Waitsfield, Vermont 05673
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10. Investing in Vain: A Satire
At first blush, Investing in Vain is a satirical farce about socially responsible investing run amok in a world of extreme political correctness. And there is much to blush about. Vain Capital creates portfolios that address clients’ restrictions, no matter how absurd. In response to the custodians of the California public employee pension fund, Vain Capital is instructed to create an investment fund managed entirely by gays of every variety of gender fluidity. After many hijinks to identify LGBTGIA money managers, the MaxiGay fund is born. The novel also takes down the quants who dream up increasingly esoteric algorithms for beating the market. William Worsley, a former investment manager, is perfectly positioned to skewer the pretense, hypocrisy, corruption and double-dealing of money management. The novel features hilarious set pieces showing the absurdity of socially conscious investing in a world without values. Warning: the book gleefully trespasses on PC. If you are easily offended by racial and gender stereotypes, you should probably pass. The author skewers religion, male lechery, gay excess, education and even nuns. It’s all done in biting good fun and deadpan one-liners that will make anyone in the finance industry squirm. Example: A quant is asked if his results survive vector autoregression. The response: “Actually, I’m very fond of my results and didn’t want to risk their survival, so I didn’t put them through that.”
It's a world of hypocrisy! What a farce!
This is an inherently fascinating, deftly crafted, unfailingly entertaining novel that is also quite thoughtful and thought-provoking at the same time. Showcasing author William Worsley's genuine flair for memorable and original storytelling, Investing in Vain is very highly recommended and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary General Fiction Collections.
-- Small Press Bookwatch: October 2017
What happens when morality-based investing is practiced in a corrupt world teeming with politically correct hypocrites and charlatans? The result is a farce. Investing in Vain takes a satirical romp through investment management from the point of view of those in it as they careen from one moral hazard to the next, trying to make sense of it all.
What if the founders of a hugely successful investment firm are running a complete fraud based on an absurd investment strategy? And what do they do to their former employees who discover the dark secret that could destroy their firm? Bruce Benson finds out the hard way as he is forced to flee for his life.
Meanwhile, Beatrice von Vain is desperate to save her investment firm, Vain Capital, in spite of the weird demands of potential investors. Salvation seems to come in the form of shady Russian money and a request from the California state employee pension for an investment fund run entirely by gays. But where do you invest the illegal Russian money and where do you find enough gay money managers in time to help re-elect California’s progressive governor?
It’s a madcap race through the dubious and contradictory world of investing with a conscience, taking the reader on a wide range of adventures – to a university protest, through gay hangouts, on a car chase, to a global summit meeting – as the author skewers the morally arrogant notion of political correctness.
Copyright © 2017 - William Worsley