The New York Times bestseller
“The bright light shed by More Money Than God is particularly welcome. Mr. Mallaby . . . brings a keen sense of financial theory to his subject and a vivid narrative style.” —Wall Street Journal
“Splendid . . . the definitive history of the hedge fund history, a compelling narrative full of larger-than-life characters and dramatic tales of their financial triumphs and reversals.” —The Washington Post
The first authoritative history of hedge funds-from their rebel beginnings to their role in defining the future of finance, from the author of The Power Law
Wealthy, powerful, and potentially dangerous, hedge fund moguls have become the It Boys of twenty-first-century capitalism. Beating the market was long thought to be impossible, but hedge funds cracked its mysteries and made fortunes in the process. Drawing on his unprecedented access to the industry, esteemed financial writer Sebastian Mallaby tells the inside story of the hedge funds, from their origins in the 1960s to their role in the financial crisis of 2007 to 2009—and explains why understanding the history of hedge funds is key to predicting the future of finance.
Journalist Mallaby (The World's Banker) gives unusually lucid explanations of hedge funds and their balancing of long and short positions with complex derivatives, but what really entrances him is their freedom from regulation, high leverage, and outsized performance incentives. In his telling, they empower a heroic breed of fund managers whose inspired stock picking, currency trading, and futures contracting outsmart the efficient market. In engrossing accounts of epic trades like George Soros's 1993 shorting of the pound sterling and John Paulson's shorting of subprime mortgages, the author celebrates hedge titans' charisma, contrarianism, and market insights. Mallaby contends that hedge funds benefit the economy by correcting market anomalies; because they put managers' money on the line and are small enough to fail, they are more prudent and less disruptive than heavily regulated banks. Mallaby's enthusiasm for an old-school capitalism of unfettered risk taking isn't always persuasive, but he does offer a penetrating look into a shadowy corner of high finance.