I have an informal self-education in this topic. I have, for example, a basic ready definition of what a money market fund is, and how a mutual fund works. This refreshes these basic understandings across the full range of markets, and sharpens them nicely. Alongside definitions we get well-chosen bits of background and history where appropriate. It moves briskly and held my attention well.
I love and devour books constantly, and this one stands out even among the best. Here, blended together, are clear and basic tutorials in business, economics, finance and trading, and plenty of the language in these fields. Grain turns out to be a great way to illustrate these ideas, deals and processes. The author reads her book, which is yet another great facet: it is just right to hear this in the voice, inflections and embodiment of a midwestern person, who grew up in that environment, then went to higher education and sharpened the tools and understandings. Her voice and content are both so wholesomely midwestern, it provides perfect packaging for these themes. This book is right in the mainstream of our economy's thinking and language, and a very fine bit of teaching, yet this is a very singular expression, all its own, unlike anything I've seen. My unqualified thanks to this author for her work.
This is not a deep-analyzing treatise of how the derivatives markets work, or where they are heading. There were a few limited passages on that, especially at the end, which were my favorite parts of the book. This author is a good explainer. This book is more a readable snapshot of some fairly recent times during the merger of Chicago Board of Trade and Chicago Mercantile Exchange, seen from inside CBOT (and a recent-hire, mid-level employee's perspective, not a dealmaker in the situation). Sometimes (unfortunately, right at the start) it dwells a bit on trivial office life and personalities. When will authors get that the tinny shallow supposed flamboyance of some of these people are mostly pathetic, and beside the point? I guess it is thought to add color. However, I found it a listenable tour through a place and time, with some very very basic explanations of the business of these organizations. And, it was an OK blow-by-blow of living through a corporate merger. Overall, this was a relaxing and light sort of business read, and in that, worth it. It really whet my appetite to learn more about these markets and exchanges. I wish we had something with more meat to it, in that regard, a bit more technical.