Infectious Greed

How deceit and risk corrupted the financial markets

Recent corporate scandals have brought our attention to the dangerously complex and unregulated financial practices of some of the world’s most successful companies. Frank Partnoy, author of the riveting business bestseller F.I.A.S.C.O.: The Inside Story of Wall Street Trader, brings his impressive understanding of complex financial transactions and legal expertise to a fascinating tour of the institutions, scandals, and business cultures that brought us to this moment. In tracing the evolution of increasingly complex derivatives’ use over the past fifteen years–and an appetite for risk and return that made it possible–Partnoy demonstrates that despite the media’s narrow focus on Enron, it was only the tip of the iceberg. The culmination of a steady erosion of personal and institutional control, today’s financial landscape is loaded with ticking time bombs with far greater potential for harm and loss than any other period in our history.


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“Readers are unlikely to find a more readable explanation of how the financial system has changed since the 1980s and who came unstuck.”

-Financial Times

“Frank Partnoy knows the landscape from the inside… A good, snappy read.”

-The Washington Post

“Ambitious…A useful book, bringing together details of half-forgotten scandals from the past fifteen years.”

-The New York Times Book Review

“Partnoy makes it appallingly clear as these hedges against debt have evolved and become increasingly convoluted, the number of takers who will never understand them, much less profit from them,, has continued to swell…Riveting.”

-Kirkus Reviews

“Deftly traces the deterioration of market efficiency and safety in dozens of stories of bad behavior.”

-The New York Observer