[KINDLE] ❁ The Asylum By Leah Mcgrath Goodman – Gasengineersinglasgow.co.uk

[KINDLE] ❁ The Asylum  By Leah Mcgrath Goodman – Gasengineersinglasgow.co.uk
  • Hardcover
  • 416 pages
  • The Asylum
  • Leah Mcgrath Goodman
  • 10 September 2018
  • 9780061766275

The Asylum The Asylum Is A Stunning Expos By A Seasoned Wall Street Journalist That Once And For All Reveals The Truth Behind America S Oil Addiction In All Its Unscripted And Dysfunctional GloryIn The Tradition Of Too Big To Fail And Liar S Poker, Author Leah McGrath Goodman Tells The Amazing But True Story Of A Band Of Struggling, Hardscrabble Traders Who, After Enduring Decades Of Scorn From New York S Stuffy Financial Establishment, Overcame Than A Century Of Failure, Infighting, And Brinksmanship To Build The World S Reigning Oil Empire Entirely By Accident


About the Author: Leah Mcgrath Goodman

An award winning freelance journalist, Leah McGrath Goodman spent a decade in New York and London as an editor, senior writer and special correspondent for Dow Jones Co., breaking hundreds of stories on the oil market and the New York Mercantile Exchange for the Wall Street Journal and Barron s She has written for Forbes, Cond Nast Portfolio, the New York Times, the Financial Times and The


10 thoughts on “The Asylum

  1. says:

    It is rare I give a negative review for a book, but feel compelled to do so in this case If you are buying this book to get a better understanding of how NYMEX affects current oil prices then stare clear as it fails in every way to offer an explanation Instead this book is like a series of magazine articles on the various characters who made up the NYMEX during its glory years Notice i write magazine article Thats because even these profiles lack real depth normally found in a book and instead are incredibly repetitive and bland There is not a single character in this book who you really feel you have gotten to know even slightly below the surface So the book fails as both an expose on the oil markets and even as an interesting profile on the traders made up the NYMEX Other than insiders who may get a chuckle recalling some old friends or foes, I can t think of many people who will not find this book at least 100 pages too long and still very much lacking in depth.

  2. says:

    This is arguably close to my favorite book I ve read this year It blends a muckracking researching prospective with direct quotes The book is probably 50% quotes from the actual Nymex traders which makes it much interesting The book highlights the development of the oil market as the rough traders of the Nymex pried the power of pricing oil from OPEC and delivered it to the select few traders in Nymex By pricing oil on the exchange, suddenly people purchasing gas didn t have to do so straight from the middle east or opec, they could buy it when it was sold on the exchange for a completely different price, often a realistic price at first Throughout the book it is clear that each trader is self concerned even when the entire stability of oil price is placed in their hands Each trader is portrayed as an awful human being by themselves as they describe the inability to work at in the pits without drinking, doing drugs, and hiring massive amounts of prostitutes on business trips The cut throat nature of the business is fascinating and the degree to which the traders disregarded every professional standard is amazing, whether they hire people straight off the streets, make bets with the loser dressing like a girl, or putting interns under immense pressure to see which ones are cut out for the job Much of this book is like a recollection of all the gossip and cutthroating going on The best part about this book is how the author spends each chapter following one specific member of the exchange that was crucial in chronological order and turns it practically into a biography She does a great job at tracking each character and really helps give the reader an idea of what it was like during that time with much help from personal accounts All of the guys are extremely witty and make me laugh multiple times a chapter AS an example, when the Nymex was upgrading they installed fancy, phallic shaped soap dispensers and at the end of a board meeting one member said yeah, i just wanted to let everyone know I finally managed to remove all you guys teeth marks for the soap dispensers The room just exploded We were pounding on the tables We were laughing so hard we were crying Even thought the joke isn t hilarious, their reaction and the retelling is hilarious Most of the funny parts of this book is just the amazing things that happened to them, for them almost crashing in a plane to waking a guy up on a phone conference by telling the hotel he was at that he was having a heart attack.By the end of the book or each chapter you really feel like you care for each of these awful people just because they are witty and hard working On a different note, i learned a lot about trading oil In 2008, oil is traded 4 5 times by speculators before the physical oil is purchased Today, market prices are actually pushing gas prices higher than they should be Even if OPEC increases production, Milton Friedman s theory that too much money chasing too few goods creates price rises really comes to life here the price can be artificially increased by making huge orders for oil contracts Today on the online exchange banks can and do do this pretty often with OPEC admitting that it has very little power over the price of oil Just by selling buying tons of contracts near close can assure a price swing I don t care what anyone says about it I was there and i have been there from the beginning. and since the oil market s gone to the screen, we ve seen prices go up sometimes 5 to 10 a barrel a day Even on the really crazy days in the past, you dirndl see daily price moves of than a couple dollars usually, I want to know, what is happening out there that is warranting a price change of that magnitude Did an oil field blow up Is there a new world war being fought somewhere The market s no longer reflecting supply and demand It used to be fundamentally driven Theres no new war, no big supply disruption, and suddenly oil is going through the roof Just guys trading around the world in giant rooms they re calling arcade At this point, oil inventories will hold their inventory until gas is high enough where they can make their profit, thus holding the us consumer hostage the other part of the book was basically showing how corrupt and awful government agencies regulating markets are The government barely regulated dual trading, which is when a person will trade their own futures just before they trade their customers so they can get a bigger profit on insider information The CFTC sucked the entire history of its existence with awful courts that are biased against big time traders with an appeal process that runs through its own department The CFTC also never regulated anything because of a lack of power and the revolving door As a reference to the book My Face is Black is True, the CFTC is as corrupt as the postal service back in the day A good quote about the inaction of the department the CFTC s probe into the NY silver market also mysteriously ground to a halt In a lengthy letter, the agency reported finding no evidence of any market manipulation, despite handwritten complaints from than 500 SILVER INVESTORS BEGGING IT TO LOOK INTO what they believed to be deeply suspicious activity The trades themselves are asking for some investigations and the department ignores it Unreal, so many times this organization drops the ball in this book Whats amazing is that the Head of the CFTC eventually becomes CEO of Nymex and realizes he should have been regulating much harder, and the new head of the CFTC has to knowledge of the industry and chooses not to regulate it It just makes you wonder if the revolving door actually helps with creating competent government officials.Another interesting thing is that back in the 90s i believe the traders went to a military base for military exercises and had a simulation which they beat the military guys at, yet they were much ruthless and showed less regard for their own teammate s safety and for achieving the goal then, years later when they have full control over the market, the gov still lets them by giving them self regulation even though they have seen that the traders only care about the money and power The section about 9 11 was fascinating Obviously the terrorists were bent on destroying the corrupt financial sector of America, yet almost all of the traders survived the group that did get killed was actually setting up a meeting to ban dual trading, yet since the terrorists killed them the ban never happened Thats some pure irony To make all of the traders confusing, though they don t care that they destroy the oil market and the american economy, they put ridiculous amounts of money into charities for post 9 11 Perhaps the most heroic part of the book is when the chairman Viola actually hires private ferries, police officers, air conditioning units, firemen, and others to get the exchange running only a few days later It was interesting reading about Enron after watching the documentary countless times Enron actually partially created the collapse of 08 because the Enron loophole they pushed in Congress actually increases the lack of regulation in the over the market derivatives and other complex financial tools market which is what caused the collapse, specifically the deregulation of the credit default swap market A healthy market had to be carefully balanced between the speculators, who were essentially gambling on prices, and the commercial hedgers, like oil companies and refineries, which were in the market to specifically protect themselves from price pops and drops If the volatile living speculators outnumbered the stability loving hedgers then the prices would be controlled by something other than supply and demand In fact, supply and demand makes little sense in this market comparatively At times, Big Oil traders makes price changes that don t make sense When Florida has a freeze and the price of orange juice goes up, you don t hear everyone blaming Big Citrus Another fav part is a cameo by Chavez in 2004 when US gas prices were crazy high where it says he began a charity drive to five away hundreds of millions of dollars worth of fuel to thousands of American poor who could no longer afford to pay full price for heating oil Overnight, in the ghettoes of cities across 23 states, he became an unlikely folk hero What a hero, even if his motivation was the undermine the us gov There were also some supporting evidence for the target revenue model Although the cartel had lost its grip on the oil market it found it could always raise raise the price OPECcould raise oil to 200 a barrel tomorrow if they really wanted to. but they don t do it Why Because they are RATIONALTheir objective is to charge as much as the market will possibly bear without restricting us form affording oil Basically, they set prices to keep us hooked, make as much money as possible without running out of supply.Maybe the funniest part is when Greenpeace protestors barged into the trading pit and released helium balloons with airhorns tied to them The traders beat the hell out of the protestors We thought we were going to die , one protestor said gasping over the phone A very telling part of the book was when she focuses on the gas stations Gas stations really just set the price they can to make even a few pennies on each gallon of gas When people hate on the gas stations its really unwaranted because they don t have a choice but sell at high prices Relating back to Mill, the fact that these exchanges are self regulated and each person has its self interest, this sector has the right to be regulated by the government heavily, for with competing interests the exchanges have the potential and often do hurt other people through their laissez faire policies.You have to wonder why the government is letting conflicting interested people make such big ramification decisions for the market Another insightful thing is why physical oil is important to hedge than for speculators I think its all right for traders who need to hedge their price risks on the physical energy assets to get an exemption to trader gas futures contracts it is purely speculative traders who are only in the market to place bets that i have a problem with It makes sense to could buy if you owned physical oil, then you could hedge against it since your business completely relies on that oil, like refineries On the other side, if the price did fall and you didn t trade escheat oil your company wouldn t go under without hedging At this point, heading is so prevalent that people are hedging against the dollar Back in the day before screens, the traders knew every trade going on in the world because it was coming through them, so if Goldman was making a huge sale to swing the price of gas, they could counteract it today, no one is on top of it which makes it so dangerous Can the gov really regulate that

  3. says:

    John read this book and wrote this review For a non fiction book this read like a fiction thriller The character real people actually seemed like characters out of a novel Excellent If I was a rogue I would have been an oil trader Find two copies of this fantastic book at the Dover Free Library This author was the featured speaker this summer at the Library s Annual Dessert Social Fundraiser The video can be seen on our Facebook or BCTV.org

  4. says:

    So much fun it could have got another star but this isn t a 5 star book Read it, enjoy it, and then go looking for serious writing.I also thought it was good as an introduction to some of the practicalities of exchange markets.

  5. says:

    Interesting read Lots of silly trivia that attempts to make NyMex look like a bunch of cowboys, but the 3rd party review of a complex political economic organization from many different perspectives is very interest There are some valuable lessons always tread carefully, always watch your back You can see that nothing that transpires was remotely fair , but by being in the right place at the right time, you definitely have a big head start in terms of taking care of yourself.The moral of the story was basically that in spite of it s corruption and in efficiency, having actual traders on the floor that could see each other face to face, that new all of the players it wasn t a perfect solution, but it would regulate prices If somebody wanted to drive up prices with a big buy, or down with a big sell the traders new who was doing it and could call their bluff Nobody would try anything too ridiculous, because you would get caught.Now days, manipulating the market is easier for those with big piles of assets It s bigger, so you need money to make the manipulation happen but since all the traders are just looking at numbers, there s no accountability, and no way to call someone s bluff.Most importantly, this is the story of how Lou Guttman, Hungarian emigre, was able to transform the exchange from dealing on Potato contracts to Heating Oil contracts, and eventually to set global energy prices It s a story in line with McDonalds in terms of entrepreneurial success but with one problem Guttman was an employee of NyMex, not the owner He didn t play the politics well In spite of being the man who made NyMex what it became, he was pushed out.Corporate America 101.

  6. says:

    I went into The Asyulum with high hopes Finally a book that exposed the oil futures industry for what it was a reckless and greedy bunch of traders who systematically gamed the system for profit Goodman s book provides some of that, but stops far short of what could have been one of the most damning exposes of a dangerous financial system in years The book is thin on the economics behind the system, which involves traders rapidly buying and selling oil they do not physically posses, and instead fills the pages with the seedy and sordid tales of executives who used enough cocain to put Tony Montana to shame and bought enough hoes and hookers to make the oil futures market the setting for the next Lil Wayne song That s not to say the book was a complete failure Goodman does paint an interestning picture of the men and occasional woman who make up the shady and ellusive business of oil futures Sadly though, it is less of a searing indictment of a whole system that something shocking made for E Television or for Piers Morgan would gush about for an hour on CNN.

  7. says:

    I am surprised I gave this book a 4 star rating due to my frustration and anger with the people and stories of Corporate America Wall Street in this book It is a stranger than life book that could be made into a movie, which would need an R rating The greed, idiocy, hubris, and love of power that was characteristic of the majority of the people in this book was beyond frustrating at times But, it certainly opened my eyes, which is a good thing A definition of asylum is an institution offering shelter and support to the mentally ill Wall Street, Corporate America, call it what you want certainly appeared to be the institution offering shelter and support to people who may not have been mentally ill, but were certainly morally ill.

  8. says:

    A crude yet funny book covering the history of NYMEX Despicted all the ugliness of the NYMEX traders yet also concludes why it s better to have them than the faceless electronic trading we have now Good job putting finance in layman s terms for the average reader.

  9. says:

    An interesting account of the rigged oil market How our elected representatives are complicit in fostering a rigged oil market that is costing the consumers billions, and making a few individuals and financal institutions billions of dollars A must read for those who are fed up with our elected representaives working for the special interests groups to the detriment thier constituants.

  10. says:

    Never gonna look at prices at the pumps the same way again Goodman lives in Brattleboro, Vt., where I work She appeared on the radio station just before I did one day That s how I heard of this book The way she made complicated things understandable was inspiring Enjoyed every minute of this book Recommend it

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