The capital phenomenon of this decade has to be the proliferation of such tertiary uses of money as put and call options and noncommodity futures trading. To financial managers, not to mention ordinary investors, the rules and techniques of spread strategies, portfolio hedges, contract selling, and just plain speculation can be as bewildering as trying to figure out craps -- a game that dealing in options and futures often approaches (since essentially you are betting on the performance of somebody else). Here, no fewer than 34 practitioners attempt to bring some order to the morass, with predictably varying success. This hefty collection is not particularly well organized, but there is so much usable information on the more complicated aspects of the subject as it pertains to money and other financial instruments -- Treasury notes, certificates of deposit, Eurodollars, and similar vehicles -- that its relatively stiff cost can be easily regained, and then some.

Published on: Feb 1, 1984