June 16, 2009

Well..it is over...Liar's Poker

Well, I should be finally congratulating myself. I finally had the opportunity to finish Liars Poker. In the past five years, I would have at least attempted reading this book over 6-7 times only to finish the first thirty to fifty and dump it for the next time. I have read, albeit one partly, two other books of the same author: Panic, a wonderful book but a jolly evening time read and money culture where I could not understand the head or tail of the book (if there was any sarcasm in that book across chapters which my dear roomate found many, I for sure, did not find any).

Not that Liar's Poker is not interesting. Just that I have a differing opinion of the nature of the job compared to the author and simply cant accept his attempt to trivialize the whole work affair. It was basically this review that prevented me from completing this book.

Having completed this book, I should say that I liked the book. It is simple, good read and should take you less than 4 hours to read the book. If you really want to understand what happened at this time, there are definitely better books around : Den of Thieves, Barbarians at the Gate and the Predators' Ball (have not read this one).

There are a couple of things that should probably come as a few key take-aways from the book: the concept of treasury in a bank and its role, especially investment bank and the skepticism surrounding it. It clearly is difficult to understand when a house would actually keep a security in its book or downsell the same to its clients. If a treasury has the opportunity to make an IRR of 15-18% on its book and would need to compare this with a commission revenue of 1-2 bps on a trade, how would it balance the client and company's interest? Where does the company draw a line between the employee's interest and the shareholder as these banks are inherently employee focussed? How are risks/rewards measured?

A book to read during your travel time only.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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