A quick buck
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A quick buck

Just as Wall Street bankers go back to work from their summer vacations, the latest financial thriller is hitting the bookstores.

The Velocity of Money is a bestseller-by-numbers collage, with the technical jargon of Tom Clancy, the bullet-dodging lawyer of John Grisham, the breathless prose of Jeffrey Archer ("STATUS - 107% AHEAD OF SCHEDULE" prints out a computer at one point).

Ludicrous but enjoyable, it centres on a scheme by mastermind Philip Colbert and what author Stephen Rhodes describes as a "cadre of evil financiers" to cause a 50% stock market crash and make billions in the process.

Rhodes, a financial lawyer who now works at a hedge fund, wrote the book during three-hour journeys commuting to work from his Connecticut home. His day job is trading credit derivatives, which probably explains how he can write phrases like "structuring derivative instruments is as good as it gets for an attorney on Wall Street".

The book will be published on October 19 - the tenth anniversary of Black Monday. It's the perfect birthday present for that special derivatives lawyer in your life. Felix Salmon

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