The Alchemists of Finance

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There is a huge special issue of the Economist, all about the many flavors of Investment Banking, titled The Alchemists of Finance. The alchemists of finance:
This broad review of banking, trading, and markets is quite fascinating (and free if you sit thru a flash advert) 

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Its a definite must read this weekend. Here’s the related articles:

The alchemists of finance
Black boxes 
Les fleurs du mal 
Capital spenders 
Merchants of boom 
Share-cropping 
Here, there and everywhere 
The art of courtship 
Comeback kid 
The wobble factor 
Eggheads and long tails 
Spreading the muck
Audio interview

Also of interest is the cover story: America’s Fear of China

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. Greg0658 commented on May 19

    : )

    I love the cuddly panda bear shot.
    I do hope our military doesn’t shoot him/her down.

  2. V L commented on May 19

    Fantastic collection of articles!

    P.S. If someone is having a hard time (as I did initially) with displaying the entire articles (premium content) without subscribing to the Economist , you will need to disable “Ad Filter” (if you have IE7pro) or “Adblock Plus” add-on (if you have Mozilla Firefox). After disabling the ad filter, you will get a Free One Day Pass sponsored by Chevron.

    I just want to take a moment to thank Chevron for this one-day pass. In addition, I want to thank Chevron (and Big Oil) for our 9% over the last month or 3% over the last week additional gasoline price increases (taxes?).

    Big Oil is the only business where mismanagement (constant non-stop refinery problems) increases the margins. (Former Home Depot CEO Robert Nardelli would do just fine in Big Oil business)

    Company Mismanagement = Higher Gas Prices = Higher Profits = Multimillion Bonuses in Your Packet

  3. Barry Ritholtz commented on May 19

    Well, as long as we are giving big ups to Big Oil for big performance: BP and COP get my gratitude . . .

  4. sam commented on May 19

    V.L
    I tried that w/ IEpro but to avail (disabled Adblocker)
    I read parts of it yesterday, but couldn’t finish it.
    Any ideas?
    thx

  5. dblwyo commented on May 19

    Well another good argument for switching to FF ?
    BR – continue to be impressed at your ability to function w/o sleep; or was this traing reading on the way home ?

    In addition the Special Report and the China artilce a perfect pair to the latter is “Lost in Translation” which is free and takes a deep dive on yuan exchange rates real history and the implications.

    For the record a) the Yuan could appreciate considerably w/o offsetting the manufacturing cost advantage and b) the Chinese financial system is so fragile that a significant appreciation could readily collapse the economy which among things would c) dry up the huge flow of reserves into US securities.

  6. deejayoh commented on May 19

    “I just want to take a moment to thank Chevron for this one-day pass. In addition, I want to thank Chevron (and Big Oil) for our 9% over the last month or 3% over the last week additional gasoline price increases (taxes?).”

    Hey – don’t thank Chevron. They’re buying oil to make that gas using the same declining dollar the rest of us are using. Perhaps if we joined the European Currency union, prices of imports would be more stable (‘cept for Chinese goods, of course)

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