Oct 13, 2010

Book I read - "Cityboy": Beer and Loathing in the Square Mile

From play.com
I've been lately reading just business related books, so it was fun to get my hands on bit more narrative one for a change. Book still is business related and about banking world and more specifically about what's really happening in the banks of London. It's based on true experiences of the writer Geraint Anderson who was working inside the system for 12 years.

Book really tries to shock you. It feasts with dirty details how money, sex and drugs play huge role in a world full of egoistic individuals of banking. Those seem to contain mainly quite young white men. It shouldn't be no surprise to anyone involved in team sports or being part of other manly activity groups that there are lot of men like this in world. These cityboys in London, just happen to get too much money and respect out of the work they do and that makes them act like this.

The other part of the book is really about how screwed up the economic system has been. When people get short term rewards on how well they anticipated the markets and how much commissions their company gets, I can see there's room for cheating and trying to manipulate the market to get more rewards. Book attacks the most toward Hedge funds which are in this book seen as the most greedy form stock markets. Still quite equally it blames most of the cityboys beings selfish, money addicted assholes. Still I wouldn blame only the playes, I'd blame the rules.

I have an insider also in London banking system, an old friend who's been working there for 7-8 years already. I must admit that he's view to normal world is sometimes bit distorted, which kind of a proofs the point of the book. Still I don't believe it's all that bad, there's lot of really talented and motivated people out there, who are not definitely only about sex, drugs and money, but about business itself. Lot's of these cityboys really commit (read: waste) their lives to making money to themselves and their companies.

The book itself is a bit longish sometimes when Geraint tells lots and lots details about drinking and partying. Also it requires a bit of an interest towards stock markets and banking to really follow all the curiosities that are being told. Part I enjoyed the most was actually the epilogue, where author confesses that money and working like hell doesn't really matter that much and didn't really make him happy. Maybe it's just because I'm not in this banking world, and I'm just jealous. But I've really tried to think similarly for sometime already. I do enjoy working, but I still do it only for living and not the other way around.

Often there's one sentence that sticks in my mind after reading a book and the one in this book was: "Everybody just needs to make their own mistakes." That's so true. If you believe in some pattern of living bad enough, there's no one who can convince you to change the pattern. The only way is to really see the mistake yourself.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

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