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


Named a top business book of the year by the Financial Times, Kiplinger's Personal Finance, and Library Journal

Praise for A Demon of Our Own Design

"This book is powerful stuff. When the hero of the story is a cockroach, you are assured of a controversial, illuminating, and fascinating discovery of where the financial risks really lurk and how to avoid them. Bookstaber knows whereof he speaks."
—Peter L. Bernstein, author of Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk

"Are you ready for the real deal? An insider, everysider view of the Wall Street calamities that have kept investing tantalizingly hot and frighteningly volatile since the crash of '87. For an in-depth, curtains-open, and coolly written exposition of Wall Street, Bookstaber is my man."
—Mark Rubinstein

Professor of Finance, UC Berkeley

"He understands the inner workings of the financial markets. . . . A liberal sparkling of juicy stories from the trading floor."
—The Economist

"I cannot recommend this book too highly. It is a clear exposition of what the combination of derivatives, leverage, and hedge funds can do to the markets."

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.



About the Author.

CHAPTER 1 ~ Introduction: The Paradox of Market Risk.

CHAPTER 2 ~ The Demons of ’87.

CHAPTER 3 ~ A New Sheriff in Town.

CHAPTER 4 ~ How Salomon Rolled the Dice and Lost.

CHAPTER 5 ~ They Bought Salomon, Then They Killed It.

CHAPTER 6 ~ Long-Term Capital Management Rides the Leverage Cycle to Hell.

CHAPTER 7 ~ Colossus.

CHAPTER 8 ~ Complexity, Tight Coupling, and Normal Accidents.

CHAPTER 9 ~ The Brave New World of Hedge Funds.

CHAPTER 10 ~ Cockroaches and Hedge Funds.

CHAPTER 11 ~ Hedge Fund Existential.

Conclusion: Built to Crash?