Markets: Who Plays, Who Risks, Who Gains, Who Loses

Martin Mayer, Author W. W. Norton & Company $18.95 (303p) ISBN 978-0-393-02602-3
Recent Wall Street insider-trading scandals are only the tip of the iceberg, notes bestselling financial author Mayer ( The Bankers , The Lawyers ) in this penetrating study of world equity, commodity and currency trading prior to the October 1987 stock-market meltdown. He points to commodity-trader price-hiking collusion, among other abuses, and to brokerage houses that compete with their own fiduciary clients. With lively quotes and anecdotes, Mayer describes the major markets: for example, Chicago's trading pits with frantic speculation in pork bellies, wheat, cattle, bonds, exchange rates and ``index futures'' (a gamble on a market as a whole); the structured and currently complacent world of Tokyo bankers and brokers (the Japanese in 1986-87 bought three-fifths of the U.S. deficit-financing bonds); London's mum's-the-word Eurodollar traffic and morning gold-price ``fixing''; Switzerland's silent vaults; and the New York Stock Exchange, where contrary to general wisdom, the author finds, program trading (automatic sell orders) did indeed intensify the October debacle. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1988
Release date: 06/01/1988
Paperback - 303 pages - 978-0-393-30652-1
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