Business Ugly Americans in 1991 Ben Mezrich Term Paper

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In 1991, Ben Mezrich graduated magna cum laude from Harvard. Since passing out he has written seven books. The combined printing of all his books in nine languages is a staggering more than a million copies. Among his books are the New York Times best seller and blockbuster 'Bringing down the House: The True Story of Six MIT Kids Who Took Vegas for Millions'. This book is being made into a major motion picture. The producer is the actor Kevin Spacey and he is doing the production under the banner of MGM. The Ugly Americans is the eight book of Ben Mezrich and is his second nonfiction book. (Author Tracker)

One can easily understand how this book gets to be selected for being made into a major motion picture. It tells the story of a man attaining the American dream in Japan; The intrigue of forbidden love and loyalties being tested, which all culminate in a happing ending are all contributing factors to this. There is a minimum of technical terms and concepts making it easy to understand. The reader's attention is riveted to the book by using the shock value of the large dollar amounts and a look into the Japanese sex industry. The Ugly American is a remarkable story of the world of money and opportunity, which very few people in this world experience and that makes it difficult to put down. This entertaining book will make hours vanish quickly and you will be held in amazement at the risks and rewards people experience. (Curled up with a good book)

Ben Mezrich once said, "I write for people who don't read." His second attempt at nonfiction The Ugly Americans is not recommended for those who want the real picture of the Asian financial markets. Yet, The Ugly Americans makes entertaining reading, because of its themes of sex, young people making vast sums of money. (When Yen Go to Your Head) The 'Ugly Americans' gives a clearly documented view of the "Wild East" mid-1990s. It shows how young, brilliant and over-competitive traders become "hedge fund cowboys" and manipulate the loop- holes in the old and inefficient Asian financial system to enable them to make millions of dollars. This money came by making minute shifts in stocks being sold on the Japanese stock exchange, Nikkei, using a concept called arbitrage. This led to the collapsing of banks and almost ruined the Japanese economy. Other technically legal schemes, though definitely unethical, were also made use of in this money raking in effort. This story is focused on "John Malcolm" and on the guarantee of anonymity was the person to provide all the activities, insight and information, that was required to write this book. (Editorial Review:

Seeing television images of Japanese CEOs apologizing with tears in their eyes for inferior business decisions supports the notion that the Japanese business culture is an environment that abounds with eccentric customs and unique traditions. See what happens in a true adventure, when a group of young, motivated and maybe reckless Americans attempt to intrude on this culture and inject a dose of Western bravado into the East. They cash in on the Japanese financial markets, mock at what is thought to be legal and also tangle with the Japanese Mafia, the Yakuzu, all at the same time. (Curled up with a good book)

John Malcolm along with his so called Hedge Fund Cowboys operated in the Asian markets from the mid-1990s to the late-1990s. They pressed computer keys and speculated with hundreds of millions of dollars on the market movements. They toasted with champagne on the beaches of Japan, when they succeeded. Their losses caused momentous results. Looked at from any angle these expatriates are not sympathetic. Both their defeats and victories were equally outrageous. They live ridiculous lives and claim to be searching for the American dream in the Wild East. They prove to be shallow, self-indulgent and pathetic. The very fact that they came from the Ivy League colleges of America places large doubts on the integrity on these those passing out of these Ivy League institutions as elites. In addition, since they are mainly American it speaks out volumes as to why the American system is so widely despised worldwide. (The ridiculous life of John Malcolm)

The book 'Ugly American' opens with John Malcolm just passed out of Princeton. He has made no plans and hence has no idea of what to do with his Ivy League degree. All of a sudden he gets a call from a stock trader he met while playing an exhibition football game in Japan. Three days later, Malcolm is on a plane bound for Japan. This is just the second time Malcolm is leaving America. Even before he leaves Itami airport he is hit by the differences in culture. He does not know Japanese and his pockets are empty. Malcolm soon finds himself engulfed in the exciting world of money as an expatriate trader. Despite the different cultures, Malcolm finds himself at home trading on the Nekkei, the Japanese stock market. This is despite being surrounded by characters, which appear to have come from a Hollywood thriller. His first job is to work as a keypuncher in Osaka. Malcolm quickly works his way up in this cutthroat environment and moves to a position in Tokyo, the epicenter of Japanese trading. Tokyo is where the big sharks in the world of Japanese trading operate and Malcolm soon learns about the high risks and high rewards of the Japanese trading culture. (Curled up with a good book)

Malcolm receives support from his powerful boss John Carney. John Carney is a man with skills whereby he manages to have the right information talent and guts to make millions of dollars of bets on the Nekkei and make a killing. All that looks grand till Malcolm comes across the Japanese Mafia, the Yakuza, and realizes that the access and influence that they have makes Carney look like small fry. Despite his best efforts, Malcolm is unable to ignore the rising conflict of interest between Western and Eastern methods of dealing in business. He also cannot avoid the collision course his business interests and that of John Carney are on with the Yakuza. Malcolm has become a successful trader and is about to enjoy the spoils of success, when he has to deal with this inexorable sense of the impending showdown with the Yakuza. In between all this he falls in love with the daughter of a Yakuza gangster, making matters worse in this situation. He manages to escape from Japan with his money, girl, and without injury to himself, using skills that are seldom taught in the Ivy League classrooms. (Curled up with a good book)

Mezrich style of writing is that of an amateur and he peppers his narratives with expletives and italics to add punch, where it is not required. His characterization of Carney as the macho alpha-male trader and Malcolm's girlfriend Sayo, as the mysterious Asian beauty has the familiar ring of a cliche. All that can be said about his style of writing is the words ring clear enough to permit the interesting story to come out .The description of the expatriate life in Japan, is what makes the effort put into reading the book worth it. Traders spend the days on their computers trading millions of dollars and spend the nights at expatriate bars binge drinking or go to expatriate brothels. While the expatriates do business with the Japanese, they are completed separated from Japanese culture and on that vein any culture at all. The most interesting character in the book is Carney. Carney is considered a legend in Southeast Asia. Rumors on him are a dime a dozen. They include that he is a genius, consorts with the Japanese mafia, the Yakuza and is a transvestite. (When Yen Go to Your Head)

Another rumor is that he is a member of one of the vampire cults that suck blood in the dead of the night. The sarcastic half white, half Asian backgammon playing co-worker of Malcolm, Akari is the most amenable and believable character of the book. He becomes Malcolm's best friend and partner. Malcolm's girlfriend Sayo is beautiful, as the book requires her to be so. Malcolm is fairly a low-key character himself. The financial community has its own star system, similar to Hollywood, but they resemble shooting stars. Leading traders rise to the top gaining fame and respect, only to find at the next moment that they are banished to unemployment, prison or obscurity. Malcolm worked at the Osaka exchange for Nick Leeson, who by himself was responsible for bringing down one of the oldest and most respectful banks in England, namely Barings, all of a sudden. We also see some details of Joe Kett of Peabody fame. Joe Kett was considered the wonder boy at Peabody, but was finally found to have been padding profits. Carney is…

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