Ugly Americans is the true story of John Malcolm, a Princeton graduate who traveled halfway around the world in search of the American dream and pulled off a trade that could be described as the biggest deal in the history of the financial markets.
Without speaking a word of Japanese, with barely a penny in his pocket, Malcolm was thrown into the bizarre life of an ex-pat trader. Surrounded by characters ripped right out of a Hollywood thriller, he quickly learned how to survive in a cutthroat world, at the feet of the biggest players the markets have ever known.
Malcolm was first an assistant trading huge positions for Nick Leeson, the rogue trader who brought down Barings Bank, the oldest in England. He was the right-hand man to an enigmatic and brilliant hedge-fund cowboy, Dean Carney, and grew into one of the biggest derivatives traders in all of Asia. Along the way, Malcolm fell in love with the daughter of a Yakuza gangster, built a vast fortune out of thin air, and came head to head with violent Japanese mobsters. Malcolm and his twentysomething, Ivy League-schooled colleagues rode the crashing waves of the Asian markets during the mid-to late 1990s, culminating in a single deal the likes of which had never been seen before, or since.
A real-life mixture of Liar's Poker and Wall Street, brimming with intense action, romance, underground sex, vivid locales, and exotic characters, Ugly Americans is the untold, true story that will rock the financial community and redefine an era.
"In a truly engaging look at how an innocent who thinks he knows the world does actually end up understanding a small but significant piece of it, Mezrich manages to incorporate solid journalism into a narrative that just plain works." (
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One of my favourite books