Synopses & Reviews
After years of TV and radio coverage, gallons of newsprint ink, and billions of scholarly opinions on the blogosphere, do we really understand the financial engineering that brought the global economy to the brink?
The terms and acronyms that make up the language of economics are enough to cause the layman's head to start spinning: leverage, securitization, futures, options, MBS, CDS, CDO. Luckily, we have veteran journalist Paddy Hirsch—senior producer at APM's Marketplace and acknowledged Whiteboard Guru—to help us crack the code. In Man vs. Markets, he proves that it's not impossible to understand what's going on in the glass-and-steel canyons of Wall Street; that most international financial transactions aren't all that different from those taking place every day in stores, in car dealerships, even on the playgrounds of Main Street.
Bonds? They're basically loans. Futures? You probably used one when you ordered your Thanksgiving turkey last year. Options? Ever bought a fully transferable, returnable airline ticket? That's pretty much the same thing.
With a winning combination of acquired wisdom, common sense, market savvy, and an outrageous sense of humor, Hirsch clearly explains and defines the instruments that power our financial system and very nearly caused its demise. Clever, insightful, hugely educational, and always entertaining, Man vs. Markets translates the often confusing language of finance, enabling every one of us to truly comprehend what makes the markets tick.
"Our lives are affected by the financial markets on a daily basis, but even with the rise of financial journalism and Internet access to financial information, how markets operate remains a mystery to many average Americans. In his first book Hirsch, journalist and producer of American Public Media's Marketplace, offers a straightforward, accessible, and often hilarious overview of our financial and economic systems, products, and concepts. Using colorful but simple analogies from daily life to explain complex financial instruments such as derivatives or swaps, Hirsch populates the stories with madeup characters with colorful names and speech patterns. For example, he draws on the tiered benefits of first-class and coach tickets within the airline industry to explain the basics of corporate capital structure and uses an entertaining tale of buying a Thanksgiving turkey to teach options. Organized in manageable chapters, with cartoon illustrations by Dan Archer and callout boxes sprinkled throughout to highlight certain concepts, this helpful, amusing, and engaging beginner's guide to our financial system is sure to delight and inform readers of all ages who want to understand and navigate the markets. Illus. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“A straightforward, accessible, and often hilarious overview of our financial and economic systems, products, and concepts….[T]his helpful, amusing, and engaging beginners guide to our financial system is sure to delight and inform readers of all ages who want to understand and navigate the markets.” Publishers Weekly
“This accessible, often entertaining book will serve a valuable purpose.” Kirkus
“This book is a must-read for the financially under-educated....This inviting text provides a good springboard for investigating more of the frightening world of finance.” 800CEORead
“Why cant more financial books be this fun to read? Man vs. Markets deconstructs economic theory in a way that makes learning more fun than you ever expected.” Better Investing
Man Vs. Markets by Paddy Hirsch of NPRs “Marketplace” is economics explained, pure and simple, for the layperson who wouldnt know a “bond” from an “option,” and who believes that a “future” is when well all have flying cars. Here is an illuminating, insightful, and wonderfully witty journey of discovery through the often confusing financial markets, offering clear, relatable explanations and definitions of the systems various instruments, yet less simplistically than the popular ...for Dummies series. Man Vs. Markets is a must-read handbook for everyday investors, serious students of finance and economics, and everyone who wants to understand what theyre reading when they open their newspapers to the business section.
About the Author
Paddy Hirsch is a senior producer at American Public Media's business radio program, Marketplace. He is the creator of the acclaimed and popular Marketplace Whiteboard, which was a Webby honoree in 2009, and has been featured on network and public broadcast television. He recently completed a Knight Fellowship in Journalism at Stanford University. Hirsch lives in Los Angeles, California.