The Spider Network

The Wild Story of a Maths Genius, a Gang of Backstabbing Bankers, and One of the Greatest Scams in Financial History

Author: David Enrich

Publisher: Virgin Books Limited

ISBN: 9780753557518

Category: Bankers

Page: 479

View: 449

Shortlisted for the Financial Times Business Book of the Year! 'Will snare you in its web of deceit ... A brilliant investigative exposé' - Harlan Coben, bestselling thriller author 'Reads like a fast-paced John le Carré thriller, and never lets up' - New York Times book review The Spider Network is the almost-unbelievable and darkly entertaining inside account of the Libor scandal - one of the biggest, farthest-reaching financial scams since the global financial crisis - written by the only journalist with access to Tom Hayes before he was sentenced to fourteen years in prison. Full of exclusive details, and with ramifications that stretch right across the British establishment, this is a gripping, real-life story of outlandish characters and reckless greed in the City of London. By turns a rollicking account of the scandal and also a provocative examination of a financial system that was crooked throughout, The Spider Network is a perfect read for fans of The Wolf of Wall Street and The Big Short.

The Fix

How Bankers Lied, Cheated and Colluded to Rig the World's Most Important Number

Author: Liam Vaughan,Gavin Finch

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1118995740

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 216

View: 4813

"The first thing you think is where's the edge, where can I make a bit more money, how can I push, push the boundaries. But the point is, you are greedy, you want every little bit of money that you can possibly get because, like I say, that is how you are judged, that is your performance metric" —Tom Hayes, 2013 In the midst of the financial crisis, Tom Hayes and his network of traders and brokers from Wall Street's leading firms set to work engineering the biggest financial conspiracy ever seen. As the rest of the world burned, they came together on secret chat rooms and late night phone calls to hatch an audacious plan to rig Libor, the 'world's most important number' and the basis for $350 trillion of securities from mortgages to loans to derivatives. Without the persistence of a rag-tag team of investigators from the U.S., they would have got away with it.... The Fix by award-winning Bloomberg journalists Liam Vaughan and Gavin Finch, is the inside story of the Libor scandal, told through the journey of the man at the centre of it: a young, scruffy, socially awkward misfit from England whose genius for math and obsessive personality made him a trading phenomenon, but ultimately paved the way for his own downfall. Based on hundreds of interviews, and unprecedented access to the traders and brokers involved, and the investigators who caught up with them, The Fix provides a rare look into the dark heart of global finance at the start of the 21st Century.

Black Edge

Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street

Author: Sheelah Kolhatkar

Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks

ISBN: 0812985796

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 368

View: 3366

"Steven A. Cohen is a Wall Street legend. Born into a middle class family in a decidedly upper class suburb on Long Island, he was unpopular in high school and unlucky with girls. Then he went off to Wharton, and in 1992 launched the hedge fund SAC Capital, which grew into a $15 billion empire. He cultivated an air of mystery and reclusiveness -- at one point, owned the copyright to almost every picture taken of him -- and also of extreme excess, building a 35,000 square foot house in Greenwich, flying to work by helicopter, and amassing one of the largest private art collections in the world. But on Wall Street, he was revered as a genius: one of the greatest traders who ever lived. That public image was shattered when SAC Capital became the target of a sprawling, seven-year criminal and SEC investigation, the largest in Wall Street history, led by an undermanned but determined group of government agents, prosecutors, and investigators. Experts in finding and using "black edge" (inside information), SAC Capital was ultimately fined nearly $2 billion -- the largest penalty in history -- and shut down. But as Sheelah Kolhatkar shows, Steven Cohen was never actually put out of business. He was allowed to keep trading his own money (in 2015, he made $350 million), and can start a new hedge fund in only a few years. Though eight SAC employees were convicted or pleaded guilty to insider trading, Cohen himself walked away a free man. Black Edge is a riveting, true-life thriller that raises an urgent and troubling question: Are Wall Street titans like Steven Cohen above the law?"--

The One Device

The Secret History of the iPhone

Author: Brian Merchant

Publisher: Little, Brown

ISBN: 0316546119

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 416

View: 4796

The secret history of the invention that changed everything-and became the most profitable product in the world. NATIONAL BESTSELLERShortlisted for the Financial Times Business Book of the Year Award One of the Best Business Books of 2016 - CNBC, Bloomberg, 1-800-CEO-Read "The One Device is a tour de force, with a fast-paced edge and heaps of analytical insight." -Ashlee Vance, New York Times bestselling author of Elon Musk "A stunning book. You will never look at your iPhone the same way again." -Dan Lyons, New York Times bestselling author of Disrupted Odds are that as you read this, an iPhone is within reach. But before Steve Jobs introduced us to "the one device," as he called it, a cell phone was merely what you used to make calls on the go. How did the iPhone transform our world and turn Apple into the most valuable company ever? Veteran technology journalist Brian Merchant reveals the inside story you won't hear from Cupertino-based on his exclusive interviews with the engineers, inventors, and developers who guided every stage of the iPhone's creation. This deep dive takes you from inside One Infinite Loop to 19th century France to WWII America, from the driest place on earth to a Kenyan pit of toxic e-waste, and even deep inside Shenzhen's notorious "suicide factories." It's a firsthand look at how the cutting-edge tech that makes the world work-touch screens, motion trackers, and even AI-made their way into our pockets. The One Device is a roadmap for design and engineering genius, an anthropology of the modern age, and an unprecedented view into one of the most secretive companies in history. This is the untold account, ten years in the making, of the device that changed everything.

All the Devils Are Here

The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis

Author: Bethany McLean,Joe Nocera

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101551054

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 416

View: 3479

"Hell is empty, and all the devils are here." -Shakespeare, The Tempest As soon as the financial crisis erupted, the finger-pointing began. Should the blame fall on Wall Street, Main Street, or Pennsylvania Avenue? On greedy traders, misguided regulators, sleazy subprime companies, cowardly legislators, or clueless home buyers? According to Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera, two of America's most acclaimed business journalists, the real answer is all of the above-and more. Many devils helped bring hell to the economy. And the full story, in all of its complexity and detail, is like the legend of the blind men and the elephant. Almost everyone has missed the big picture. Almost no one has put all the pieces together. All the Devils Are Here goes back several decades to weave the hidden history of the financial crisis in a way no previous book has done. It explores the motivations of everyone from famous CEOs, cabinet secretaries, and politicians to anonymous lenders, borrowers, analysts, and Wall Street traders. It delves into the powerful American mythology of homeownership. And it proves that the crisis ultimately wasn't about finance at all; it was about human nature. Among the devils you'll meet in vivid detail: • Angelo Mozilo, the CEO of Countrywide, who dreamed of spreading homeownership to the masses, only to succumb to the peer pressure-and the outsized profits-of the sleaziest subprime lending. • Roland Arnall, a respected philanthropist and diplomat, who made his fortune building Ameriquest, a subprime lending empire that relied on blatantly deceptive lending practices. • Hank Greenberg, who built AIG into a Rube Goldberg contraption with an undeserved triple-A rating, and who ran it so tightly that he was the only one who knew where all the bodies were buried. • Stan O'Neal of Merrill Lynch, aloof and suspicious, who suffered from "Goldman envy" and drove a proud old firm into the ground by promoting cronies and pushing out his smartest lieutenants. • Lloyd Blankfein, who helped turn Goldman Sachs from a culture that famously put clients first to one that made clients secondary to its own bottom line. • Franklin Raines of Fannie Mae, who (like his predecessors) bullied regulators into submission and let his firm drift away from its original, noble mission. • Brian Clarkson of Moody's, who aggressively pushed to increase his rating agency's market share and stock price, at the cost of its integrity. • Alan Greenspan, the legendary maestro of the Federal Reserve, who ignored the evidence of a growing housing bubble and turned a blind eye to the lending practices that ultimately brought down Wall Street-and inflicted enormous pain on the country. Just as McLean's The Smartest Guys in the Room was hailed as the best Enron book on a crowded shelf, so will All the Devils Are Here be remembered for finally making sense of the meltdown and its consequences.

Lucifer's Banker

The Untold Story of How I Destroyed Swiss Bank Secrecy

Author: Bradley C. Birkenfeld

Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group

ISBN: 1626343721

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 344

View: 6858

As a private banker working for the largest bank in the world, UBS, Bradley Birkenfeld was an expert in Switzerland’s shell-game of offshore companies and secret numbered accounts. He wined and dined ultrawealthy clients whose millions of dollars were hidden away from business partners, spouses, and tax authorities. As his client list grew, Birkenfeld lived a life of money, fast cars, and beautiful women, but when he discovered that UBS was planning to betray him, he blew the whistle to the US Government. ​The Department of Justice scorned Birkenfeld’s unprecedented whistle-blowing and attempted to silence him with a conspiracy charge. Yet Birkenfeld would not be intimidated. He took his secrets to the US Senate, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Internal Revenue Service, where he prevailed. His bombshell revelations helped the US Treasury recover over $15 billion (and counting) in back taxes, fines, and penalties from American tax cheats. But Birkenfeld was shocked to discover that at the same time he was cooperating with the US Government, the Department of Justice was still doggedly pursuing him. He was arrested and served thirty months in federal prison. When he emerged, the Internal Revenue Service gave him a whistle-blower award for $104 million, the largest such reward in history. A page-turning real-life thriller, Lucifer’s Banker is a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the secret Swiss high-net worth banking industry and a harrowing account of our government’s justice system. Readers will follow Birkenfeld and share his outrage with the incompetence and possible corruption at the Department of Justice, and they will cheer him on as he “hammers” one of the most well-known and powerful banks in the world.

Conspiracy of Fools

A True Story

Author: Kurt Eichenwald

Publisher: Broadway Books

ISBN: 9780767911801

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 352

View: 9209

From an award-winning New York Times reporter comes the full, mind-boggling story of the lies, crimes, and ineptitude behind the Enron scandal that imperiled a presidency, destroyed a marketplace, and changed Washington and Wall Street forever. It was the corporate collapse that appeared to come out of nowhere. In late 2001, the Enron Corporation--a darling of the financial world, a company whose executives were friends of presidents and the powerful--imploded virtually overnight, leaving vast wreckage in its wake and sparking a criminal investigation that would last for years. Kurt Eichenwald transforms the unbelievable story of the Enron scandal into a rip-roaring narrative of epic proportions, taking readers behind every closed door--from the Oval Office to the executive suites, from the highest reaches of the Justice Department to the homes and bedrooms of the top officers. It is a tale of global reach--from Houston to Washington, from Bombay to London, from Munich to Sao Paolo--laying out the unbelievable scenes that twisted together to create this shocking true story. Eichenwald reveals never-disclosed details of a story that features a cast including George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Paul O’Neill, Harvey Pitt, Colin Powell, Gray Davis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Alan Greenspan, Ken Lay, Andy Fastow, Jeff Skilling, Bill Clinton, Rupert Murdoch and Sumner Redstone. With its you-are-there glimpse into the secretive worlds of corporate power, Conspiracy of Fools is an all-true financial and political thriller of cinematic proportions.

Den of Thieves

Author: James B. Stewart

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1439126208

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 592

View: 4463

A #1 bestseller from coast to coast, Den of Thieves tells the full story of the insider-trading scandal that nearly destroyed Wall Street, the men who pulled it off, and the chase that finally brought them to justice. Pulitzer Prize–winner James B. Stewart shows for the first time how four of the eighties’ biggest names on Wall Street—Michael Milken, Ivan Boesky, Martin Siegel, and Dennis Levine —created the greatest insider-trading ring in financial history and almost walked away with billions, until a team of downtrodden detectives triumphed over some of America’s most expensive lawyers to bring this powerful quartet to justice. Based on secret grand jury transcripts, interviews, and actual trading records, and containing explosive new revelations about Michael Milken and Ivan Boesky written especially for this paperback edition, Den of Thieves weaves all the facts into an unforgettable narrative—a portrait of human nature, big business, and crime of unparalleled proportions.

Open Secret

The Global Banking Conspiracy That Swindled Investors Out of Billions

Author: Erin Arvedlund

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101635762

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 304

View: 6736

“Gaming the LIBOR—that is, fixing the price of money—had become just that: a game. Playing it was the price of admission to a club of men who socialized together, skied in Europe courtesy of brokers and expense accounts, and reaped million-dollar bonuses.” In the midst of the financial crisis of 2008, rumors swirled that a sinister scandal was brewing deep in the heart of London. Some suspected that behind closed doors, a group of chummy young bankers had been cheating the system through interest rate machinations. But with most eyes focused on the crisis rippling through Wall Street and the rest of the world, the story remained an “open secret” among competitors. Soon enough, the scandal became public and dozens of bankers and their bosses were caught red-handed. Several major banks and hedge funds were manipulating and misreporting their daily submission of the London Interbank Offered Rate, better known as the LIBOR. As the main interest rate that pulses through the banking community, the LIBOR was supposed to represent the average rate banks charge each other for loans, effectively setting short-term interest rates around the world for trillions of dollars in financial contracts. But the LIBOR wasn’t an average; it was a combination of guesswork and outright lies told by scheming bankers who didn’t want to signal to the rest of the market that they were in trouble. The manipulation of the “world’s most important number” was even greater than many realized. The bankers kept things looking good for themselves and their pals while the financial crisis raged on. Now Erin Arvedlund, the bestselling author of Too Good to Be True, reveals how this global network created and perpetuated a multiyear scam against the financial system. She uncovers how the corrupt practice of altering the key interest rate occurred through an unregulated and informal honor system, in which young masters of the universe played fast and loose, while their more seasoned bosses looked the other way (and would later escape much of the blame). It was a classic private understanding among a small group of competitors—you scratch my back today, I’ll scratch yours tomorrow. Arvedlund takes us behind the scenes of elite firms like Barclays Capital, UBS, Rabobank, and Citigroup, and shows how they hurt ordinary investors—from students taking out loans to homeowners paying mortgages to cities like Philadelphia and Oakland. The cost to the victims: as much as $1 trillion. She also examines the laxity of prominent regulators and central bankers, and exposes the role of key figures such as: Tom Hayes: A senior trader for the Swiss financial giant UBS who worked with traders across eight other banks to influence the yen LIBOR. Bob Diamond: The shrewd multimillionaire American CEO of Barclays Capital, the British bank whose traders have been implicated in the manipulation of the LIBOR. Mervyn King: The governor of the Bank of England, who ignored U.S. Treasury secretary Tim Geithner’s repeated recommendations to establish stricter regulations over the interest rate. Arvedlund pulls back the curtain on one of the great financial scandals of our time, uncovering how millions of ordinary investors around the globe were swindled by the corruption and greed of a few men.

Hatching Twitter

A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal

Author: Nick Bilton

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1591847087

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 302

View: 6858

A New York Times bestseller Ev told Jack he had to ?chill out” with the deluge of media he was doing. ?It's bad for the company,” Ev said. ?It's sending the wrong message.” Biz sat between them, watching like a spectator at a tennis match. ?But I invented Twitter,” Jack said. ?No, you didn't invent Twitter,” Ev replied. ?I didn't invent Twitter either. Neither did Biz. People don't invent things on the Internet. They simply expand on an idea that already exists.” Despite all the coverage of Twitter's rise, Nick Bilton of The New York Times is the first journalist to tell the full story?a gripping drama of betrayed friendships and highstakes power struggles. The four founders?Evan Williams, Biz Stone, Jack Dorsey, and Noah Glass?made a dizzyingly fast transition from ordinary engineers to wealthy celebrities. They fought each other bitterly for money, influence, publicity, and control as Twitter grew larger and more powerful. Ultimately they all lost their grip on it. Bilton's unprecedented access and exhaustive reporting have enabled him to write an intimate portrait of four friends who accidentally changed the world, and what they all learned along the way.

Priceless

The Case that Brought Down the Visa/MasterCard Bank Cartel

Author: Lloyd Constantine

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.

ISBN: 1620875497

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 288

View: 2020

Lloyd Constantine began his career in legal services, representing impoverished clients in civil rights and constitutional cases. Decades later, he would make headlines for representing retailers and consumers against a cartel that undermined one of the fundamental tenets of commerce in America: competition. A man who thrives on competition himself, Constantine now gives us the insider's story on the biggest antitrust lawsuit in history—a case that pitted his small firm against financial-industry giants Visa and MasterCard, along with Clifford-Chance, the largest law firm in the world. Combining the real-life legal drama of A Civil Action with the relentless pace of a John Grisham novel, Constantine delivers the definitive account of a case that made history and will be studied for years to come. Beginning in the 1980s, when Visa and MasterCard—whose combined market share topped 95 percent—announced the merger of their debit card networks, Priceless traces the fallout of this catastrophic union, from raised eyebrows among attorney generals to the launch of a major class-action lawsuit. For the five merchants initially represented by Constantine's firm (Wal-Mart, Sears, Circuit City, Safeway, and The Limited), the reality of the situation was clear: millions of U.S. businesses were being illegally coerced in a scheme that forced excessive fees on merchants every time a customer used a debit card. When a $3.4 billion settlement was reached in 2003, the court estimated that the case would save stores and shoppers up to $87 billion in the first decade alone. A suspense-filled story with a vibrant cast of characters—and a smoking-gun document known as "The Shark"—Priceless travels from corporate backrooms to the courtroom to capture one of America's biggest triumphs in the high-stakes world of antitrust litigation.

Confessions of a Wall Street Insider

A Cautionary Tale of Rats, Feds, and Banksters

Author: Michael Kimelman

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.

ISBN: 1510713387

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 256

View: 5891

Although he was a suburban husband and father, living a far different life than the “Wolf of Wall Street,” Michael Kimelman had a good run as the cofounder of a hedge fund. He had left a cushy yet suffocating job at a law firm to try his hand at the high-risk life of a proprietary trader — and he did pretty well for himself. But it all came crashing down in the wee hours of November 5, 2009, when the Feds came to his door—almost taking the door off its hinges. While his wife and children were sequestered to a bedroom, Kimelman was marched off in embarrassment in view of his neighbors and TV crews who had been alerted in advance. He was arrested as part of a huge insider trading case, and while he was offered a “sweetheart” no-jail probation plea, he refused, maintaining his innocence. The lion’s share of Confessions of a Wall Street Insider was written while Kimelman was an inmate at Lewisburg Penitentiary. In nearly two years behind bars, he reflected on his experiences before incarceration—rubbing elbows and throwing back far too many cocktails with financial titans and major figures in sports and entertainment (including Leonardo DiCaprio, Alex Rodriguez, Ben Bernanke, and Alan Greenspan, to drop a few names); making and losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in daily gambles on the Street; getting involved with the wrong people, who eventually turned on him; realizing that none of that mattered in the end. As he writes: “Stripped of family, friends, time, and humanity, if there’s ever a place to give one pause, it’s prison . . . Tomorrow is promised to no one.” In Confessions of a Wall Street Insider, he reveals the triumphs, pains, and struggles, and how, in the end, it just might have made him a better person. Skyhorse Publishing, along with our Arcade, Good Books, Sports Publishing, and Yucca imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of biographies, autobiographies, and memoirs. Our list includes biographies on well-known historical figures like Benjamin Franklin, Nelson Mandela, and Alexander Graham Bell, as well as villains from history, such as Heinrich Himmler, John Wayne Gacy, and O. J. Simpson. We have also published survivor stories of World War II, memoirs about overcoming adversity, first-hand tales of adventure, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

Playing Dead

A Journey Through the World of Death Fraud

Author: Elizabeth Greenwood

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1476739366

Category: Social Science

Page: 272

View: 3599

“A delightful read for anyone tantalized by the prospect of disappearing without a trace.” —Erik Larson, New York Times bestselling author of Dead Wake “Delivers all the lo-fi spy shenanigans and caught-red-handed schadenfreude you’re hoping for.” —NPR “A lively romp.” —The Boston Globe “Grim fun.” —The New York Times “Brilliant topic, absorbing book.” —The Seattle Times “The most literally escapist summer read you could hope for.” —The Paris Review Is it still possible to fake your own death in the twenty-first century? With six figures of student loan debt, Elizabeth Greenwood was tempted to find out. So off she sets on a darkly comic foray into the world of death fraud, where for $30,000 a consultant can make you disappear—but your suspicious insurance company might hire a private detective to dig up your coffin...only to find it filled with rocks. Greenwood tracks down a British man who staged a kayaking accident and then returned to live in his own house while all his neighbors thought he was dead. She takes a call from Michael Jackson (no, he’s not dead—or so her new acquaintances would have her believe), stalks message boards for people contemplating pseudocide, and gathers intel on black market morgues in the Philippines, where she may or may not obtain some fraudulent goodies of her own. Along the way, she learns that love is a much less common motive than money, and that making your death look like a drowning virtually guarantees that you’ll be caught. (Disappearing while hiking, however, is a way great to go.) Playing Dead is a charmingly bizarre investigation in the vein of Jon Ronson and Mary Roach into our all-too-human desire to escape from the lives we lead, and the men and women desperate enough to give up their lives—and their families—to start again.

Fraud

An American History from Barnum to Madoff

Author: Edward J. Balleisen

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400883296

Category: History

Page: 496

View: 4477

The United States has always proved an inviting home for boosters, sharp dealers, and outright swindlers. Worship of entrepreneurial freedom has complicated the task of distinguishing aggressive salesmanship from unacceptable deceit, especially on the frontiers of innovation. At the same time, competitive pressures have often nudged respectable firms to embrace deception. As a result, fraud has been a key feature of American business since its beginnings. In this sweeping narrative, Edward Balleisen traces the history of fraud in America—and the evolving efforts to combat it—from the age of P. T. Barnum through the eras of Charles Ponzi and Bernie Madoff. Starting with an early nineteenth-century American legal world of "buyer beware," this unprecedented account describes the slow, piecemeal construction of modern regulatory institutions to protect consumers and investors, from the Gilded Age through the New Deal and the Great Society. It concludes with the more recent era of deregulation, which has brought with it a spate of costly frauds, including the savings and loan crisis, corporate accounting scandals, and the recent mortgage-marketing debacle. By tracing how Americans have struggled to foster a vibrant economy without enabling a corrosive level of fraud, this book reminds us that American capitalism rests on an uneasy foundation of social trust.

Secrecy World

Inside the Panama Papers Investigation of Illicit Money Networks and the Global Elite

Author: Jake Bernstein

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

ISBN: 125012669X

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 304

View: 4570

A two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist takes us inside the world revealed by the Panama Papers, a landscape of illicit money, political corruption, and fraud on a global scale. A hidden circulatory system flows beneath the surface of global finance, carrying trillions of dollars from drug trafficking, tax evasion, bribery, and other illegal enterprises. This network masks the identities of the individuals who benefit from these activities, aided by bankers, lawyers, and auditors who get paid to look the other way. In Secrecy World, the Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter Jake Bernstein explores this shadow economy and how it evolved, drawing on millions of leaked documents from the files of the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca—a trove now known as the Panama Papers—as well as other journalistic and government investigations. Bernstein shows how shell companies operate, how they allow the superwealthy and celebrities to escape taxes, and how they provide cover for illicit activities on a massive scale by crime bosses and corrupt politicians across the globe. Bernstein traveled to the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, and within the United States to uncover how these strands fit together—who is involved, how they operate, and the real-world impact. He recounts how Mossack Fonseca was exposed and what lies ahead for the corporations, banks, law firms, individuals, and governments that are implicated. Secrecy World offers a disturbing and sobering view of how the world really works and raises critical questions about financial and legal institutions we may once have trusted.

Making It Happen

Fred Goodwin, RBS and the men who blew up the British economy

Author: Iain Martin

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1471113566

Category: Social Science

Page: 352

View: 9980

When RBS collapsed and had to be bailed out by the taxpayer in the financial crisis of October 2008 it played a leading role in tipping Britain into its deepest economic downturn in seven decades. The economy shrank, bank lending froze, hundreds of thousands lost their jobs, living standards are still falling and Britons will be paying higher taxes for decades to pay the clean-up bill. How on earth had a small Scottish bank grown so quickly to become a global financial giant that could do such immense damage when it collapsed? At the centre of the story was Fred Goodwin, the former chief executive known as "Fred the Shred" who terrorised some of his staff and beguiled others. Not a banker by training, he nonetheless was given control of RBS and set about trying to make it one of the biggest brands in the world. It was said confidently that computerisation and new banking products had made the world safer. Only they hadn't... Based on more than 80 interviews and with access to diaries and papers kept by those at the heart of the meltdown, this is the definitive account of the RBS disaster, a disaster which still casts such a shadow over our economy. In Making It Happen, senior executives, board members, Treasury insiders and regulators reveal how the bank's mania for expansion led it to take enormous risks its leaders didn't understand. From the birth of the Royal Bank in 18th century Scotland, to the manic expansion under Fred Goodwin in the middle of a mad boom and culminating in the epoch-defining collapse, Making It Happen is the full, extraordinary story.

Adaptive Markets

Financial Evolution at the Speed of Thought

Author: Andrew W. Lo

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400887763

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 504

View: 9644

A new, evolutionary explanation of markets and investor behavior Half of all Americans have money in the stock market, yet economists can't agree on whether investors and markets are rational and efficient, as modern financial theory assumes, or irrational and inefficient, as behavioral economists believe—and as financial bubbles, crashes, and crises suggest. This is one of the biggest debates in economics and the value or futility of investment management and financial regulation hang on the outcome. In this groundbreaking book, Andrew Lo cuts through this debate with a new framework, the Adaptive Markets Hypothesis, in which rationality and irrationality coexist. Drawing on psychology, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, and other fields, Adaptive Markets shows that the theory of market efficiency isn't wrong but merely incomplete. When markets are unstable, investors react instinctively, creating inefficiencies for others to exploit. Lo's new paradigm explains how financial evolution shapes behavior and markets at the speed of thought—a fact revealed by swings between stability and crisis, profit and loss, and innovation and regulation. A fascinating intellectual journey filled with compelling stories, Adaptive Markets starts with the origins of market efficiency and its failures, turns to the foundations of investor behavior, and concludes with practical implications—including how hedge funds have become the Galápagos Islands of finance, what really happened in the 2008 meltdown, and how we might avoid future crises. An ambitious new answer to fundamental questions in economics, Adaptive Markets is essential reading for anyone who wants to know how markets really work.

When the Wolves Bite

Two Billionaires, One Company, and an Epic Wall Street Battle

Author: Scott Wapner

Publisher: PublicAffairs

ISBN: 1610398289

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 256

View: 2145

The inside story of the clash of two of Wall Street's biggest, richest, toughest, most aggressive players--Carl Icahn and Bill Ackman--and Herbalife, the company caught in the middle With their billions of dollars and their business savvy, activist investors Carl Icahn and Bill Ackman have the ability to move markets with the flick of a wrist. But what happens when they run into the one thing in business they can't control: each other? This fast-paced book tells the story of the clash of these two titans over Herbalife, a nutritional supplement company whose business model Ackman questioned. Icahn decided to vouch for them, and the dispute became a years-long feud, complete with secret backroom deals, public accusations, billions of dollars in stock trades, and one dramatic insult war on live television. Wapner, who hosted that memorable TV show, has gained unprecedented access to all the players and unravels this remarkable war of egos, showing the extreme measures the participants were willing to take. When the Wolves Bite is both a rollicking, entertaining read--a great business story of money and power and pride.

Bad Blood

Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup

Author: John Carreyrou

Publisher: Knopf

ISBN: 1524731668

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 352

View: 4626

A National Bestseller "Chilling…Reads like a West Coast version of All the President’s Men." —The New York Times Book Review The full inside story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of Theranos, the multibillion-dollar biotech startup, by the prize-winning journalist who first broke the story and pursued it to the end, despite pressure from its charismatic CEO and threats by her lawyers. In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup "unicorn" promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood testing significantly faster and easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at more than $9 billion, putting Holmes's worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn't work. A riveting story of the biggest corporate fraud since Enron, a tale of ambition and hubris set amid the bold promises of Silicon Valley.

American Kingpin

The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road

Author: Nick Bilton

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0698405730

Category: True Crime

Page: 304

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER. The unbelievable true story of the man who built a billion-dollar online drug empire from his bedroom—and almost got away with it In 2011, a twenty-six-year-old libertarian programmer named Ross Ulbricht launched the ultimate free market: the Silk Road, a clandestine Web site hosted on the Dark Web where anyone could trade anything—drugs, hacking software, forged passports, counterfeit cash, poisons—free of the government’s watchful eye. It wasn’t long before the media got wind of the new Web site where anyone—not just teenagers and weed dealers but terrorists and black hat hackers—could buy and sell contraband detection-free. Spurred by a public outcry, the federal government launched an epic two-year manhunt for the site’s elusive proprietor, with no leads, no witnesses, and no clear jurisdiction. All the investigators knew was that whoever was running the site called himself the Dread Pirate Roberts. The Silk Road quickly ballooned into $1.2 billion enterprise, and Ross embraced his new role as kingpin. He enlisted a loyal crew of allies in high and low places, all as addicted to the danger and thrill of running an illegal marketplace as their customers were to the heroin they sold. Through his network he got wind of the target on his back and took drastic steps to protect himself—including ordering a hit on a former employee. As Ross made plans to disappear forever, the Feds raced against the clock to catch a man they weren’t sure even existed, searching for a needle in the haystack of the global Internet. Drawing on exclusive access to key players and two billion digital words and images Ross left behind, Vanity Fair correspondent and New York Times bestselling author Nick Bilton offers a tale filled with twists and turns, lucky breaks and unbelievable close calls. It’s a story of the boy next door’s ambition gone criminal, spurred on by the clash between the new world of libertarian-leaning, anonymous, decentralized Web advocates and the old world of government control, order, and the rule of law. Filled with unforgettable characters and capped by an astonishing climax, American Kingpin might be dismissed as too outrageous for fiction. But it’s all too real.