Sunday, March 31, 2019

Den of Thieves

In the 1980s, corporate takovers and buyouts were all the rage. Wall Street could get filthy rich at the expense of actual companies. They also found ways to further enrich their wealth by illegally trading on advance private information. Den of Thieves covers the stories of some of this trading among the people that were actually caught. White collar criminals ended up serving time in prison and paying multi-million dollar fines. Long-lived brokerage houses that were caught up in the scandal vanished. And in the end, you are wondering how many other guilty parties escaped unscathed. The book makes insider trading appear similar to speeding on highways. It is illegal, but so rampant that nobody expects to get caught. Traders could employ all sorts of other schemes (of various legality) to manufacture money, much to the chagrin of taxpayers and shareholders. Have times really changed since then? 30 years later, wall street has changed, but still suffers from the greed complex outlined in the book.

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