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Satyajit Das

Satyajit Das

Satyajit Das is an Australian former banker and corporate treasurer, turned consultant, author and academic. Satyajit Das writes the Das Capital Column in the Independent. He has worked in financial markets for over 35 years and now as a consultant to banks, fund managers, governments, companies and regulators around the world. He is also the author of Traders Guns and Money and Extreme Money as well as a number of reference books on derivatives and risk-management, which double as 'door stops'.

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Satyajit Das Travels from NSW
Fee Range: POA

Satyajit Das's Biography

Satyajit Das is an internationally respected expert in finance, with over 35 years' experience in capital markets. He has worked for the 'sell side' (with banks such as Commonwealth Bank, CitiBank and Merrill Lynch), the 'buy side' (as Treasurer of the TNT Group) and now acts as a consultant advising banks, investors, corporations and central banks throughout the world.

Das is the author of many highly regarded books on derivatives and risk management, which are regarded as standard reference works for professional traders.

In 2006, he published the international bestseller Traders, Guns & Money: Knowns and Unknowns in the Dazzling World of Derivatives, a satirical insider's account of derivatives trading. In Traders and a series of 2006 speeches - The Coming Credit Crash - he provided a highly prescient insight into the structure and risk of the world financial system exposing the problems that subsequently became apparent.

In 2010, his article 'The Year of Wishful Thinking', Satyajit Das anticipated the sovereign debt crisis. That year, in another article titled 'The China Syndrome' and a follow-up 2012 piece 'All Feasts Must End', he drew attention to the unsustainable nature of China's economic success and the risk of slowdown in growth. In 2011 paper 'Financial Fetishes', he drew attention to the ineffectiveness of policy options, especially the increasing dependence of monetary measures such as quantitative easing and the difficulty of reversing such actions. In the same year, he identified Australia's fragile prospects and looming slowdown and challenges.

His latest book is Extreme Money: Masters of the Universe and the Cult of Risk (2011), which was described by Nouriel Roubini, Professor of Economics at NYU Stern School of Business and Chairman of Roubini Global Economics as 'a true insider's devastating analysis of the financial alchemy of the last 30 years and its destructive consequences. With his intimate first-hand knowledge, Das takes a knife to global finance and financiers to reveal its inner workings without fear or favour.'

Satyajit Das was featured in Charles Ferguson's 2010 Oscar-winning documentary Inside Job, the 2012 PBS Frontline series Money, Power & Wall Street and 2009 BBC TV documentary Tricks with Risk. He is a frequent interviewee and widely quoted in the financial press globally. Das was honoured as one of the Most Influential 50 - The Bankers and Investors Who Move Markets by Bloomberg.

He has been a featured speaker at financial conferences throughout the world as well as at the Sydney Writers Festival, Melbourne Writers Festival, Adelaide Festival of Ideas and Sydney's Festival of Dangerous Ideas.


Speaking Topics Include

Finance and business audiences


Presentations looking at major issues and the broad economic outlook


End of Growth and Turning Japanese! The risk of a world with low or no growth for a prolonged period.


No Way Out! and Money in the Time of Cholera: Current policies (budget deficits, build-up of government debt, low zero or zero interest rates, quantitative easing), their prospects and risks, and their impact on businesses and investors.


Banana Republics! The sovereign debt crisis in the developed world and options for dealing with it.


'When Harry Met Sally' Investing! The impact of current government and central bank policies on investments, and the required adjustment to a period of low returns and high volatility.


'Juche' World - The Drift to Autarky: The pressures to move to closed economies and their impact on trade and capital flows, as well as effects on governments and businesses.

Presentations looking at specific countries


Phantom Menace and Rope-A-Dope Economics: US debt problems and America's economic outlook.


Chronicle of a (European) Death Foretold, and Germany's Götterdämmerung? The European debt crisis and prospects for a resolution.


Broken Arrows: Japan's 20 years of stagnation and the prospects of the initiatives of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seeking to restore the Japanese economy.

Great Southern Province of China and The Nauru Solution: Australia's economic prospects and challenges, post the end of the mining investment boom.

Presentations looking at emerging markets

All Feasts Must End and China Syndrome: The rise of China as an economic power, its current challenges, and its implications for Australia and the world.


Emerging Market Crisis Redux! The rise of and nascent problems in the emerging BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) economies, outlining the rewards and risks for businesses and investors.


Whose Century Is It Anyway? The concept of an Asian century, analysing whether China and other emerging nations will displace American economic and financial dominance in the foreseeable future.

Presentations looking at issues confronting specific financial services sectors


Voodoo Banking: The drivers that allowed banks to become larger and more profitable and the need for altered strategies to succeed in the new economic and financial environment.


Death of Fund Management: The rise of funds managers and challenges facing the industry in a period of low returns, volatile prices and changing regulations.


Risk is a Four Letter Word: Changes in sources and nature of risks and current problems in how risk is measured and managed.


Wrong Questions, Wrong Answers! A critical examination of the post-Global Financial Crisis regulatory framework and specific new rules, considering their likely impact on financial services firms and whether they actually make the financial system safer.

General Audiences

Presentations looking at issues confronting ordinary men and women and their concerns


Ponzi Prosperity and How Did I Get Here? How the last 25 years have been an unusual period of unparalleled prosperity, which is not repeatable, requiring lifestyle and financial adjustments.


The Dream is Over: Whether the holy trinity of middle class prosperity (a good job, a nice house and a comfortable, secure retirement) are sustainable or now at risk.


Generation Wars: How the deteriorating economic outlook, limits of non-renewable resources and environment change have forced policy makers to use extend and pretend strategies, targeting short term benefits while penalizing future generations, who now face reduced prospects.

End of Trust or Democracy Deficit: How the global economic crisis and efforts to resolve it have led to the sacrifice of trust, in money, key institutions, between countries as well as between policy makers and the population.