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F.I.a.S.C.O.: Blood in the Water on Wall Street

by Partnoy, Frank

  • ISBN: 9780393046229
  • ISBN10: 0393046222

F.I.a.S.C.O.: Blood in the Water on Wall Street

by Partnoy, Frank

  • List Price: $25.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
  • Publish date: 01/01/2005
  • ISBN: 9780393046229
  • ISBN10: 0393046222
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Description: F.I.A.S.C.O. is an insider's diary, a shocking education in the jungle of high finance in the 1990's from New York to Tokyo. It tracks the progress of a young Morgan Stanley salesman as he learns the ropes of this sophisticated jungle where billions of dollars are lost in the creation and trading of securities so un-likely and so complicated that almost nobody -- certainly not the unwary or under-educated buyer -- understands them. And some of that money, whether you know it or not, may be yours.

Frank Partnoy's journey is partly comical, and full of incredible characters, but what he learns should stir fear in anyone who owns mutual funds, stocks, or even insurance. It is a world filled with feral "rocket scientists", clever salesmen who persuade unsuspecting victims to buy derivatives (whose value is linked to and "derived" from some other security). These salesmen regard their creations as weapons of mass destruction, and in simple yet absurd ways, maneuver them to "blow clients up" or "rip their faces off".

Partnoy's colleagues sharpen their killer instincts at an annual drunken skeet-shooting competition called F.I.A.S.C.O., the Fixed Asset Sporting Clays Outing. Against well-trained derivatives salesmen, buyers don't face much better odds than a clay pigeon, and the actual fiascos involve billions of dollars of well-publicized losses at Orange County, Barings, Procter & Gamble, and many others. The story also explains other losses, secret until now, including one financial killing, code named "MX", that won the single largest fee in Wall Street history.

In 1994, when the author attends F.I.A.S.C.O., and when the first big derivatives losses hit, the rallying cry at MorganStanley was clear: "There's blood in the water. Let's go kill someone". As this story shows, that's exactly what they did.

In the words of one highly successful derivatives salesman, his job is to "lure people into that calm, and then just totally fuck 'em".

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