History of Greed: Financial Fraud from Tulip Mania to Bernie Madoff

History of Greed: Financial Fraud from Tulip Mania to Bernie Madoff

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By (author) David E. Y. Sarna, Foreword by Andrew Malik

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  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd
  • Format: Hardback | 398 pages
  • Dimensions: 160mm x 232mm x 36mm | 621g
  • Publication date: 21 September 2010
  • Publication City/Country: Chichester
  • ISBN 10: 0470601809
  • ISBN 13: 9780470601808
  • Sales rank: 494,159

Product description

Praise for HISTORY OF GREED "David Sarna is a visionary technologist. He is also a sophisticated investor and financier. He has written a readable, comprehensive, fascinating, and well-researched book that explores troublesome aspects of the financial system in a way only an experienced insider could." - Jay N. Goldberg , Senior Managing Director, Hudson Ventures "A comprehensive review of what has happened to us in our financial markets over and over and over and over again. It's an important history, written with wit and delivered with wisdom. Undoubtedly, History of Greed will become required reading for anyone serious about understanding the capital markets." - Frederick L. Gorsetman , Founder and Managing Member, Oxbridge Financial Group, LLC 400 years of financial fraud in the making From the earliest financial scams of the seventeenth century, through the headline-grabbing Wall Street scandals of our times, History of Greed provides a comprehensive history of financial fraud. In it, David E. Y. Sarna exposes the true and often riveting stories of how both naive and sophisticated investors alike were fooled by unscrupulous entrepreneurs, lawyers, hedge fund managers, CPAs, Texas billionaires, political fundraisers, music managers, financial advisers, and even former Mossad agents. From the people behind the financial fraud and how they did it to why people continually fall prey to scam artists, Sarna outlines what actions you can take today to protect yourself from becoming the victim of tomorrow's "too good to be true" investment opportunity. History of Greed details how markets are manipulated, books are cooked, Ponzi schemes are hatched, and how the government only closes the barn door once the cows have all escaped.

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Author information

David E. Y. Sarna is a serial entrepreneur who founded three companies, sold one, and successfully took two public. He is also a technologist and a writer. Mr. Sarna is also the creator of several popular blogs, including GreedWatcher.comSM, GoogleGazer.comSM, and EyeOnTheCloud.comSM. He has authored four books, written over 120 articles, was a founding regional director of the Microsoft Developers Network, and is a popular and award-winning speaker with multiple national television appearances on Fox, CNN, and MSNBC.

Review quote

‘It is sure to make any reader gasp at the sheer inventiveness and persistence of the world's fraudsters.' (Irish Independent.ie, january 2011). ‘…a potted history of human greed is indeed to be found here.' (Diplomat, February 2011).

Flap copy

The "greater fool" theory of economics states that it's possible to make money by buying paper (securities), whether overvalued or not, and later, selling it at a profit because there will always be an even greater fool willing to pay the higher price. Many described in this book profited by peddling such worthless junk to foolish investors. But for some people--Bernie Madoff, Norman Hsu, Sholam Weiss, and "Crazie Eddie" Antar, aka the "Darth Vader of Capitalism"--overvalued securities were not enough. Outright fraud was their way of life. History of Greed is the compelling inside story of the names you know--Charles Ponzi, Baron Rothschild, Lou Pearlman--and the names you don't--Isaac Le Maire, the world's first "naked" short-seller. It's also our story--why we ignore the lessons of the past and fall prey, most every time, to the promise of easy money.For thousands of years, alchemists unsuccessfully tried to turn worthless base metals into gold. Where science failed at turning nothing into something, business succeeded. Sometimes we praise the creators of derivatives, collateral debt obligations, subprime mortgages, credit default swaps, or auction rate securities as Wall Street's new financial wizards, the creators of "magic paper." Other times, we vilify and prosecute them as scam artists. Sometimes, it's hard to tell who is who. History of Greed reveals the inside secrets of how the markets really work, and how scam artists abuse them to gain an unfair edge or to outright steal. It describes how luftgescheft ("air business"), wizardry, dishonesty, and fraud are used to swindle people. Along with a comprehensive bibliography, History of Greed also details: 400 years of financial fraud--from everyday fraud to the odd and unusualAccounting fraud (phantom sales), stock option fraud (backdating), auction rate securities, hedge fund fraud, Ponzi schemes, promotion fraud (pump-and-dump scams), and money launderingHow to detect fraudulent schemesHow government regulation only fixes yesterday's problemsIf it's too good to be true, it probably is. If they say you can't lose, you probably will. History of Greed shows that there really is no such thing as a free lunch, while also detailing how not to become the "greater fool."

Table of contents

Foreword. Acknowledgments. Introduction. Chapter 1 Selling Air. Why Now? Chapter 2 Crash Postmortem. How Greed, Hubris, and Lack of Supervision Did Investors In. Chapter 3 Why We Do It. Bubbles and Fraud. Chapter 4 Securities Fraud. Its Long and Storied Past. Chapter 5 The Perils of Greed. It's All for the Easy Money. Chapter 6 The Elements of Financial Fraud. A Case Study with "Crazy Eddie" Antar. Chapter 7 "Other People's Money". The O.P.M. Leasing Fraud. Chapter 8 Smaller-Company Fraud. The "ISC" Story. Chapter 9 Selling Long and Short. But Mostly Short. Chapter 10 Market Manipulation. Improper Short Selling and Other Abuses. Chapter 11 PIPEs. Investing Unfairly. Chapter 12 Promotion Fraud. Pump and Dump. Chapter 13 Leaks, Front-Running, and Insider Trading. Test Yourself. Chapter 14 Fictitious Volume. A Pump-and-Dump Scam with Intrigue. Chapter 15 Parachute into Prison. U.S. v. Schrenker . Chapter 16 Affi nity Group Fraud. Scamming Your Own Community. Chapter 17 Twentieth-Century Ponzi Schemes. Larger and Longer-Lasting Scams. Chapter 18 Hit Charade. Lou Pearlman. Chapter 19 Hedge Fund Ponzi Fraud. Hedge Funds Are for Big Boys. Chapter 20 Madoff and the World's Largest Ponzi Scheme. The Mother of All Ponzi Schemes. Chapter 21 How Madoff Got Away with It. Who Helped Plot in the Mother of All Ponzi Schemes; Who Can Be Made to Pay? Chapter 22 Madoff Plea and Its Aftermath. Governments Go after Merkin, Kohn, and Maybe Others in the Mother of All Ponzi Schemes. Chapter 23 Mopping up after Madoff. Lawyers Feast on Madoff Feeders in the Mother of All Ponzi Schemes. Chapter 24 Other Recent Ponzi Schemes. Madoff was a Crook but He Had No Monopoly on Recent Ponzi Schemes. Chapter 25 Stanford Group. Massive $7 Billion, Multinational Fraud Comes to Light. Chapter 26 Ultimate Chutzpah . The Strange Tale of Marc Dreier, Esq. Chapter 27 Detecting Fraudulent Financial Schemes. How Much to Regulate? How Much to Verify? Chapter 28 Fraudulent Offerings. A Short Look. Chapter 29 Auction-Rate Securities A $330 Billion Fraud? Chapter 30 $132 Million Tax-Free Exchange Fraud. Section 1031. Chapter 31 Not Smart. The Smart Online Trading Scam. Chapter 32 Boiler Rooms. Where the Heat Rises. Chapter 33 Accounting Frauds. With Examples. Chapter 34 Stock Option Frauds. Alchemy That Benefi ts Insiders. Chapter 35 Odd and Unusual Financial Frauds. Not Your Everyday Fraud. Afterword: What Does the Future Hold? Notes. About the Author. Further Reading. Index.