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Leg the Spread A Womans Adventures Inside the Trillion-Dollar Boys Club of CommoditiesTrading
ISBN: 0767908554     Date Published: 2004-10-05     Author(s): Cari Lynn
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320 Pages
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Editorial Review - Book Description:

In this insightful volume, Lynn gives readers a glimpse into the world of the "Merc," or the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, a rough, gritty, action-packed scene dictated by money and testosterone—a place where women are outsiders. Lynn, an artistic type who never properly explains (and doesn`t seem to know herself) why she wanted to prove herself in a place like the Merc, uses the stories of the many women she interviewed and heard stories of to illustrate how a man`s success is easily measured in dollars, while a woman`s success takes into account many complicated factors. The harassment, teasing, double standards, unfair practices and overall rough-and-tumble environment make for an exciting, fast-paced backdrop in which men are traders and women are wannabes, gold diggers and worse. The book`s pace is good, the women`s stories are sometimes downright riveting and this account reads like a novel. These women aren`t heroines—most are in it for the money, and there is little in the way of happy endings or morals for the stories. But readers are treated to a skilled presentation of the sights, sounds and even smells of a world that few women—or men, for that matter—ever truly understand.
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Total Reviews: (29)
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16 of 18 People found the following review helpful.

Behind the Scenes at the Boys' Club, October 30, 2004 Bytakingadayoff "takingadayoff" (Las Vegas, Nevada) - See all my reviews This review is from: Leg the Spread: A Woman's Adventures Inside the Trillion-Dollar Boys Club of Commodities Trading (Hardcover) Does anyone else out there like to read about other people's jobs? Even though I don't particularly want to be a clerk or a trader in Chicago or New York, it was fascinating to read about it. Cari Lynn's story of her two years as a clerk in an aggressively masculine job is easy to read, a result of her background and years of experience as a journalist. She describes how she got the job, how she learned to do the job, and the day-to-day routine of the work. She really gets going when she describes some of the characters she got to know. One of my favorites is the eccentric Alice, who trades all morning at home, then holds court all afternoon at the dining room at the Board of Trade. Knowledgable in many subjects, she is obsessed with trading and tremendously successful at it. Cari Lynn learns a lot from her. You can learn a lot of terminology and ins and outs of the trade from this book, or just skim the more technical parts and enjoy the atmosphere and the...
9 of 11 People found the following review helpful.

Been there, done that, February 12, 2005 ByStephen Wisdom (Westport, CT United States) - See all my reviews This review is from: Leg the Spread: A Woman's Adventures Inside the Trillion-Dollar Boys Club of Commodities Trading (Hardcover) A disappointing book. The author clerked at the CME for two years, and "Leg the Spread" is a quasi-memoir, although it's mostly a grab-bag of anecdotes and life stories of Merc traders and clerks she got to know. The book is too pedestrian to be "literature" but insufficiently trashy/raunchy to be a guilty pleasure A third of the characters are male, and they're uninteresting, both in real life and in the book. Frat boy hijinks, "$20,000 if you can eat 50 McNuggets", fast money, fast cars and fast women, fistfights in the pits, drug/alcohol burnouts, financial blowups, yada yada yada. The women characters are portrayed more sympathetically by the author, but even their stories are mostly cartoonish and uninvolving. A shapely clerk tells her boss, "Give me a trading badge, or I'll call you wife and tell her about us." Another clerk is pushed to her death from a rooftop because she "knew too much" about prearranged trades on the floor Lamentably, there's plenty...
13 of 17 People found the following review helpful.

action-packed read, October 17, 2004 ByM. H. Bayliss "book queen" - See all my reviews This review is from: Leg the Spread: A Woman's Adventures Inside the Trillion-Dollar Boys Club of Commodities Trading (Hardcover) Well, I know nothing about trading, so I can't claim that I know everything she says is true, but one thing IS true: it's a fascinating read! Rarely have I been this sucked into a book which is a riveting account (one woman's account, true) of trading pits at the Merc. I had no idea about all the various pits, seeming randomness of the ups and downs of the markets and all the tremendous egos that come to play in this high testoterone filled environment. I think the author does a terrific job of capturing the men's club atmosphere at the Merc. I have no doubt that her view is true to form. The reviewer who criticizes her is probably one of the louts she describes. The sad part of the book is that these people are addicted to trading, but they don't seem to enjoy the money itself, just the process of winning it. I guess trading is an addiction like any other that provides thrills and dramatic turns, but the depressing part is that it sucks the heart out of you. Near the end of...
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