading to read this book.

I should disclose that I called the author of the book that day in 1987 to discuss what I had seen, as I typically contacted him whenever I saw something puzzling or perverse in the market. I found this book valuable and assume that people who aren't able to talk events over with the author would benefit even more.
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on January 27, 2007
Robert Webb's book Trading Catalysts is required reading for anyone that invests in the financial markets and especially for people that trade the news. The book is an excellent history of how major news events in the past have impacted the financial markets. At the same time it presents an excellent framework for managing the risks and exploiting the opportunities created by major news events. The global scope and multiple asset class perspective of this book is quite remarkable making it relevant for any reader regardless of what part of the world they are from and what they invest in. Trading Catalysts takes a very broad and complicated subject and makes it much easier for any reader to understand and capitalize on.
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on November 8, 2006
The book was both fun to read and instructive, an unusual combination. It is clearly written and well organized. Each section deals with real life events that were easy to relate to and key issues are clearly highlighted. Chapters typically pull everything together with a concluding "trading lesson". It is a great book those who what to get a better understanding of what drives market prices in very real terms. I recommend it for those who are involved in brokerage and related trading activities, managing their own portfolios, students or those who are just curious
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on August 10, 2007
In the backcover it was promised:-
- Actionable lessons from 25 years of major events
- Predicting the market impact of everything from Fed statements to natural disasters
- Separating real information from noise, major "market mover" from trivia

Sorry that none of the above was kept. The author gave no actionable nor predictive insight at all. All the worse, the writing was so dull and boring. What upset me most were those "Trading Lessons" sections in the end of each chapter in which the author simply repeated the theme "everything is possible in the market and you dont know the possibility and impact of it". I dont need to read an over 300 page book to acknowledge so, do I? In short, dont waste your valuable time and money on this.

p.s. In case you want to read some good writing of historical events, "Devil Take the Hindmost: A History of Financial Speculation by Edward Chancellor" and "Eyewitness to Wall Street: 400 Years of Dreamers, Schemers, Busts and Booms by David Colbert" are much better alternatives.
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on December 12, 2006
This book is a gem. Trading catalysts provide money-making opportunities (or risks of devastating losses) that occur only rarely in one's career. The instant the next such event occurs, imagine having an established financial academic and trading authority at your shoulder, briefing you real time on exactly what happened in similar situations in the past, guiding you through the turbulent markets. Having this book at your trading desk is the next best thing. Thought provoking and likely to influence the way readers view risk and financial markets
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on October 31, 2006
This book is a collection of historical facts and author's observation of price reactions to news/events in treasury, commodity, and equity markets. As a trader, I was disappointed that the author didn't present any in-depth analysis or strategies for taking advantage of the many trading catalysts and the volatility they create. This book can be a good introductory material for people new to the market, but not for traders.
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