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Biggs on Finance, Economics, and the Stock Market: Barton's Market Chronicles from the Morgan Stanley Years

Book Description

Released to the public for the first time, writings by the incomparable Barton Biggs

Long considered one of the best brains on Wall Street, Barton Biggs acquired the stature of a legend within his lifetime. Among his many coups, he accurately called the rise and fall of the dot-com market, and was an energetic promoter of emerging markets, including China, well before American businesses began flocking there—and he made vast fortunes for his clients, in the process.

But, as this fascinating book confirms, it wasn't Biggs's genius as a market analyst and hedge fund manager alone that made him special. The product of a keen and broad-ranging intellect in full command of his subjects—and the English language—the letters compiled in this volume leave no doubt that Barton Biggs was one of the most interesting observers of Wall Street, the financial world, and the human comedy, ever to set pen to paper.

  • Released from Morgan Stanley's archives and made public for the first time, the letters compiled in this volume add new luster to Biggs's reputation as a first-class finance author

  • Address the most essential aspects of high-frequency trading, from formulation of ideas to performance evaluation

  • Shares Biggs's fascinating insights and uncannily accurate predictions about an array of economic and financial topics, liberally peppered with historical references and wry humor

  • Organized thematically, the letters showcase Barton Biggs's observations on finance, economics and the stock market, from 1980 to 2003

  • Table of Contents

    1. Cover Page
    2. Title Page
    3. Copyright
    4. Contents
    5. Introduction
    6. Section 1: WHAT'S OLD IS NEW AGAIN
      1. Section 1A: Market History and the Long View
        1. In Search of History and a Word Processor That Works
        2. Kondratieff and the Long Cycle
        3. The Phony War
        4. Ancient History
        5. History, Market Deaths, and the Cult of the Equity
      2. Section 1B: Fire and Ice
        1. The Fire and Ice Debate
        2. Ice Creeps On
        3. A World Lit Only by Fire?
      3. Section 1C: Bubbles and Panics
        1. Manias, Panics, Crashes
        2. Tulipomania
        3. Anarchy
        4. Life on the Good Ship Swine
        5. The New New Thing
        6. When?
      4. Section 1D: Wars and Rumors of War
        1. The Last Supper
        2. The Beam That Broke the Camel's Back
        3. Bioterrorism and the Case for Higher P/E Ratios?
      5. Section 1E: Geopolitics
        1. Popcorn and the Decline of the West
        2. Diary of Mikhail S. Gorbachev—Sunday, May 4, 1986
        3. Close-Up
        4. Diary of Mikhail Gorbachev, May 1987
        5. The Diary of Deng Xiaoping: Wistful and Wishful Musings
        6. Bottomless Pits and Nuts with Missiles
        7. Diary of Saddam Hussein
        8. Islamic Fundamentalism
      1. Section 2A: Economics and Policy
        1. The Evolution of the Supply Side
        2. The Tax Cut Misconception
        3. Running the Movie of the Seventies Backward
        4. The Piper Must Still Be Paid
        5. The Old President with the Right Intuitions
        6. What Kind of People Are We?
        7. Emerging Markets Are Only for the Brave
      2. Section 2B: Investment Discipline & Tactics
        1. Discipline and Reading
        2. How to Lose the Winner's Game
        3. You Gotta Believe
      3. Section 2C: Market Psychology and Investing Philosophy
        1. Contrarianism
        2. Electronic War Rooms and Lying in the Sun
        3. God Is a Mathematician? The Fibonacci Numbers
        4. Beware of Linear Thinkers: Chaos on the Upside
        5. How George Soros Makes Money: The Theory He Says Guides Him
        6. The Horse Whisperers
        7. Mr. Market Is a Manic-Depressive
      4. Section 2D: Alternative Investments
        1. Filthy Lucre
        2. The Bull Market in Art: Mania or Magnificent Obsession?
        3. Jewelry Is a Girl's Best Friend
      5. Section 2E: Market Predictions
        1. First Class on the Titanic
        2. “It's a Bull Market, You Know ...”
        3. Beware the Conventional Wisdom ...
        4. Dear Diary: Up with Which I Have to Put
        5. Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition
        6. “Even Monkeys Fall from Trees”
        7. Big Fish Do Not Live in Small Ponds
    8. Section 3: THE GLOBAL VIEW
      1. Section 3A: China and Hong Kong
        1. Buy Hong Kong
        2. Own Hong Kong Big
        3. More on China
        4. China: “The New Emperors” and the Risk/Reward Equation
        5. How Fast Is China Really Growing?
        6. China Tales
        7. A China Traveler's Tales
        8. China Cooling, Us Heating
      2. Section 3B: India
        1. India Tilts to the Right and the Stock Market Explodes
        2. India for the 1990s
        3. Great Expectations
        4. India: You Have to Go There to Understand
      3. Section 3C: Japan
        1. More on Japan
        2. Long Trips
        3. Japan Inc. Wants a Higher Yen
        4. Japan Bought High and Will Sell Low
      4. Section 3D: Europe, Middle East, Africa
        1. In Eye of the the Storm
        2. You Gotta Own Some Germany
        3. Militant Fundamentalism Spoils the Middle East Story
      5. Section 3E: Latin America
        1. South America for the Nineties
        2. No More Siestas
        3. Argentina: The Magic Show
        4. Buy Mexico and Brazil
        5. Case Study: Peru
        6. Mexico Will Make It
        7. Mexico: Virtuous or Vicious Circle?
        8. Brazil: An Act of Faith
      6. Section 3F: East Asia
        1. The Best-Managed Country in the World
        2. Korea: Fat Premiums, Thin Pickings
        3. Camelot
        4. Letter from Myanmar
        5. Victory Has a Thousand Fathers
      7. Section 3G: Emerging Markets Roundup
        1. A Bigger, Faster World
        2. Jewel in the Portfolio
      1. Section 4A: Lunches with Luminaries
        1. Investment Alchemy
        2. Lunch with the Global Investor
        3. Vanity Fair
        4. Heroine Worship
        5. Poker Games on the Titanic and Sir John
      2. Section 4B: Jim the Trigger
        1. The Summer of 83
        2. The Trigger Comes Back for Lunch
        3. U3 or “Many Shall Be Restored That Are Now Fallen and ...”
        4. The Trigger Finds an Arb
        5. The Trigger Comes to Lunch
        6. Investment Life Its Own Self
        7. A Country of His Own
        8. Talking Technology with Jim the Trigger
    10. Section 5: TRAVELOGUES
      1. Africa
        1. The Idaho High Country
        2. Making a New High on Your Own Time
        3. Stretching the Mid-Life Envelope
        4. Japanese Landscapes
        5. The Snows of Kilimanjaro
        6. Pitfalls in Tokyo, Sand Traps in Colorado
    11. Section 6: BOOKS AND LETTERS
      1. Section 6A: Book Reviews
        1. “Groupthink” and What to Do about It
        2. Captain Money and the Golden Girl Ponzi
        3. The Alchemy of Finance
        4. I Wish We Didn't Have to Play for George Steinbrenner
        5. Noise and Babble
      2. Section 6B: Biggs's Reading List
        1. Too Much to Read
        2. “Books, We Know, Are a Substantial World ...”