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Readers reviews of APOCALYPSE ROULETTE

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This is an entertaining and information book that examines the increasing role derivatives, forex and OTC trading plays in modern banking. It was written before 1997 but it remains a very good coverage of the subject area. In this sense it is prescient in terms of some of the derivative meltdowns that developed in later years. Unfortunately there is little evidence that regulators have learnt from the mistakes prior to 1997, or later.

The rise in popularity of OTC products like Cash For Difference and spread betting contains the same type of counter party risk as explored in this book. Individual traders like to think they are immune from systemic risk – just as the banks did in the late 1990’s. This book encourages us to think again. Exchange based trading where counter party settlement is guaranteed offers a high level of protection in an unstable financial world.

We are well accustomed to articles on historical equity driven bubble market crashes. We are less accustomed to understanding the role derivatives played in these crashes. The first systematic description of options and futures trading was written in 1688. All that has changed is the speed of trading. Despite the fancy mathematics, the risks remain remarkably similar.

This is a book well worth buying if you see it on the remainder shelves. It was one of the first insider accounts of derivative trading.



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