FIASCO - Frank Partnoy

This book is basically the counterpart to Hull. Where the other is full of dry maths explaining the valuation of complex financial instruments, this book provides motivation. It's the story of a fixed income derivatives salesman in the early '90s, and it goes into great depths explaining the dodgy motivation behind a number of trades, which were designed to, for example, allow fund managers much greater risk-taking than they should have had, or cover up loses off balance-sheet.

Written as a warning about the derivatives industry, the author was a bit shocked to find some people taking it as motivation to get into the area. Either way, I found it pretty informative.

Posted 2004-12-08.