I have two Engineering degrees-in Metallurgical Engineering, and Electrical Engineering.
I tried to understand Financial stuff these last few years-came across words like Financial Engineering. This is crap. There's no such thing-otherwise lets invent one called "Predict the football game Engineering" or "Read your Future Astrological Engineering".
Financial Engineering is a sham. It is people using complex mathematics to confuse people into believing they know something. They don't. They sell "products"---currencies, volatility swaps, u name it. All bullshit wrapped in different bright colored packages.
Private equity is the abyss of Finance. The whole idea of capitalism and stock markets-where you loan your money to a company who you don't know personally via a stock market and a financial regulator is dumped by these groups called Private Equity who take public companies private and apply Financial Engineering to them to turn them around. Private Equity investors are probably the dumbest investors of the world. How can you take out the owners of a company and expect to improve the company? See this example of Kerry's media empire in Australia being taken over by Private Equity jokers here.
Here in South Chile there's some fund called Southern Cross, who took over a supermarket chain for $80M. This supermarket chain is owned by a family, and I know the owner personally. He was pretty happy with the offer-seemed like a nice deal. Now he is out of the company's day to day operations and these bozos from Southern Cross plan to run the company....do you think bozos trained in Financial Engineering can run a supermarket better than people who have owned it for 30 years?
Since voodoo people only respect the art of other voodoo people, that's why you have banks, central banks, etc. all in bed with these people called Private Equity. These are buyers and sellers of money; a business they don't understand much at all. They seem to buy high and sell low. That's why China invested in BX and you have these poor taxpayers in China paying for stupid investments by their Government.
Private Equity firms like Blackstone and Fortress are the highest examples of investor stupidity. They are Public! The whole idea of a Private Equity firm with Public shares is bizarre-they take out public companies and engineer them financially and then dump them back on the stock market, and for this financial engineering they can command a premium??? Investors are paying for a non-existent ability called financial engineering, just like millions of people worldwide pay for astrologers...who do use very interesting charts and complicated diagrams, by the way, to read your future (sounds like complex math of finance???).
Will tell you another time about the biggest speculators in currencies-the central banks and the treasury departments. Hint-they "defend" their currencies ---buying them when they go down.... This is not volatility reduction or market making, this is pure speculation.