The Spider Network

The Spider Network Author David Enrich
ISBN-10 9780753552049
Year 2017-03-23
Pages 496
Language en
Publisher Random House
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Listed as an FT book of the month ‘Anyone with an interest in financial services and in what has gone wrong will find The Spider Network compelling.’ - Daniel Finkelstein, The Times ‘Will snare you in its web of deceit, lies, corruption, manipulation and colourful characters. [a] brilliant investigative exposé’ - Harlan Coben, bestselling thriller author ‘A gripping narrative ... impressive reporting and writing chops are on full display ... reads like a fast-paced John le Carré thriller, and never lets up’ - New York Times book review ‘A feat of reporting, and much of it reads like a novel’ - Leigh Gallagher, Washington Post ‘A model of investigative financial writing... a more satisfying read than THE BIG SHORT by Michael Lewis’ - Literary Review ‘Remarkable’, Sunday Times ‘Jaw-dropping’, Financial Times In 2006, an oddball group of bankers, traders and brokers from some of the largest financial institutions made a startling realization: Libor—the London interbank offered rate, which determines the interest rates on trillions in loans worldwide—was set daily by a small group of easily manipulated administrators, and that they could reap huge profits by nudging it fractions of a percent to suit their trading portfolios. Tom Hayes, a brilliant but troubled mathematician, became the lynchpin of a wild alliance that included a prickly French trader nicknamed “Gollum”; the broker “Abbo,” who liked to publicly strip naked when drinking; a nervous Kazakh chicken farmer known as “Derka Derka”; a broker known as “Village” (short for “Village Idiot”) who racked up huge expense account bills; an executive called “Clumpy” because of his patchwork hair loss; and a broker uncreatively nicknamed “Big Nose” who had once been a semi-professional boxer. This group generated incredible riches —until it all unraveled in spectacularly vicious, backstabbing fashion. With exclusive access to key characters and evidence, The Spider Network is not only a rollicking account of the scam, but also a provocative examination of a financial system that was crooked throughout.

The Spider Network

The Spider Network Author David Enrich
ISBN-10 9780062453006
Year 2017-03-21
Pages 528
Language en
Publisher HarperCollins
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The Wall Street Journal's award-winning business reporter unveils the bizarre and sinister story of how a math genius named Tom Hayes, a handful of outrageous confederates, and a deeply corrupt banking system ignited one of the greatest financial scandals in history. In 2006, an oddball group of bankers, traders and brokers from some of the world’s largest financial institutions made a startling realization: Libor—the London interbank offered rate, which determines the interest rates on trillions in loans worldwide—was set daily by a small group of easily manipulated functionaries, and that they could reap huge profits by nudging it to suit their trading portfolios. Tom Hayes, a brilliant but troubled mathematician, became the lynchpin of a wild alliance that among others included a French trader nicknamed “Gollum”; the broker “Abbo,” who liked to publicly strip naked when drinking; a Kazakh chicken farmer turned something short of financial whiz kid; a broker known as “Village” (short for “Village Idiot”) and fascinated with human-animal sex; an executive called “Clumpy” because of his patchwork hair loss; and a broker uncreatively nicknamed “Big Nose.” Eventually known as the “Spider Network,” Hayes’s circle generated untold riches —until it all unraveled in spectacularly vicious, backstabbing fashion. The Spider Network is not only a rollicking account of the scam, but a provocative examination of a financial system that was crooked throughout, designed to promote envelope-pushing behavior while shielding higher-ups from the consequences of their subordinates’ rapacious actions.

Black Edge

Black Edge Author Sheelah Kolhatkar
ISBN-10 9780812995817
Year 2017-02-07
Pages 368
Language en
Publisher Random House
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The story of the billionaire trader Steven A. Cohen, the rise and fall of his hedge fund, SAC Capital, and the largest insider trading investigation in history—for readers of The Big Short, Den of Thieves, and Dark Money. The rise over the last two decades of a powerful new class of billionaire financiers marks a singular shift in the American economic and political landscape. Their vast reserves of concentrated wealth have allowed a small group of big winners to write their own rules of capitalism and public policy. How did we get here? Through meticulous reporting and powerful storytelling, New Yorker staff writer Sheelah Kolhatkar shows how Steve Cohen became one of the richest and most influential figures in finance—and what happened when the Justice Department put him in its crosshairs. Cohen and his fellow pioneers of the hedge fund industry didn’t lay railroads, build factories, or invent new technologies. Rather, they made their billions through speculation, by placing bets in the market that turned out to be right more often than wrong—and for this they have gained not only extreme personal wealth but formidable influence throughout society. Hedge funds now manage nearly $3 trillion in assets, and competition between them is so fierce that traders will do whatever they can to get an edge. Cohen was one of the industry’s greatest success stories. He mastered poker in high school, went off to Wharton, and in 1992 launched SAC Capital, which he built into a $15 billion empire, almost entirely on the basis of his wizardlike stock trading. He cultivated an air of mystery, reclusiveness, and extreme excess, building a 35,000 square foot mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut, and amassing one of the largest private art collections in the world. On Wall Street, Cohen was revered as a genius. That image was shattered when SAC became the target of a sprawling, seven-year government investigation. Labeled by prosecutors as a “magnet for market cheaters” whose culture encouraged the relentless hunt for “edge”—and even “black edge,” or inside information—SAC was ultimately indicted in connection with a vast insider trading scheme, even as Cohen himself was never charged. Black Edge offers a revelatory look at the gray zone in which so much of Wall Street functions, and a window into the transformation of the U.S. economy. It’s a riveting, true-life legal thriller that takes readers inside the government’s pursuit of Cohen and his employees, and raises urgent questions about the power and wealth of those who sit at the pinnacle of modern Wall Street. Praise for Black Edge “A modern version of Moby-Dick, with wiretaps rather than harpoons.”—Jennifer Senior, The New York Times “Excellent.”—The Economist “If you liked James B. Stewart’s Den of Thieves, Sheelah Kolhatkar’s thrilling Black Edge should be next on your reading list.”—The Wall Street Journal “A lot of people do not trust Wall Street. They regard it as a moneymaking machine for those who work there, which has little interest in practice in its stated aim of channeling capital into businesses and helping them to grow for the broader benefit of society. For such skeptics, Steven Cohen is Exhibit A.”—John Gapper, Financial Times “A richly reported, entertaining tale about the cat-and-mouse game between the government and Cohen.”—Andrew Ross Sorkin, The New York Times Book Review

Why Wall Street Matters

Why Wall Street Matters Author William D. Cohan
ISBN-10 9780399590702
Year 2017-02-28
Pages 192
Language en
Publisher Random House
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A timely, counterintuitive defense of Wall Street and the big banks as the invisible—albeit flawed—engines that power our ideas, and should be made to work better for all of us Maybe you think the banks should be broken up and the bankers should be held accountable for the financial crisis in 2008. Maybe you hate the greed of Wall Street but know that it’s important to the proper functioning of the world economy. Maybe you don’t really understand Wall Street, and phrases such as “credit default swap” make your eyes glaze over. Maybe you are utterly confused by the fact that after attacking Wall Street mercilessly during his campaign, Donald Trump has surrounded himself with Wall Street veterans. But if you like your smart phone or your widescreen TV, your car or your morning bacon, your pension or your 401(k), then—whether you know it or not—you are a fan of Wall Street. William D. Cohan is no knee-jerk advocate for Wall Street and the big banks. He’s one of America’s most respected financial journalists and the progressive bestselling author of House of Cards. He has long been critical of the bad behavior that plagued much of Wall Street in the years leading up to the 2008 financial crisis, and because he spent seventeen years as an investment banker on Wall Street, he is an expert on its inner workings as well. But in recent years he’s become alarmed by the cheap shots and ceaseless vitriol directed at Wall Street’s bankers, traders, and executives—the people whose job it is to provide capital to those who need it, the grease that keeps our economy humming. In this brisk, no-nonsense narrative, Cohan reminds us of the good these institutions do—and the dire consequences for us all if the essential role they play in making our lives better is carelessly curtailed. Praise for William D. Cohan “Cohan writes with an insider’s knowledge of the workings of Wall Street, a reporter’s investigative instincts and a natural storyteller’s narrative command.”—The New York Times “[Cohan is] one of our most able financial journalists.”—Los Angeles Times “A former Wall Street man and a talented writer, [Cohan] has the rare gift not only of understanding the fiendishly complicated goings-on, but also of being able to explain them in terms the lay reader can grasp.”—The Observer (London)

Lucifer s Banker

Lucifer s Banker Author Bradley C. Birkenfeld
ISBN-10 1626343713
Year 2016-10-18
Pages
Language en
Publisher
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As a private banker working for the largest bank in the world (UBS), Brad Birkenfeld was an expert in Switzerland s shell-game of offshore companies and secret numbered accounts. He wined and dined ultrawealthy clients whose millions of dollars were hidden away from business partners, spouses and tax authorities. As his client list grew, Birkenfeld lived a life of money, fast cars, and beautiful women, but then he discovered that UBS was planning to betray him, so he blew the whistle to the US Government. The Department of Justice scorned Birkenfeld s unprecedented whistleblowing and attempted to silence him with a single charge of conspiracy. Yet Birkenfeld would not be intimidated. He took his secrets to the US Senate, Securities and Exchange Commission and the Internal Revenue Service, where he prevailed. His bombshell revelations helped the US Treasury recover over $12 billion in back taxes, fines and penalties from American tax cheats. But Birkenfeld was shocked to discover that at the same time he was cooperating with the US Government, the Department of Justice was still doggedly pursuing him. He was arrested, pled guilty, and served 31 months in federal prison. When he emerged, the Internal Revenue Service gave him a whistle-blower award for $104 million, the largest such payout in history. A page-turning real-life thriller, "Lucifer s Banker" is a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the secret Swiss high-net-worth banking industry and a harrowing account of our government s justice system. Readers will follow Birkenfeld as they will share his outrage with the incompetence and possiblecorruption at the Department of Justice, and they will cheer him on as he hammers one of the most well-known and powerful banks in the world."

The Fix

The Fix Author Liam Vaughan
ISBN-10 9781118995747
Year 2016-11-22
Pages 216
Language en
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
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"The first thing you think is where's the edge, where can I make a bit more money, how can I push, push the boundaries. But the point is, you are greedy, you want every little bit of money that you can possibly get because, like I say, that is how you are judged, that is your performance metric" —Tom Hayes, 2013 In the midst of the financial crisis, Tom Hayes and his network of traders and brokers from Wall Street's leading firms set to work engineering the biggest financial conspiracy ever seen. As the rest of the world burned, they came together on secret chat rooms and late night phone calls to hatch an audacious plan to rig Libor, the 'world's most important number' and the basis for $350 trillion of securities from mortgages to loans to derivatives. Without the persistence of a rag-tag team of investigators from the U.S., they would have got away with it.... The Fix by award-winning Bloomberg journalists Liam Vaughan and Gavin Finch, is the inside story of the Libor scandal, told through the journey of the man at the centre of it: a young, scruffy, socially awkward misfit from England whose genius for math and obsessive personality made him a trading phenomenon, but ultimately paved the way for his own downfall. Based on hundreds of interviews, and unprecedented access to the traders and brokers involved, and the investigators who caught up with them, The Fix provides a rare look into the dark heart of global finance at the start of the 21st Century.

Why Aren t They Shouting

Why Aren t They Shouting Author Kevin Rodgers
ISBN-10 9781473535633
Year 2016-07-14
Pages 320
Language en
Publisher Random House
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When Kevin Rodgers embarked on his career in finance, dealing rooms were filled with clamouring traders and gesticulating salesmen. Nearly three decades later, the feverish bustle has gone and the loudest noise you’re likely to hear is the gentle tapping of keyboards. Why Aren’t They Shouting? is a very personal, often wryly amusing chronicle of this silent revolution that takes us from the days of phone calls, hand signals and alpha males to a world of microwave communications, complex derivatives and computer geeks. In addition, it’s a masterclass in how modern banking works, for those who don’t know their spot FX from their VaR or who struggle to recall precisely how Monte Carlo pricing operates. But it’s also an account of thirty years of seismic change that raises a deeply worrying question: Could it be that the technology that has transformed banking – and that continues to do so – is actually making it ever more unstable?

Barometer of Fear

Barometer of Fear Author Alexis Stenfors
ISBN-10 178360929X
Year 2017-05-15
Pages 252
Language en
Publisher Zed Books
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The LIBOR affair has been described as the biggest banking scandal in history, a deception affecting not only banks but also corporations, pension funds and ordinary people. But was this just the tip of the iceberg? Was the scandal the work of a few bad apples or an inevitable result of a financial system rotten to its core? Labelled "one of the world's most infamous rogue traders" in the wake of a mis-marking scandal, Alexis Stenfors went on to rebuild his life and now guides us through the shadowy world of modern banking, providing an insider's account of the secret practices--including the manipulation of foreign exchange rates--that have allowed banks to profit from systematic deception. Containing remarkable and often shocking insights derived from Stenfor's own experiences in the dealing room, as well as his spectacular fall from grace at Merrill Lynch, Barometer of Fear draws back the curtain on a realm that for too long has remained hidden from public view.

A Man for All Markets

A Man for All Markets Author Edward O Thorp
ISBN-10 9781786070296
Year 2017-02-02
Pages 400
Language en
Publisher Oneworld Publications
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Mathematics professor. Professional gambler. Tech inventor. Hedge fund heavyweight. Bestselling author. One of a kind. Edward O Thorp worked his way up from nothing to become a professor at MIT. Using one of their early computers for his calculations, he invented card counting, making huge winnings at blackjack, roulette and baccarat in Las Vegas and brushing shoulders with mobsters along the way. Thorp then went on to Wall Street, where he began a hugely successful career in the stock market, attracting the attention of global investors such as Warren Buffett. He used statistical techniques to find and exploit pricing anomalies in the securities markets and built a significant fortune, earning him the nickname 'The Godfather of Quants'. For the first time, Thorp shares his incredible life story, explaining how he made his money and giving advice to the next generation of investors.

Faster Higher Farther The Volkswagen Scandal

Faster  Higher  Farther  The Volkswagen Scandal Author Jack Ewing
ISBN-10 9780393254525
Year 2017-05-23
Pages 320
Language en
Publisher W. W. Norton & Company
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A shocking exposé of Volkswagen’s fraud by the New York Times reporter who covered the scandal. In mid-2015, Volkswagen proudly reached its goal of surpassing Toyota as the world’s largest automaker. A few months later, the EPA disclosed that Volkswagen had installed software in 11 million cars that deceived emissions-testing mechanisms. By early 2017, VW had settled with American regulators and car owners for $20 billion, with additional lawsuits still looming. In Faster, Higher, Farther, Jack Ewing rips the lid off the conspiracy. He describes VW’s rise from “the people’s car” during the Nazi era to one of Germany’s most prestigious and important global brands, touted for being “green.” He paints vivid portraits of Volkswagen chairman Ferdinand Piëch and chief executive Martin Winterkorn, arguing that the corporate culture they fostered drove employees, working feverishly in pursuit of impossible sales targets, to illegal methods. Unable to build cars that could meet emissions standards in the United States honestly, engineers were left with no choice but to cheat. Volkswagen then compounded the fraud by spending millions marketing “clean diesel,” only to have the lie exposed by a handful of researchers on a shoestring budget, resulting in a guilty plea to criminal charges in a landmark Department of Justice case. Faster, Higher, Farther reveals how the succeed-at-all-costs mentality prevalent in modern boardrooms led to one of corporate history’s farthest-reaching cases of fraud—with potentially devastating consequences.

SuperHubs

SuperHubs Author Sandra Navidi
ISBN-10 9781473645110
Year 2017-01-26
Pages 320
Language en
Publisher Hachette UK
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FOREWORD BY NOURIEL ROUBINI SuperHubs is a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the global financial system and the powerful personal networks through which it is run, at the centre of which sit the Elites - the SuperHubs. Combining an insider's knowledge with principles of network science, Sandra Navidi offers a startling new perspective on how the financial system really operates. SuperHubs reveals what happens at the exclusive, invitation-only platforms - The World Economic Forum in Davos, the meetings of the International Monetary Fund, think-tank gatherings, power lunches, charity events, and private parties. This is the most vivid portrait to date of the global elite: the bank CEOs, fund managers, billionaire financiers and politicians who, through their interlocking relationships and collective influence are transforming the future of our financial system and, for better or worse, shaping our world.

Hatching Twitter

Hatching Twitter Author Nick Bilton
ISBN-10 9781101605233
Year 2013-11-05
Pages 320
Language en
Publisher Penguin
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The dramatic, unlikely story behind the founding of Twitter, by New York Times bestselling author and Vanity Fair special correspondent The San Francisco-based technology company Twitter has become a powerful force in less than ten years. Today it’s everything from a tool for fighting political oppression in the Middle East to a marketing must-have to the world’s living room during live TV events to President Trump’s preferred method of communication. It has hundreds of millions of active users all over the world. But few people know that it nearly fell to pieces early on. In this rousing history that reads like a novel, Hatching Twitter takes readers behind the scenes of Twitter’s early exponential growth, following the four hackers—Ev Williams, Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone, and Noah Glass, who created the cultural juggernaut practically by accident. It’s a drama of betrayed friendships and high-stakes power struggles over money, influence, and control over a company that was growing faster than they could ever imagine. Drawing on hundreds of sources, documents, and internal e-mails, Bilton offers a rarely-seen glimpse of the inner workings of technology startups, venture capital, and Silicon Valley culture.

The One Device

The One Device Author Brian Merchant
ISBN-10 9781473542549
Year 2017-06-22
Pages 416
Language en
Publisher Random House
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The secret history of the invention that changed everything and became the most profitable product in the world. Odds are that as you read this, an iPhone is within reach. But before Steve Jobs introduced us to 'the one device', as he called it, a mobile phone was merely what you used to make calls on the go. How did the iPhone transform our world and turn Apple into the most valuable company ever? Veteran technology journalist Brian Merchant reveals the inside story you won't hear from Cupertino - based on his exclusive interviews with the engineers, inventors and developers who guided every stage of the iPhone's creation. This deep dive takes you from inside 1 Infinite Loop to nineteenth-century France to WWII America, from the driest place on earth to a Kenyan pit of toxic e-waste, and even deep inside Shenzhen's notorious 'suicide factories'. It's a first-hand look at how the cutting-edge tech that makes the world work - touch screens, motion trackers and even AI - made its way into our pockets. The One Device is a road map for design and engineering genius, an anthropology of the modern age and an unprecedented view into one of the most secretive companies in history. This is the untold account, ten years in the making, of the device that changed everything.

The Wisdom of Finance

The Wisdom of Finance Author Mihir Desai
ISBN-10 9780544911208
Year 2017-05-23
Pages 256
Language en
Publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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"A fascinating new perspective on modern finance," --Oliver Hart, 2016 Nobel Laureate in Economics "Lucid, witty and delightfully erudite...From the French revolution to film noir, from the history of probability to Jane Austen and The Simpsons, this is an astonishing intellectual feast." --Sebastian Mallaby, author of The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan In 1688, essayist Josef de la Vega described finance as both “the fairest and most deceitful business . . . the noblest and the most infamous in the world, the finest and most vulgar on earth.” The characterization of finance as deceitful, infamous, and vulgar still rings true today – particularly in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. But, what happened to the fairest, noblest, and finest profession that de la Vega saw? De la Vega hit on an essential truth that has been forgotten: finance can be just as principled, life-affirming, and worthy as it can be fraught with questionable practices. Today, finance is shrouded in mystery for outsiders, while many insiders are uneasy with the disrepute of their profession. How can finance become more accessible and also recover its nobility? Harvard Business School professor Mihir Desai, in his “last lecture” to the graduating Harvard MBA class of 2015, took up the cause of restoring humanity to finance. With incisive wit and irony, his lecture drew upon a rich knowledge of literature, film, history, and philosophy to explain the inner workings of finance in a manner that has never been seen before. This book captures Desai’s lucid exploration of the ideas of finance as seen through the unusual prism of the humanities. Through this novel, creative approach, Desai shows that outsiders can access the underlying ideas easily and insiders can reacquaint themselves with the core humanity of their profession. The mix of finance and the humanities creates unusual pairings: Jane Austen and Anthony Trollope are guides to risk management; Jeff Koons becomes an advocate of leverage; and Mel Brooks’s The Producers teaches us about fiduciary responsibility. In Desai’s vision, the principles of finance also provide answers to critical questions in our lives. Among many surprising parallels, bankruptcy teaches us how to react to failure, the lessons of mergers apply to marriages, and the Capital Asset Pricing Model demonstrates the true value of relationships. THE WISDOM OF FINANCE is a wholly unique book, offering a refreshing new perspective on one of the world’s most complex and misunderstood professions.

Adaptive Markets

Adaptive Markets Author Andrew W. Lo
ISBN-10 9781400887767
Year 2017-04-24
Pages 504
Language en
Publisher Princeton University Press
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A new, evolutionary explanation of markets and investor behavior Half of all Americans have money in the stock market, yet economists can't agree on whether investors and markets are rational and efficient, as modern financial theory assumes, or irrational and inefficient, as behavioral economists believe—and as financial bubbles, crashes, and crises suggest. This is one of the biggest debates in economics and the value or futility of investment management and financial regulation hang on the outcome. In this groundbreaking book, Andrew Lo cuts through this debate with a new framework, the Adaptive Markets Hypothesis, in which rationality and irrationality coexist. Drawing on psychology, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, and other fields, Adaptive Markets shows that the theory of market efficiency isn't wrong but merely incomplete. When markets are unstable, investors react instinctively, creating inefficiencies for others to exploit. Lo's new paradigm explains how financial evolution shapes behavior and markets at the speed of thought—a fact revealed by swings between stability and crisis, profit and loss, and innovation and regulation. A fascinating intellectual journey filled with compelling stories, Adaptive Markets starts with the origins of market efficiency and its failures, turns to the foundations of investor behavior, and concludes with practical implications—including how hedge funds have become the Galápagos Islands of finance, what really happened in the 2008 meltdown, and how we might avoid future crises. An ambitious new answer to fundamental questions in economics, Adaptive Markets is essential reading for anyone who wants to know how markets really work.