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FIASCO: Blood in the Water on Wall Street
ISBN: 0393336816     Date Published: 2009-04-06     Author(s): Frank Partnoy
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W. W. Norton & Company
272 Pages
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06/20/2013 01:31:45
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Total Reviews: (48)
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25 of 25 People found the following review helpful.

Flawed, but superb nonetheless, June 1, 1998 By A Customer This review is from: F.I.A.S.C.O.: Blood in the Water on Wall Street (Hardcover) A very good introduction to derivatives (and even some general finance for novices) and one of the better looks at how degenerate Wall Street culture can be. Though comparisons are frequently made to Liar's Poker, I found FIASCO to be a more useful read, even though it's not quite as funny as Liar's Poker was at its best. The usual tales of arrested development among Wall Street's community are here, but there's a much more gripping and sobering tale of how rapacious greed knows no bounds, and how a large number of actors, including large multinationals and even governments, ultimately pay the price. Partnoy doesn't tell his story as smoothly as he could, and his narrative sometimes feels larded with anecdotes that don't add much color or relief. He also struggles at times to weigh his role in the big picture. Overall though, he describes his experiences and general Wall Street culture with enough insight that you can feel his disgust, and applaud when he eventually steps away...
14 of 14 People found the following review helpful.

Derivatives sales people as conscienceless sharks, April 24, 2000 ByDennis Littrell (SoCal) - See all my reviews This review is from: F.I.A.S.C.O.: Blood in the Water on Wall Street (Hardcover) Partnoy, now a law professor at the University of San Diego, was a derivatives salesman for First Boston and then Morgan Stanley, 1993-95. In this "tell all," revenge-tinged book, he makes the crew at Morgan Stanley look like nerdy brutes without conscience, intent only on ripping off people's faces. (Their expression.) The acronym in the title stands for "Fixed Income Annual Sporting Clays Outing," during which the traders at Morgan Stanley "honed their killer instincts." Partnoy quotes his boss at Morgan Stanley as saying after some derivative losses, "There's blood in the water. Let's go kill someone," meaning, sell them risky derivatives while we cut ourselves a huge commission.Strangely readable book. The greed and money lust and the pathetic macho posturing of the derivatives sales people fascinated. The stupidity of the bankers, insurance fund managers, etc. who bought the risky and complicated derivatives concocted by the Morgan Stanley people, amazed...
10 of 10 People found the following review helpful.

Better than Liar's Poker, February 24, 2001 By A Customer This review is from: F.I.A.S.C.O.: Blood in the Water on Wall Street (Hardcover) I am a trader working in derivatives in one of those financial firms. I thought this book was on a more detailed(complex) level than Liar's Poker. While I highly related to Liar's Poker during the earlier part(trainee/junior analyst) of my career (many similar events occured for me as well) I can now relate even more with this book (after working for four years). I think many people can have trouble with the complexities as FIASCO tries to explain in depth the structures of complex derivatives. I though that these explanations which were fascinating in showing the creativity of certain banks. This was an element missing in Liar's Poker. Also I don't think that Partnoy's main focus was that banks were just ripping off "innocent victims". There are many people in finance who are restricted from leverage (increasing risk) and willing to pay for it. If Wall Street has the monopoly on giving leverage to those who don't have legal access, they will certainly get large profits...
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