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When Markets Collide: Investment Strategies for the Age of Global Economic Change Hardcover – June 13, 2008

3.1 out of 5 stars 74 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The #1 New York Times and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestseller

“Mohamed A. El-Erian is one of the most gifted and successful risk management practitioners in the world. In this book he combines an academic’s insight into advanced risk analysis with a portfolio manager’s grasp of real world economics. This book is an essential read for those who wish to understand the modern world of investing.”
―Alan Greenspan

"Few people are as well positioned to understand markets as Mohamed El-Erian. He is almost unique in being able to attack the credit crisis from the perspectives of academic economist, policy official, investment banker and fund manager...Mr. El-Erian's insights are as valuable as ever."
--Financial Times

"El-Erian is a doer and a thinker and someone who understands the risks of rare events. [Never before, have] I seen such a combination. Read this book."
―Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author The Black Swan

“This extraordinary book portrays the future with a powerful and trail-blazing illumination of the past.”
―Peter L. Bernstein, author Capital Ideas Evolving

“Brilliantly written, easy to understand―a forceful explanation of our changing global economy.”
―Bill Gross, Managing Director, Founder and CIO, PIMCO

“Mohamed El-Erian, with his deep grounding in economics and his profound knowledge of financial markets, has written a book that no one else could write.”
―Seth A. Klarman

“Mohamed El-Erian’s book is an important, wise and insightful analysis….”
―Michael Spence, recipient of the Noble Prize in Economics (2001)

“I can think of no better guide to the terrifying yet exhilarating new world of global finance….”
―Niall Ferguson, William Ziegler Professor at Harvard Business School

“Mohamed El-Erian is a deep thinker of the global financial and economic scene.”
―Arminio Fraga, Founding Partner, Gavea Investimentos and Former President, Central Bank of Brazil

“Mohamed El-Erian is that rare creature: a skillful participant in financial markets who is also a brilliant analyst of them. He has written a book that is important and urgent.”
―Fareed Zakaria, editor, Newsweek International

"Mr. El-Erian . . . offers extremely detailed advice.”
--Paul B. Brown, The New York Times

“El-Erian...specializes in spotting trends amid the blur and clanging noise of markets in motion. He steps back to consider the big picture and offer tips on how to allocate your assets in his new book, When Markets Collide: Investment Strategies for the Age of Global Economic Change. El-Erian does offer something valuable for investors seeking to benefit from the global economic realignment: a road map. In a chapter on asset allocation, he provides an illustrative mix for a long-term U.S.-based investor.”
--Bloomberg News

“The recent turmoil in financial markets is a symptom of realigning economic power around the world, promising investors more rough times ahead, prominent fund manager Mohamed El-Erian writes in a new book.”
--Reuters

About the Author

Mohamed A. El-Erian is co-CEO and co-CIO of PIMCO, one of the largest investment management companies in the world. He formerly served as president and CEO of Harvard Management Company, the firm that manages the university's $35 billion endowment. He spent 15 years at the International Money Fund, working on policy, capital market, and multilateral economics issues. El-Erian has been featured by Bloomberg, Forbes, Financial Times, Latin Finance, CNBC, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2004, Fortune named him a member of its eight-person “Mutual Fund Dream Team.”

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (June 13, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071592814
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071592819
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #226,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David R. Harper on November 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book because it won the Financial Times Book of the Year Award (not a top ten winner or something, #1 mind you). Historically, a reliable guide (e.g., the masterpiece China Shakes the World, and theoretically dubious but highly provocative Friedman's World is Flat). It has dawned on me belatedly that advance praisers probably don't read their books. All these absolutely glowing endorsements by serious people...for a book that *clearly* isn't top notch.

T. Bojko's review may seem harsh, but it's spot-on. I can live with the ponderous writing style. I initially thought the big words concealed some new or profound thinking...but not at all.

The problems are: 1. there's almost nothing new or inspired about the "markets of tomorrow," and 2. there is nary a sliver of new, actionable advice about investing. The whole thing is a compendium of the superficial. Seeking to cut a swath a mile wide, it is everywhere one inch deep.

In regard to the first, the following are superficially summarized: global trade/capital flows (rightly footnoted to Martin Wolf, but Wolf's own columns are better on this); a cocktail of snippets on behavioral finance - called a "cocktail" - just read Shiller straightaway; some stuff on global trade and commodities, see latest Economist; a paraphrase of Taleb's colorful insights (just read Taleb directly); a woefully weak primer-not-really on securitization; a brief primer on asset classes that repeats everything I've got in a dozen other finance books; and too much material on IMF (e.g., not a single mention of Basel). I agree the topics per se are important, but most of them here are superficially derivative of other, better works.
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Format: Hardcover
This book was awful. Part of the problem is that the author couldn't decide who his audience was and, as such, probably bored the pants off finance people and left regular folk scratching their heads at his absurdly opaque writing "style".

A couple quick points if you are considering buying this book:

1. It you read the newspaper most days, are reasonably intelligent and realize there is a big world with lotsa money beyond America's shores, this book will give you no new information on "when markets collide".

2. If you have some (I mean A MINIMAL AMOUNT) of investment knowledge, you will be painfully disappointed by the lame chapter on how to profit from future "collisions". Really, the author just lays out a pretty mundane asset allocation plan (which is available for free on any number of websites) and then fills a couple dozen pages with worthless blather. Seriously, that's it.

3. The writing really sucks. Others have commented on this so, rather than gives examples, I'll just reinforce what others have noted: the writing sucks. Whatever happened to editors?

4. If you really want some ideas about investing internationally, try The World is Your Oyster by Jeff Opdyke (2008). Heaven forbid, he writes in plain ole' English and gives a lot of worthwhile advice. If you really want to understand where the world is headed, read Billions of Entrepreneurs, How China and India are Reshaping Their Futures and Yours, by Tarun Khanna (2008).

5. If you really want some ideas about investing in general Peter Lynch's classics are still every bit as instructive (and humorous...and nicely written) and the biography of Warren Buffett, "Buffett", is incredibly instructive.
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Format: Hardcover
I do not believe that this book is worth buying or reading
because of three factors:

1. It contains minimal advice for investors wishing to
change their investment strategies.

2. It is written for an audience for professional economists
with advanced degrees.

3. The editing of the text is very poor. Each chapter contained
multiple references to something "that I will deal with in
the next chapter" or "that I covered in previous chapter."
A few of these references is understandable, but the text
is so poorly written and edited that these references quickly
became a distraction and a nuisance.

I would strongly advise prospective readers to avoid this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
El-Erian's publisher McGraw-Hill badly let down the author, and his readers, with a poor to nonexistent copy-edit. The book is full of jargon and poorly written paragraphs--to illustrate, here is a rather typical one-sentence paragraph: "The challenge of how to deal with consequential and volatile endogenous liquidity relates to another policy issue that I will discuss in Chapter 7: how to refine the traditional instruments of monetary control and ensure more meaningful and sophisticated supervision on a range of activities, with volatile leverage, that have been enabled by the ongoing structural transformations and yet are outside meaningful oversight."

This is technocratic obfuscation at its worst, and El-Erian, who is no lightweight, could have better been served by a heavier edit.

Perhaps the worst feature of the book is its attempt to reach three entirely different audiences--individual investors, policy-makers, and institutional investors. If you are an individual investor, realize that 75% of the book is written for others.

If you find your way through the jargon and infelicitous structure, some solid, thought-provoking ideas gleam in the darkness. Be prepared to dig, though, and bring your headlamp!
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