Extreme Money: Masters of the Universe and the Cult of Risk

Extreme Money: Masters of the Universe and the Cult of Risk

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By (author) Satyajit Das

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  • Publisher: FT Press
  • Format: Hardback | 459 pages
  • Dimensions: 150mm x 229mm x 33mm | 703g
  • Publication date: 17 August 2011
  • Publication City/Country: Upper Saddle River, NJ
  • ISBN 10: 0132790076
  • ISBN 13: 9780132790079
  • Illustrations note: black & white line drawings, black & white tables, figures
  • Sales rank: 26,712

Product description

The human race created money and finance: then, our inventions recreated us. In "Extreme Money," best-selling author and global finance expert Satyajit Das tells how this happened and what it means. Das reveals the spectacular, dangerous money games that are generating increasingly massive bubbles of fake growth, prosperity, and wealth--while endangering the jobs, possessions, and futures of virtually everyone outside finance. ..".virtually in a category of its own -- part history, part book of financial quotations, part cautionary tale, part textbook. It contains some of the clearest charts about risk transfer you will find anywhere. ...Others have laid out the dire consequences of financialisation ("the conversion of everything into monetary form," in Das's phrase), but few have done it with a wider or more entertaining range of references...[Extreme Money] does... reach an important, if worrying, conclusion: financialisation may be too deep-rooted to be torn out. As Das puts it -- characteristically borrowing a line from a movie, Inception -- "the hardest virus to kill is an idea." -Andrew Hill "Eclectic Guide to the Excesses of the Crisis" ""Financial Times ""(August 17, 2011) Extreme Money named to the longlist for the 2011 FT and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year award.

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Author information

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 Satyajit Das is an international specialist in the area of financial derivatives, risk management, and capital markets, with a global reputation. Das presciently anticipated many aspects of the Global Financial Crisis in his 2006 book "Traders, Guns & Money: Knowns and Unknowns in the Dazzling World of Derivatives." In a speech that year--"The Coming Credit Crash"--he argued that: "an informed analysis of the structured credit markets shows that risk is not better spread but more leveraged and (arguably) more concentrated amongst hedge funds and a small group of dealers. This does not improve the overall stability and security of the financial system but exposes it to increased risk of a 'crash' during a credit downturn." He has continued to be a respected commentator on subsequent developments in the crisis. He was featured in Charles Ferguson's 2010 Oscar-winning documentary "Inside Job "and a 2009 BBC TV documentary "Tricks with Risk." He has appeared on TV and radio--ABC and SBS (Australia); BBC (UK); Bloomberg (USA); CNBC (UK and Asia); SABC, Summit TV and e-TV (South Africa); Canadian Broadcasting and Business New Network (Canada); and NZ Radio. He is a frequent interviewee and widely quoted in the financial press in the United States, Canada, UK/ Europe, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Asia. Between 1988 and 1994, Das was the Treasurer of the TNT Group, an international transport and logistics company with responsibility for the Global Treasury function. Between 1977 and 1987, he worked in banking with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Citicorp Investment Bank, and Merrill Lynch. Since 1994, Das has acted as a consultant to financial institutions and corporations in Europe, North America, Asia, and Australia. He provides advice on trading, pricing/valuation, and risk management of derivative transactions/financial products. He also presents advanced seminars on financial derivatives/ risk management and capital markets for derivatives and finance professionals throughout the world. Between 2000 and 2007, he was a consultant to and Director of Rand Merchant Bank, a division of First Rand Group of South Africa. He is the author of "Traders, Guns & Money: Knowns and Unknowns in the Dazzling World of Derivatives--Revised Edition "(2006 and 2010), an insider's account of derivatives trading and the financial products business filled with black humor and satire. The book has been described by the Financial Times, London as "fascinating reading...explaining not only the high-minded theory behind the business and its various products but the sometimes sordid reality of the industry." James Pressley at Bloomberg included the revised edition of the book in his list of 50 top business titles published since January 1, 2009. Das is also the author of a number of key reference works on derivatives and risk management including "Swaps/ Financial Derivatives Library--Third Edition "(2005) (a four-volume, 4,200-page reference work for practitioners on derivatives) and "Credit Derivatives, CDOs and Structured Credit Products"--"Third Edition "(2005). He has published widely on financial issues in professional journals and newspapers. His blogs can be found on a number of online financial sites, including www.nakedcapitalism.com, www.roubini.com, www.minyanville.com, www.eurointelligence.com and www.prudentbear.com. Das is also the author (with Jade Novakovic) of "In Search of the Pangolin: The Accidental Eco-Tourist "(2006, New Holland), a travel narrative on eco-tourism.

Review quote

"A true insider's devastating analysis of the financial alchemy of the last 30 years and its destructive consequences. With his intimate first-hand knowledge, Das takes a knife to global finance and financiers to reveal the inner workings without fear or favor." -Nouriel Roubini, Professor of Economics at NYU Stern School of Business and Chairman of Roubini Global Economics "Das describes the causes of the financial crisis with the insight and understanding of a financial wizard, the candor and objectivity of an impartial observer, and a wry sense of humor that reveals the folly in it all." -Brooksley Born, Former Chairperson of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) "This is the best book yet to come out of the financial crisis. Das is a graceful, witty writer, with an unusually broad range of reference. He is also a long-time master of the arcana of the netherworlds of finance and nicely balances historical sweep with illuminating detail. Extreme Money is lively, scathing, and wise. " -Charles Morris, Author of "The Two Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Easy Money, High Rollers, and the Great Credit Crash"" ""Like Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Extreme Money launches you into a fascinating and disturbing alternative view of reality. But now greed predominates, the distorted world of finance is completely global, and the people making crazy decisions can ruin us all. This is an informative, entertaining, and deeply scary account of Hades's new realm. Read it while you can. " -Simon Johnson, Ronald A. Kurtz Professor of Entrepreneurship at MIT Sloan School of Management and Author of 13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown "You know when Lewis Caroll, Max Weber, Alan Greenspan, and Sigmund Freud all appear on the same early page that you are about to read an intellectual tour de force. Das is an authoritative and colorful critic of modern markets, and here he weaves financial history and popular culture into an entertaining and blistering social critique of how so many people have come to chase endless financial reflections of the real economy. Extreme Money speaks truth to power. " -Frank Partnoy, George E. Barrett Professor of Law and Finance at the University of San Diego and Author of "F.I.A.S.C.O, Infectious Greed," and "The Match King"

Back cover copy

The human race created money and finance. But our inventions re-create us. Mankind mistook money--a lubricant of society and human well-being--for an end in itself. Finance, the monetary shadow of real things, came to dominate human reality. Extreme Money tells the story of how this happened--and, in so doing, it tells the story of the modern world. Bestselling author Satyajit Das draws on 33 years of personal experience at the heart of modern global finance to narrate this story. Das reveals the spectacular, dangerous money games that have generated increasingly massive bubbles of fake growth, Ponzi prosperity, sophistication, and wealth--while endangering the jobs, possessions, and futures of virtually everyone outside the financial industry. You'll learn how everything from home mortgages to climate change has become financialized, as vast fortunes are generated by individuals who build nothing of lasting value. Das shows how "extreme money" has become ever more unreal; how "voodoo banking" continues to generate massive phony profits even now; and how a new generation of "Masters of the Universe" has come to dominate the world. The new financial fundamentalism: false gods, false prophets "Faith in money, faith in risk, faith in shadows" The cult of risk and the growth engine that isn't "How financial engineering replaced real engineering and illusions replaced reality" Financial alchemy and the "Doomsday Debt Machine" "The rise of the global financial machine we cannot escape" The new global oligarchy--and the nihilistic games they play "Too smart, too fast, too greedy, too self-absorbed--and far too dangerous"