A Demon of Our Own Design: Markets, Hedge Funds, and the Perils of Financial Innovation

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Wiley, Jan 6, 2011 - Business & Economics - 288 pages
Inside markets, innovation, and risk

Why do markets keep crashing and why are financial crises greater than ever before? As the risk manager to some of the leading firms on Wall Street–from Morgan Stanley to Salomon and Citigroup–and a member of some of the world’s largest hedge funds, from Moore Capital to Ziff Brothers and FrontPoint Partners, Rick Bookstaber has seen the ghost inside the machine and vividly shows us a world that is even riskier than we think. The very things done to make markets safer, have, in fact, created a world that is far more dangerous. From the 1987 crash to Citigroup closing the Salomon Arb unit, from staggering losses at UBS to the demise of Long-Term Capital Management, Bookstaber gives readers a front row seat to the management decisions made by some of the most powerful financial figures in the world that led to catastrophe, and describes the impact of his own activities on markets and market crashes. Much of the innovation of the last 30 years has wreaked havoc on the markets and cost trillions of dollars. A Demon of Our Own Design tells the story of man’s attempt to manage market risk and what it has wrought. In the process of showing what we have done, Bookstaber shines a light on what the future holds for a world where capital and power have moved from Wall Street institutions to elite and highly leveraged hedge funds.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Alexander.Zawadzki - LibraryThing

Good points, badly conveyed. The author could slim this book down to half the size, and it would be much better for the editing. In particular, he could loose some of the self-aggrandising stories and ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ernst.schnell - LibraryThing

I read this book before the financial crisis hit its peak, and it was astounding. Even for a non-finance person like me, the explanation of the workings of the financial markets and structured ... Read full review

About the author (2011)

Richard Bookstaber ran an equity hedge fund at FrontPoint Partners and was the director of risk management at Ziff Brothers Investments and at Moore Capital Management, one of the largest hedge funds in the world. He served as the managing director in charge of firm-wide risk management at Salomon Brothers and was a member of Salomon's powerful Risk Management Committee. Mr. Bookstaber also spent ten years at Morgan Stanley in quantitative research and as a proprietary trader, concluding his tenure there as Morgan Stanley's first market risk manager. He is the author of three books and scores of articles on finance topics ranging from options theory to risk management. Bookstaber received a PhD in economics from MIT. He now works at a hedge fund in Connecticut.

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