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Naked Option [Hardcover]

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Item description for Naked Option by Joe Kolman...

Naked Option by Joe Kolman

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Item Specifications...

Pages   272
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.29" Width: 6.38" Height: 1.1"
Weight:   1.19 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Sep 24, 2007
Publisher   Harriman House
ISBN  1905641478  
ISBN13  9781905641475  

Availability  0 units.

More About Joe Kolman

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Joe Kolman has been a financial writer for more than two decades. He began his career in 1983 as an associate editor at Institutional Investor magazine. In 1992, he started Derivatives Strategy, a publication that explained the nascent market in over-the-counter derivatives in plain English. The publication quickly became the leading magazine covering the U.S. derivatives market. In 2005, he became a vice president at AllianceBernstein, where he is a senior writer in the firm's mutual fund division. His writing has appeared in more than a dozen financial publications.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
2Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > General
3Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > Thrillers > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Naked Option?

Intricate, deep, and very educational with a good story.  Jan 28, 2008
I had no idea what a Naked Option was when I picked up this book to read. However, I was immediately drawn into the story of Wall Street just after 9/11, and where the brokers went to work, the changes to their lives, and the trauma that caused David Ackerman to have a "stupid day" that cost him his career, his finances, and changed his life with the purchase of Naked Options.

He is fortunate in getting another job as an auditor in a bank checking the commodities, stocks, bonds traders as he and the new love of his life and audit partner Susanna begin a search to find the missing money. He is hired because it "takes a thief to catch a thief..."

They find more than they are supposed to, and end up exposing a small group of traders who must hide their personal preferences to work their Wall Street jobs and bring in the bucks. In the chase to find the culprits, David and Susanna stir up more trouble than either could have dreamt.

Murder is in this stock market game, and the more they learn, the more apt they are to be targets.

This book is not just about murder, cheating, breaking the law, paying off debts, to name of few of the bonds that keep you reading. It is about faith, religion, and living up to those commitments in finding themselves.

This was not a fast paced book, but one that kept my interest for so many reasons. I am sure others will enjoy this journey into the banking world where learning a bit about the stock market, the differences between types of traders, and what to watch for if you are your own investor.

Four stars -- very enjoyable.

Victoria Tarrani
Brilliant!  Jan 27, 2008
Naked Option is the rare kind of novel that contains the best elements of a thriller (fast pace, crackling dialogue, unexpected plot twists) with an intelligent sensibility and the richness of literary fiction.

Joe Kolman obviously knows the Wall Street scene inside out. He takes us from the gleaming corporate offices to the dingy backrooms where low-level minions process billions of dollars in trades. The dialogue switches easily from traders' banter to police procedural, stepping nimbly from worlds as diverse as the insular Wall Street Orthodox Jewish community to the heavily closeted gay sub-culture. The story is full of nice little touches that you'll remember as if you were there: the lunchtime prayer meeting in the stairwell of a big Wall Street firm; the nervous tic of an executive looking out his window at the ruins of the World Trade Center; the frat-house milieu of a day-trading firm.

But it's the richly three-dimensional characters that make this novel strong: Dave Ackerman, the narrator, is a regular guy who one day, through a mix of ordinary jealousy, stubbornness and bad luck, manages to lose $112 million of his employer's money in one morning; Shoshanna, his love interest, is a woman full of spiritual needs and material desires. A supporting cast includes nice portraits of a gay trader who doesn't dare show his true nature at work, and an NYPD detective who's struggling to solve a murder that may or may not have something to do with trading schemes he can't understand.

Naked Option is a great read. I look forward to the sequel.
Decent Financial Thriller  Nov 8, 2007
I'm generally not one for Wall Street (or any other street) financial thrillers, but I do like fiction that provides a glimpse at new worlds, o thought I'd give this one 10-15 pages to hook me. Rather to my surprise, it did pull me in and I found myself generally entertained throughout. Instead of relying on the standard greed-driven plotline, former financial journalist Kolman delivers a more character-driven crime story set in the world of options trading.

The protagonist is Dave Ackerman, a whiz trader who, in the days following 9/11, has a lapse in self-control over his ego that leads him into a classic "traders dilemma." This is the kind of situation where a trade has gone so poorly that you're probably going to be fired, and the only possibility of recovering is to bet even more money to try and recover. Of course, if that doesn't work, the losses can destroy not just a single career, but an entire firm. (In real life, the most famous example of this is Nick Leeson's $1.4 billion demolition of Barings in 1995.) Dave's problem doesn't approach that level, but it is bad enough to cost him his job and trader's licence.

Bereft of options (ha ha), he takes a job as a kind of financial investigator for another firm. They are convinced that there i something funny going on with their options traders, but need his expertise to figure it out. Dave is teamed with a comely young woman not long out of B-school to try and do some financial detective work. This is all surprisingly engrossing, and the technicalities of it all are quite well explained. What's somewhat less engrossing is the obligatory attraction between the two, and their halting relationship. To his credit, Kolman does a refreshing job of portraying the sexual side of this as very awkward and confusing, however the book could have done without the obligatory romantic subplot.

Meanwhile, a dead body or two pop up, and Dave's financial investigation may be related to the corpses. A distinctive element in all this is the treatment of homophobia within the all-male world of traders, which shifts from cultural commentary to key plot element as the story goes on. Ultimately, however, the financial shenanigans prove to be a good deal more interesting than the possible murders. On the whole, the book is nicely written and clever enough to satisfy readers looking for a a Wall Street-set thriller, but isn't going to end up on any best-of-the-year lists.
Clever and entertaining financial thriller...  Nov 6, 2007
I'll be the first to admit that I'm not into this sort of thriller, but Naked Option intrigued me because it takes place shortly after 9/11 and because there are erotic elements added into the story. After an initial setback, this novel was riveting and enjoyable and I couldn't put it down. More on that later. Naked Option tells the story of Dave Ackerman, a devoted trader who loses over one-hundred million dollars in a desperate attempt to one-up Ray Goodman, his biggest rival. His career is over before he can say bankrupt. Or is it? He takes a job at an investment bank. Something fishy is going on at that place, especially with the beautiful and enigmatic Susanna Cassuto. Dave hadn't imagined the chain of events that transpire after he starts to work at this new firm -- embezzlement, insider trading, mind games and murder. He could kiss his already non-existent career goodbye unless he does something to get his life back. There are some twists throughout the novel.

This novel gives a very insightful look into the world of trading. Everything from unethical behavior, religion to homophobia is discussed at great length. Joe Kolman's writing impressed me. He could give John Grisham a run for his money. Even though, as said earlier, this sort of thriller isn't my cup of tea, I was entertained from (almost) beginning to end and that was due to the author's keen eye for storytelling. There is just one thing I didn't like and feel I must point out. The novel starts out slow. Kolman begins with a narrative that centers on telling rather than showing us a scene. He could have mixed it up by telling us about the world of trading and office politics within a scene. I almost closed the book and stopped reading because of it. I'm glad I didn't. Many authors -- including the established ones -- make this mistake from time to time. Some telling does work in the beginning, if kept short. Anyway, I enjoyed Naked Option. If you're into financial/corporate thrillers, then this is one to look for. I'd say read it, even if you don't like the aforementioned genre. It is that good.
Intelligent financial thriller  Nov 1, 2007
Dave Ackerman is a successful options trader who tries to outdo a cocky co-worker. His financial shenanagins get him in deep trouble and he loses his job. In desperation, he accepts a job as an auditor at an investment bank where, in conjunction with attractive auditor Susanna Cassuto, he carries on an investigation into fraud at the bank. Thereafter, Kolman takes his readers on a wild ride of romance, risk, murder and mayhem, as his hero tries to do his job without losing his job or his life. This is an intelligent, fast-paced financial thriller that doesn't miss a beat. I am living proof that a reader does not have to be savvy about financial matters in order to enjoy this book!

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