After years of media coverage, do we really understand the financial engineering that brought the global economy to the brink? The lexicon of the markets is laden with terms and acronyms like leverage, securitization, MBS, CDS, and CDO. How can the average person crack the code?Veteran journalist, senior producer at NPR's Marketplace, and Whiteboard Guru. Paddy Hirsch proves it's not impossible to understand what goes on in the glass and steel canyons of Wall Street. In Man vs. Markets, he shows how most international financial transactions are the same as those taking place in stores, car dealerships, and even playgrounds on Main Street.Bonds? They're basically just loans. Futures? You probably used one when you ordered your Thanksgiving turkey last year. Options? Ever bought a fully transferable, returnable airline ticket? It's pretty much the same thing.Using the humor and the knowledge of everyday experiences, Hirsch offers accessible explanations, anecdotes, and analogies of the instruments that power our financial system and that very nearly caused its demise.
Our lives are affected by the financial markets on a daily basis, but even with the rise of financial journalism and Internet access to financial information, how markets operate remains a mystery to many average Americans. In his first book Hirsch, journalist and producer of American Public Media's Marketplace, offers a straightforward, accessible, and often hilarious overview of our financial and economic systems, products, and concepts. Using colorful but simple analogies from daily life to explain complex financial instruments such as derivatives or swaps, Hirsch populates the stories with madeup characters with colorful names and speech patterns. For example, he draws on the tiered benefits of first-class and coach tickets within the airline industry to explain the basics of corporate capital structure and uses an entertaining tale of buying a Thanksgiving turkey to teach options. Organized in manageable chapters, with cartoon illustrations by Dan Archer and callout boxes sprinkled throughout to highlight certain concepts, this helpful, amusing, and engaging beginner's guide to our financial system is sure to delight and inform readers of all ages who want to understand and navigate the markets. Illus. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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August 28, 2012
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