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Chasing Alpha: How Reckless Growth and Unchecked Ambition Ruined the City's Golden Decade

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Published by Bodley Head, part of Vintage Publishing

Format: Hardback


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EAN: 9781847920362
Published: 2 Apr 2009


About the book


In 1997 it seemed that things in the City could only get better. The incoming Labour government gave the Bank of England independence, it introduced a state of the art system of light-touch regulation; and it signalled that it was happy to see finance let rip.

For ten years everything went according to plan. Buoyed by a strong pound and cheered on by an excitable media, the bankers became the heroes of the age. The City embarked on a giddy programme of innovation, asset prices boomed and Britain seemed at last to have shaken off its post-war malaise. Politicians took to lecturing their European counterparts on the need to deregulate, to focus on shareholder value and to dispense with an outdated and discredited social market model.

And then in the summer of 2007 everything began to collapse. One household name after another - Northern Rock, Bradford & Bingley, HBOS - failed or was forcibly merged. Barely a year later the government took controlling stakes in the banking sector and the reputation of the City was in tatters.

In Chasing Alpha Philip Augar tells the extraordinary story of how a major economy tried to reinvent itself as a hedge fund crossed with an offshore tax haven. It is all here: the greed, the guile, the excess. Anyone who worked in finance, and anyone who watched the disaster unfold, will be riveted by this, the first sober history of an intoxicated decade.

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What the critics say

Shows how excel is the inevitably consequence of the structure of the City.
- Evening Standard

A compelling and readable history that will enable the reader to make sense of the collapse of confidence that started in 2007 and became the Credit Crunch
- www.suite101.com

About the Author

Philip Augar worked in investment banking for over twenty years. He led NatWest's global equity and bond business before becoming a Group Managing Director at Schroders. Since 2000 he has combined consulting and writing. This is his fifth book. He can be contacted at: www.philipaugar.com

Philip Augar

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