Hedge Hogs by Barbara T. Dreyfuss
The Cowboy Traders Behind Wall Street's Largest Hedge Fund Disaster

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews

A well-crafted investigation for nonspecialists about an obscure, needlessly arcane corner of Wall Street.


For readers of The Smartest Guys in the Room and When Genius Failed, the definitive take on Brian Hunter, John Arnold, Amaranth Advisors, and the largest hedge fund collapse in history

At its peak, hedge fund Amaranth Advisors LLC had more than $9 billion in assets. A few weeks later, it completely collapsed. The disaster was largely triggered by one man: thirty-two-year-old hotshot trader Brian Hunter. His high-risk bets on natural gas prices bankrupted his firm and destroyed his career, while John Arnold, his rival at competitor fund Centaurus, emerged as the highest-paid trader on Wall Street. Meticulously researched and character-driven, Hedge Hogs is a riveting fly-on-the-wall account of the largest hedge fund collapse in history: a blistering tale of the recent past that explains our precarious present . . . and may predict our future.
Using emails, instant messages, court testimony, and exclusive interviews, securities analyst turned investigative reporter Barbara T. Dreyfuss charts the colliding paths of these two charismatic traders who dominated the speculative energy market. We follow Brian Hunter, the Canadian farm boy and elbows-out high school basketball star, as he achieves phenomenal early success, only to see his ambition, greed, and hubris precipitate his downfall. Set in relief is the journey of John Arnold, whose mild manner, sophisticated tastes, and low profile belied his own ferocious competitive streak. As the two clash, hundreds of millions of dollars in pension and endowment money is imperiled, with devastating public consequences.
Hedge Hogs takes you behind closed doors into the shadowy world of hedge funds, the unregulated wild side of finance, where over-the-top parties and lavish perks abound and billions of dollars of other people’s money are in the hands of a tiny elite. Dreyfuss traces the rise of this freewheeling industry while detailing the decades of bank, hedge fund, and commodity deregulation that turned Wall Street into a speculative casino.
A gripping saga peppered with fast money, vivid characters, and high drama, Hedge Hogs is also an important and timely cautionary tale—a vivisection of a financial system jeopardized by reckless practices, watered-down regulation, and loopholes in government oversight, just waiting for the next bust.

Praise for Hedge Hogs
“Regulators, legislators and judges inclined to sympathize with the industry ought to rush out and buy a copy of Barbara Dreyfuss’s Hedge Hogs, a wonderfully instructive tale about Amaranth Advisors. . . . Dreyfuss, a Wall Street analyst turned investigative journalist, not only plowed through what turned out to be a treasure trove of official records and transcripts, but supplemented it with plenty of her own reporting. She manages to organize it all into a tight, riveting and understandable yarn.”—The Washington Post

“Clearly and entertainingly told . . . a salutary example of how traders who believe they are super-smart might be nothing more than lucky, and how there is nothing so intoxicating as the ability to speculate with other people’s money.”—The Economist

“[Dreyfuss] does a great job of putting Amaranth’s out-of-control trader into historical context, explaining the blitz of deregulation that set the stage for someone like Hunter to do maximum damage.”—Bloomberg
“The definitive take on the largest hedge fund collapse in history . . . You will not be able to put it down.”—Frank Partnoy, author of F.I.A.S.C.O. and Infectious Greed

Named One of the Top 10 Business & Economics Books of the Season by Publishers Weekly

About Barbara T. Dreyfuss

See more books from this Author
Barbara T. Dreyfuss was a Wall Street analyst for twenty years, covering health policy issues. She was part of a five-member Washington, D.C., team that consistently won top honors in Institutional Investor magazine's ranking of Wall Street analysts. She was a senior correspondent for The American Prospect, and has contributed to The Washington Monthly, Mother Jones, and The Veteran.
Published May 21, 2013 by Random House. 320 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Business & Economics, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for Hedge Hogs
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1


on Apr 16 2013

A well-crafted investigation for nonspecialists about an obscure, needlessly arcane corner of Wall Street.

Read Full Review of Hedge Hogs: The Cowboy Trader... | See more reviews from Kirkus

The Economist

Above average
on Jun 08 2013

She is perhaps a little too swift to tar the entire hedge-fund industry...

Read Full Review of Hedge Hogs: The Cowboy Trader... | See more reviews from The Economist

Reader Rating for Hedge Hogs

An aggregated and normalized score based on 35 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review