Scam Dogs And Mo-Mo Mamas: Inside the Wild and Woolly World of Internet Stock Trading

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9780060196202: Scam Dogs And Mo-Mo Mamas: Inside the Wild and Woolly World of Internet Stock Trading

Meet the new leaders of the twenty-first-century stock market-each an Internet stock-trading legend. Each a cyber-guru in the vanguard of the millions of people trading and talking about stocks on the Internet. Each with legions of eager followers and determined foes, and the ability to make stock prices leap-or plummet-at the click of a mouse. Colorful, charismatic, and often outrageous, they are reshaping the way we invest and how Wall Street works.

Scam Dogs and Mo-Mo Mamas is their story the first journalistic look at these market wizards and their brave new world. Veteran Wall Street Journal reporter John Emshwiller has entered that world and brought back a lively, entertaining tale, documenting their rise, the culture they've created, their intertwined lives, and their power, influence, and turf battles.

Pitted against the cyber-gurus, and a major part of this story, are the self-appointed truthsayers who seek to expose their excesses, Web officials who try to keep order in cyberspace, and enforcement officials from the SEC, who are beginning a government crackdown.

Though these Internet voyagers rarely meet or even share a spoken word, their lives and passions have all met in cyberspace. There, they befriend or battle each other in pursuit of fame and fortune. They operate in a realm without substance that can be powerfully, even frighteningly, real. There, it is as easy to be entertained as it is to be fleeced. Of course, if you are very good and very lucky, you just might strike it rich.

Welcome to the wild and woolly world of Internet stock trading-where the rules are still being written, nothing is as it seems, and everything is up for grabs.

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Review:

Would you take a stock tip from a guy named Tokyo Joe? How about one from Big Dog? If so, you should read this book. If not, you will probably find Scam Dogs and Mo-Mo Mamas an entertaining curiosity about the type of person you're glad you're not. Tokyo Joe and Big Dog are two of the main characters in Scam Dogs. They post messages on Internet stock discussion boards, touting stocks most of us have never heard of. When these guys say "Buy," thousands of people do. The problem for those thousands is the gurus may have done all their own buying before recommending a stock to others and start selling as soon as their followers start buying. At least that's what the Securities and Exchange Commission accused Tokyo Joe of doing when it filed a civil complaint against him in January 2000. (This practice, according to the helpful glossary at the back of the book, is called scalping.) Emshwiller is a reporter for The Wall Street Journal who has covered numerous frauds and swindles--in fact the book started as a Journal article about the colorful Tokyo Joe (How colorful? He usually trades naked in his Manhattan apartment, sitting in the lotus position while staring at multiple computer screens.) Scam Dogs will be most useful to those contemplating a career in day trading. However, when you see how many ways there are to get fleeced, you may decide it's a more remunerative not to become a sheep. --Lou Schuler

About the Author:

John R. Emshwiller is a senior writer for the Wall Street Journal. He has reported extensively on the rise of Internet stock trading and has profiled several cyber-gurus in the pages of the Journal. More than once during the writing of this book, he was tempted to chuck the reporting game and make millions trading stocks online. Each time, he woke up.

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