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Showing posts from April, 2003
Liss, David. The Coffee Trader. Random House, 2003, 389 p.

Miguel Lienzo is a Jew living in Amsterdam in the mid-17th century. One of a community of Portuguese Jews, Lienzo is a trader on the Exchange, the Dutch market for buying and selling commodities and futures. As the book opens, Lienzo is down on his luck. After enjoying relative prosperity and the noteriety that goes with financial success, he made some unfortunate trades that didn't work out. Now he's living a debtor's life, scambling to avoid his creditors. Then along comes Geertruid, a mysterious Dutch woman, with a proposal that Lienzo finds irresistible.

It's time to invest in coffee, Geertruid tells Lienzo. Coffee is still relatively new in Europe. Geertruid gets Lienzo to try a few cups and soon he's ready to throw in with her. When he's drinking coffee, Lienzo feels invincible. It's amazing powers give him extraordinary mental insight into other trader's behavior and soon he hatches a pl…