THE MONEY BAZAAR: Inside the Trillion-Dollar World of Currency Trading by Andrew J. with Edward Claflin Krieger

THE MONEY BAZAAR: Inside the Trillion-Dollar World of Currency Trading

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An authoritative, if pedantic, introduction to the mercurial foreign-exchange market, where daily trading volume ranges up to $700 billion--and millions can be gained or lost on the judgments of youthful MBAs like the author. Having made a name for himself at Salomon Brothers and Bankers Trust before striking out on his own, Krieger has an insider's knowledge of a demanding profession. Unfortunately, he conveys only hints of the high-stakes game's risks and rewards, opting instead for a matter-of-fact recitation of its fundamentals. The author nonetheless provides an accessible rundown on the globe-girdling network in which nervy traders buy or sell American dollars, French francs, German marks, Japanese yen, and other hard currencies for the accounts of money-center banks, multinational corporations, securities firms, and a handful of private investors. He also makes a good job of clarifying the supply/demand forces that move the unregulated, round-the-clock market--and why it matters. But apart from self-congratulatory accounts of a few fondly remembered coups (including a killing in New Zealand kiwi), Krieger offers precious little material that's not available elsewhere in more detailed form. Indeed, he devotes the bulk of his text to a sketchy monetary history of the industrial world from Bretton Woods to the present. While the author hits such high points as 1971, the year the US went off the gold standard (creating a need for the foreign-exchange market now in existence), his narrative loses considerable momentum when he stops for explanatory background. Appreciably more interesting are Krieger's unhedged views on the greenback's prospects as a reserve currency and allied subjects. Worth noting, though, is that he borrows (without credit) from Michael M. Lewis (of Liar's Poker fame) a what-if scenario of the potentially dire consequences of an earthquake in Tokyo. An essentially academic exercise lacking in the personal perspectives that could have made it much more than a primer.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1992
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Times Books