Friday, August 18, 2017

Friday Feature Book Review: Yen 円 ! (FX Can Be Murder !) by Guy Stanley 円 (外国為替は致命的です!) ガイ・スタンレー

In the world of FX trading, murder is the ultimate trade in the city of Tokyo. This is a great novel about Tony Moore, who went to the land of the Rising Sun, Japan, to make it big in currency trading. Originally from the UK, he trades in one of the world's most liquid foreign exchange markets in the world, the Japanese Yen. However, he pushes his luck, finds the lifestyle of Japan, more than he bargained for, and ends up dead. He had a bad leg, and used a cane, but sometimes it is not just the steps that can be full of accidents. His body found broken in a supposed drunken fall. Akasaka can be a dangerous place at night it seems, but perhaps not from a fall.

In comes Kevin Nicholls, who takes over as the new head of FX at the firm. Nobody seems to want to talk about what happened, not even Tony's seductive Japanese girlfriend. The story is never crystal clear, and neither is the delicious sake, more cloudy overall. There seem to be many layers to the financial markets in Japan, and Kevin digs deep to look into what really happened. Roppongi, Shinjuku and Otemachi all are parts of Tokyo, and they all have secrets, deadly ones. The images of the street live and the atmosphere of each locale is vibrantly described in great detail. You can almost smell the breeze change in the air from every page.

What clearly stands out in this Tokyo, based story are the locations used by the author, Guy Stanley. He clearly did a great amount of research. They are all real and can be visited today by any tourist. Having been to many of the places, it was great to get a better sense of what could have happened and relive the story. The Japanese Yakuza, banks, securities firms and a bunch of other financial market players are all involved in this web of murder, but who is at the center?

The Top 3 Takeaways from this book that really impact any reader are:

1) There is a side of Japan, that few tourists really see, and it is better off that way. This is often a good way to keep the peace.

2) The financial markets in Japan, have their own ways not easily understood or worth tampering with by outsiders.

3) The long history between Yakuza gangsters and the financial markets is an old one. They are sometimes intermingled.

This book was written over 20 years ago, but still packs a punch and passes the test of time. If you like FX markets (or any other), and enjoy reading about the underbelly of Japan, then this is for you. It was the people portrayed that made this so enjoyable. The sleazy tabloid journalist Araki, the American woman Jennifer, looking for her missing brother, and a host of other characters were all really spot on and perfectly described. If murder mystery is your taste in books, and if financial markets make it even more appealing, then this is a great read that fully satisfies. Highly recommended.

Please visit us for our Friday Feature Review where TMJ Partners will review books, movies, services and anything else with a financial theme.  Follow us now for our free weekly updates, just click here. Thank you for reading and learning more about how money is made in finance!

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