By Robert P. Smith

ISBN-10: 081441060X

ISBN-13: 9780814410608

At the present time, Robert P. Smith is a legend on the earth of finance. half adventurer and half monetary warrior, this Indiana Jones of the monetary global was once an develop guy for the forces of globalization, having spent greater than thirty years touring via 5 continents, trading excessive danger securities within the world's such a lot downtrodden economies. So tenuous used to be his operation and so covert the transactions, that an in a single day fluctuation in a country's foreign money price may suggest the variation among a amazing revenue or a devastating loss. at the present time, the alternate in rising industry debt is worthy greater than 5 billion cash an afternoon, however it was once almost non-existent whilst Smith, a one-time collections attorney, pioneered the company within the past due Seventies. "Riches one of the Ruins" is the extreme tale of Robert Smith's seek to earn money doing the riskiest type of enterprise. we're at his aspect as he travels in the course of the treacherous and exhilarating international of the debt dealer, dodging bullets and roadside bombs in post-Saddam Iraq, and risking his existence at the chaotic streets of Nigeria. As he engages in a conflict of wills with businessmen in Istanbul, and loses hundreds of thousands in a single day within the ruins of the post-Soviet Russian financial system, we event all the thrill and terror that accompanies making gigantic cash in rising markets. immediately adrenaline-fueled and totally compelling, this is often the gripping tale of 1 man's quest for fortune the place others worry to tread.

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My first task was to try to locate or create a list of the holders of El Salvador’s dollar-denominated bonds. In a tiny country like El Salvador, government institutions are less formidable than, say, the United States Treasury Department with its legions of employees and endless layers of bureaucracy, so it was not as difficult as you might think to walk into the Central Bank and ask for an appointment with its president. I spoke decent Spanish. A little Spanish and a little charm can go a long way, and I never had to ask for that appointment because I got what I wanted from a male secretary guarding the bank president’s office.

To get business, I joined the Commercial Law League of America and attended its convention in Chicago that year, a giant schmoozefest of collection lawyers and agencies looking for love. It was midwinter and freezing, and I decided to hustle the Chicago collection agencies directly by going to their offices, about fifteen of them, all congregated on a street near the Loop. To save money, which I had precious little of in those days, I walked the two or three miles from my hotel in a stiff icy wind, struggling to hang on to my briefcase with one hand and my toupee with the other (I ditched the toupee years ago), smoking a cigarette every five minutes.

I had encountered precisely the same situation in Guatemala a year earlier. I had gone into business with a former Guatemalan finance minister to start an ill-fated business called American Check, a retail operation designed to facilitate the transfer of remittances of immigrant workers in the United States. The keystone cops story of American Check is told in Chapter 4, but the enormous impact of foreign worker remittances on the global economy wasn’t apparent to me thirty years ago. Such remittances remain a powerful force in the global economy today, though one easily overlooked in the vast ocean of money that sloshes electronically across international borders every day.

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Riches Among the Ruins: Adventures in the Dark Corners of the Global Economy by Robert P. Smith


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