Watcha Readin'?

Will add that to the list. :+1:

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Just wanted to thank you for recommending “The Guns of August” book. I am only a couple of hundred pages in but it is fascinating how the author brings all of the strands together in a way that otherwise are missed.

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Given it’s World Book Day, and my Son went as Indiana Jones; I think it’s worth remembering what a friggin’ legend George Lucas should be to anyone who lived through the 80s onwards.

I actually picked-up a 1978 copy of Star Wars from the village phone box last year; in very good nick.


I’ve started Belonging, a book on DEI. Good so far.

You really are a barrell of laughs at the moment :partying_face:

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Yes, peer pressure at work to dress up today. Took an easy option of where’s Wally!

Currently reading The Night Manager by Le Carré


Just to tease you…

A book written by a chap with a PhD in particle physics, and former research scientist at the Niels Bohr Institute. Published a graduate textbook on quantum gravity, and speaker at international physics conferences.

Just started this. The author spills the beans on the dark side of the industry. Bet he is popular.

Don’t know if anyone will answer this, but he has already explained that:

  1. Frontrunning is illegal.
  2. It is common.

(Apparently frontrunning is when you know what a trade will be, eg buy £10million, but before you execute the trade you buy it yourself, that pushes the price up, and whey hey instant profit, at the expense of whoever the customer is, or something like that).

This is probably a naive question but is the city as corrupt as he is making out?

Bringing back the Beaver by Derek Gow.

After finishing a book about species extinction in the UK (including beavers), this seemed appropriate to read next.
It’s a short book, only 170 pages so it moves along at a decent pace.
UK government (central and devolved) and civil service do not come out of it looking good.


Front running is where you have a client order to do something that you know will move the market price so you trade on your own account before executing the client trade so you benefit from the movement.

I don’t think it’s fair to say that the City is corrupt.

Some people do have the opportunity to make money illegally, but there’s a lot of transaction monitoring and compliance in place to make that difficult without getting spotted.

Obviously you’ve got a lot of people who are heavily incentivised to do things to boost their P&Ls and therefore their bonuses, but I don’t think the big firms are institutionally corrupt. The senior managers regime would send the bosses to jail if they weren’t running appropriate controls :man_shrugging:


And also too simple. Compare to other markets for a sense of what unregulated looks like before tarring the whole industry.


Thank you Whisk.

It’s Gary, the (I assume) ex trader, who is exposing, not me Joex. I am just asking if what he writes is true.

Decided to go down market, picked two of these up at a second hand stall in Skipton at the weekend.

Will get stronger if nothing else, 928 pages!


At the very lowest level any trade entered onto a system would be routed to an authorise queue for checking and in some cases they even have secondary auth. Then the regulators on top, think its safe to say 99.9% + of traders wouldnt get past entering it. Then the very real risk that authorise queues may be prioritised by value over FIFO.

As always there will be the odd case, but a very rare exception that will almost inevitably get caught


I am trying to get my mind around a simple thing.

  1. Traders trade, brokers do the matching. Supposedly without the market knowing who the trade is for. The book talks about Citi.

  2. Brokers being clever geezers do lunch, and tailor everything, right down to cocaine and clubs, to the desires of each individual trader. They seem to put a lot of effort into this, to the person, personalisation of experiences.

  3. Obviously brokers want the business from the traders.

  4. But I am not getting why the doing lunch is so important in terms of “getting around the rules” as surely a broker knows who has called him/her. Surely as long as the broker doesn’t say ‘x plc bid 62 for Citi’ then the market remains unaware of the trading institution.

Maybe I have misread the few words on this (the chapter is mainly about the lunches), but I don’t get it.

Can anyone illuminate?

In a bank all/most phone calls are recorded and/or potentially monitored real time, its not rocket science to see why they discuss fraud in person rather than over a phone.


Ah, yes.

Thank you Hammerer.

I have just realised Hammerer that, given the author describes what sort of things are discussed at these lunches and dinners, he has given a fairly good account of insider trading, I think. (Not being in that world maybe not).

As well as stating that illegal frontrunning is common (though I hear what you and Whisk have explained above).

And I have barely started the book!

Given he names names, gives nicknames, desk (eg stirt), companies, I bet he is popular right about now (the book was only published days ago).

I’ve been meaning to post this for ages. This book was a present from LO’s Godmother in New Jersey.
She has been the head PA to successive 2ICs at Goldman Sachs for years. She’s very very well connected and was invited down to the Whitehouse for something or other and got this signed by CK when there was some kind of shindig going on.


you can expense lunch…