Jan 10, 11
Read in December, 2010
More entertaining than a history of hedge funds has any right to be. The book is chockfull of colorful anecdotes, and clearly demonstrates that some hedge fund titans are genuinely interesting people. Still, interesting though they may be, they also mostly come off as bunch of macho, immature, materialistic jerks, and Mallaby sometimes seems just a bit too awed by their money-making prowess, which strikes me as a rather sad commentary on him (and them).
I think that the more interesting aspects of this book trace the way that the growth of hedge funds has affected modern finance and political economy. Here, Mallaby is much shrewder, and he also advances a provocative thesis--despite all of the opprobrium they attract, hedge funds are fundamentally productive contributors to our economy in ways that, say, the big investment banks and rating agencies are not. I'm not sure I agree with him or the conclusions he draws, but they're worth grappling with.