Jessie's Reviews > When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management

When Genius Failed by Roger Lowenstein
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's review
Apr 22, 2008

it was amazing
Read in April, 2008

I liked this book. I've never had that much of an interest in finance, or the economy, or markets, other than in the sense that they do pretty much affect my daily life, and I want them to work well. But with Yun working in finance, I've been slowly educating myself, more so I can understand what he does, and what goes on in his world. And honestly, it's kinda fun.
I think that similar to biology, finance is a hard subject to get into. There's a lot of terminology, and without it you tend to just not know what's going on. There's also a lot of ideas, that while simple enough to understand, are complicated to remember. And, much like biology, when it's talked about in popular media, it's either oversimplified so much that you don't actually learn anything, or so un-simplified that it's completely impenetrable to a novice.
But this book, it's great. The author is awesome about repeating things again and again. And it's not textbook at all - it's a story. A good story. It's about a semi-hedge fund that was started in the mid-90's, was run by a bunch of academic economists, made huge amounts of money, and then went bust six years later, in a way that threatened to bring the economy down with it. So yes, good story, good explanations, good book.
Additionally, it brings an interesting perspective to today's current economic problems. It's not the same situation, but there's a similar idea of the difficulty between free market economy, and protection of the consumers. Also, it mentions Jamie Dimon, who is the current head of JP Morgan. Cool!
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