Ugly Americans: A True Story of High Stakes, Dirty Deals and One Man's $500 Million Gamble

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9780099455059: Ugly Americans: A True Story of High Stakes, Dirty Deals and One Man's $500 Million Gamble

The true story of the Ivy League hedge fund cowboys who gambled with the dangerously high stakes of the Asian stock market. John Malcolm, high school football hero and Princeton graduate made his millions back in the early '90s, a time when dozens of elite young American graduates made their fortunes in hedge funds in the Far East, beating the Japanese at their own game, riding the crashing waves of the Asian stock markets, gambling at impossibly high stakes and winning. Failure meant not only bankruptcy and disgrace a la Nick Leeson, but potentially even death - at the hands of the Japanese Yakuza: one of the world's most notoriously violent organised crime syndicates. Ugly Americans tells Malcolm's story, and that of others like him, in a high octane book, filled with glamour, money and the dangers these incur, this true story is a cross between Mezrich's own best-selling Bringing Down the House and Michael Lewis' Liar's Poker.

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Review:

Ugly Americans documents the "Wild East" of the mid-1990s, where young, brilliant, and hypercompetitive traders became "hedge fund cowboys," manipulating loopholes in an outdated and inefficient Asian financial system to rake in millions. Using a concept called arbitrage, they made their fortunes mainly on minute shifts in stocks being sold on the Nikkei, the Japanese stock market, collapsing banks and nearly bankrupting the Japanese economy in the process. Other schemes were also concocted, most of which were technically legal, though certainly unethical. This true story revolves around "John Malcolm," who, in exchange for anonymity, agreed to give Ben Mezrich all the access and information he needed to write this book. As a recent Princeton graduate in the mid-1990s, Malcolm accepted an undefined job offer from an American expatriate in Japan to work in the investments field. Though he had no prior experience, he facilitated 25 million dollars worth of trades on his first day on the job, and it just got more exciting from there. He soon joined a small group of expatriates, all in their twenties and mostly Ivy League graduates, who lived like rock stars, thriving on the stress and excitement of their jobs to create their own steroid versions of the American Dream half a world away. Mezrich tells this riveting story well, incorporating elements of the culture into his narrative, including the infamous and pervasive Japanese "Water Trade," or sex business, romantic intrigue, and even run-ins with the Yakuza, the Japanese mafia. Though there is little real analysis of their financial dealings and how they ultimately changed the rules of finance in Asia, this entertaining page turner does offer a glimpse into a world little explored in print until now. --Shawn Carkonen

About the Author:

Ben Mezrich is the author of a number of fiction and non-fiction thrillers, published worldwide to critical acclaim. His biography of social media giant Facebook and its creator Mark Zuckerberg, The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal was a number one bestseller, and was adapted into the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award winning film, The Social Network.

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Book Description Cornerstone, United Kingdom, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The true story of the Ivy League hedge fund cowboys who gambled with the dangerously high stakes of the Asian stock market. John Malcolm, high school football hero and Princeton graduate made his millions back in the early 90s, a time when dozens of elite young American graduates made their fortunes in hedge funds in the Far East, beating the Japanese at their own game, riding the crashing waves of the Asian stock markets, gambling at impossibly high stakes and winning. Failure meant not only bankruptcy and disgrace a la Nick Leeson, but potentially even death - at the hands of the Japanese Yakuza: one of the world s most notoriously violent organised crime syndicates. Ugly Americans tells Malcolm s story, and that of others like him, in a high octane book, filled with glamour, money and the dangers these incur, this true story is a cross between Mezrich s own best-selling Bringing Down the House and Michael Lewis Liar s Poker. Bookseller Inventory # AB99780099455059

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Book Description Cornerstone, United Kingdom, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The true story of the Ivy League hedge fund cowboys who gambled with the dangerously high stakes of the Asian stock market. John Malcolm, high school football hero and Princeton graduate made his millions back in the early 90s, a time when dozens of elite young American graduates made their fortunes in hedge funds in the Far East, beating the Japanese at their own game, riding the crashing waves of the Asian stock markets, gambling at impossibly high stakes and winning. Failure meant not only bankruptcy and disgrace a la Nick Leeson, but potentially even death - at the hands of the Japanese Yakuza: one of the world s most notoriously violent organised crime syndicates. Ugly Americans tells Malcolm s story, and that of others like him, in a high octane book, filled with glamour, money and the dangers these incur, this true story is a cross between Mezrich s own best-selling Bringing Down the House and Michael Lewis Liar s Poker. Bookseller Inventory # AB99780099455059

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Book Description Arrow Books. Book Condition: New. 2005. Paperback. In the early '90's, dozens of elite young American graduates made their fortunes in hedge funds in the Far East, beating the Japanese at their own game, riding the crashing waves of the Asian markets and winning. This title tells the story of these people. Num Pages: 352 pages. BIC Classification: 1KBB; BG; BT. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 130 x 23. Weight in Grams: 252. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780099455059

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Book Description Arrow Books, 2005. Book Condition: New. 2005. Paperback. In the early '90's, dozens of elite young American graduates made their fortunes in hedge funds in the Far East, beating the Japanese at their own game, riding the crashing waves of the Asian markets and winning. This title tells the story of these people. Num Pages: 352 pages. BIC Classification: 1KBB; BG; BT. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 130 x 23. Weight in Grams: 252. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099455059

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Book Description Cornerstone. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Ugly Americans, Ben Mezrich, The true story of the Ivy League hedge fund cowboys who gambled with the dangerously high stakes of the Asian stock market. John Malcolm, high school football hero and Princeton graduate made his millions back in the early '90s, a time when dozens of elite young American graduates made their fortunes in hedge funds in the Far East, beating the Japanese at their own game, riding the crashing waves of the Asian stock markets, gambling at impossibly high stakes and winning. Failure meant not only bankruptcy and disgrace a la Nick Leeson, but potentially even death - at the hands of the Japanese Yakuza: one of the world's most notoriously violent organised crime syndicates. Ugly Americans tells Malcolm's story, and that of others like him, in a high octane book, filled with glamour, money and the dangers these incur, this true story is a cross between Mezrich's own best-selling Bringing Down the House and Michael Lewis' Liar's Poker. Bookseller Inventory # B9780099455059

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