Author(s): Sebastian Mallaby
Wealthy, powerful and potentially dangerous, hedge fund moguls have become the It Boys of twenty-first century capitalism, succeeding the leveraged-buyouts barons of the 1980s and the dot-com wizards of the nineties. Their weekend mansions are doffer for Vanity Fair photographers; their potential to cause chaos preoccupied authorities even before the recent financial cataclysm. Based on unprecendented access to the industry, including three hundred hours of interveiwed and binders of internal documents, More Money Than God provides the first authoritative history of hedge funds, telling the inside story of their origins, their explosive battles with central banks and finally their role in the financial crisis of 2007-2008. Hedge funds reward risk-takers, so they tend to attract larger-than-life personalities. Ken Griffin of Citadel started out trading convertible bonds from his dorm room at Harvard; a boy genius made good, the financial version of the entreprenerds who forged tech companies such as Google. And there are more. A saga of riches and rich egos, More Money Than God is a history of discovery, or the search for inefficiencies that lurk within supposedly efficient markets. Ever since the 1950s, finance professors have argued that beating the market is impossible; so how do the titans earn hundreds of millions, year after year? The answers lie in the extraordinary fertility of hedge funds, which draw on insights from physics, economics and psychology to crack the mysteries of the market. More than just a history More Money Than God is a window on tomorrow's financial system. It describes how hedge funds have been left for dead after past financial panics, but how they have also survived the test of 2008 far better than its rivals. The future of finance lies in the history of hedge funds.
Hugely topical, informative and entertaining, this book should attract wide media attention Based on unprecedented access, including binders of internal documents and hundreds of hours of interviews, More Money than God pierces the veil of secrecy surrounding hedge funds to provide the first authoritative history of an industry that has remade finance An exciting general read for fans of Barbarians at the Gate, The Snowball or Liars' Poker
Shortlisted for Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award 2010.
'The best account ever published of the economics, politics and adrenalin of these amazing firms. It shows why hedge funds dominate the world of finance and why the politicians who rail against them end up making them more powerful' Anatole Kaletsky 'A warts-and-all history of hedge funds...a splendid account of the ups and downs of an industry in which few of the twenty-something hedge-fund wannabes know their history. They, and meddling politicians, should read this book before they are condemned to repeat it' Financial Times 'An enormously satisfying book: a gripping chronicle of the cutting edge of the financial markets and a fascinating perspective on what was going on in these shadowy institutions as the crash hit' Observer 'A superbly researched history of hedge-fund heroes stretching back to the 1950s, it is a fascinating tale of the contrarian and cerebral misfits who created successful, flexible businesses in an otherwise conventional financial world' Economist
Sebastian Mallaby is the Paul Volcker Senior Fellow in International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations and a Washington Post columnist. He spent thirteen years on The Economist, covering international finance in London and serving as bureau chief in Southern Africa, Japan and Washington. From 1999 to 2007 he was a member of the editorial board of the Washington Post, focusing on globalization and political economy. His previous books are The World's Banker (2004) which was named as an Editor's Choice by the New York Times and After Apartheid (1992), which was a New York Times Notable Book. He lives in Washington with his wife, Zanny Minton Beddoes, the economics editor of The Economist.