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.
©2004 Ben Mezrich; (P)2004 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
"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." (Publishers Weekly)
This book was captivating. The plot was awesome and the story is almost unbelievable, I found myself really hoping that every bit of it was true. The reader was one of the best that I have heard and it wasn't too long of a book--I found myself wanting more in contrast to other 12-15 hour unabridged books that I have listened to. Really the only downside to this book was the fact that there was so much unneccessary swearing. The narrator would even swear sometimes, which kind of turned me off. I appreciated the cultural lessons that I learned and felt like it had the perfect combination of intellectual stimulation and relaxation. I highly recommend this book to anyone--but maybe not for to anyone's mother.
If you like Liar's Poker and other anecdotal accounts of high finance, you will enjoy this book. It is very entertaining, and not too complex; very interesting insights on Japanese culture, at least from an expat's perspective. I recommend it.
The book had very exciting likeable characters and it was written in a style that sounded realistic.
Very interesting story if you are into finance and economics, or just plain suspense.
I recommend it. The only thing I don't like is the silly music that keeps coming up every section.
I bought this book because I really liked Bringing Down the House, one of Ben Mezrich's other books. I think the real difference in the two is that Ben reads this book. He's definitely not the best narrator. Overall though the book is entertaining and gives some interesting insight into Japanese culture.
I found it to be a good story, but the author should use a professional narrator. I found him far too cold and monotone. The delivery killed the story in my humble opinion.
This was quite enjoyable. As you listen to the book you get the distinct impression that most of the characters are actually fictionalized versions of real people.
But it is a great read about the wild world of gut check investing and alot more entertaining than some other similar books I have listened to.
This book reads like a movie. The pace is quick and interesting throughout. There are interesting insights about brokers and the type of lifestyle they lead -- or rather, would like to live.
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