I’m running this clip of Satyajit Das for several reasons. First, it gives a very good big picture view of the problems with the Eurozone rescue fund, and is germane given that those concerns are coming to the fore (witness our post earlier today). Second, more generally, it gives readers a chance to see him in action (since he is based in Sydney, he doesn’t get the play he deserves). He’s direct and able to cut to the heart of an issue quickly (and he is used to good advantage in Inside Job).
Third, this serves as an excuse to tell you to buy his book, Traders, Guns, and Money: Knowns and Unknowns in the Dazzling World of Derivatives, if you haven’t done so already. It’s a classic precisely because it accomplishes the difficult task of making a complex subject accessible to laypeople, in this case the netherworld of derivatives.
Traders, Guns and Money is not only very informative, it was one of the few books in the finance realm that is actually funny (Das might prefer it to be called witty). Das is an engaging storyteller, drawing on a combination of his own experiences (camouflaged a tad so as to protect the innocent) and some of the high profile derivatives disasters. His opening tale, of an Indonesian noodlemaker’s efforts to recover from its derivatives misadventures, has some scenes in it that are simply priceless.