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A shocking appraisal that shows how Wall Street is intrinsically corrupt and what individual investors can do to protect themselves
For several years high-profile corporate wrongdoers have been vilified by the media. Yet the problem, according to Gary Weiss, is not just a few isolated instances of malfeasance. The problem is in the very fabric of Wall Street and its practices that enable and even encourage corruption practices that are so pervasive and so difficult to combat that they are in effect perfect crimes, with the small investor left holding the bag.
In this blistering report from the front, Weiss describes how the ethos of Mafia chophouses, boiler rooms, and penny stock peddlers now permeates all of Wall Street. Protected from investor lawsuits by laughably corrupt arbitration systems, Wall Street firms are free to fleece unsuspecting clients with little or no risk. But as this empowering book shows, ordinary investors can fight back and come out on top if they learn to recognize warning signs, filter media chatter, and spot looming corporate meltdowns in advance.
Prepare to be surprised, get angry, and then get even. Wall Street Versus America is a wild ride you can’t afford to miss.
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Gary Weis is the author of Born to Steal: When the Mafia Hit Wall Street. He is an award-winning investigative journalist known for the hard-hitting cover stories he wrote during his many years at BusinessWeek, on subjects from microcap fraud to manipulation of Treasury securities by Salomon Brothers.From Publishers Weekly:
Never mind Enron—corruption, fraud and towering incompetence are Wall Street's daily bread and butter, insists this lively j'accuse. Ex-BusinessWeek reporter Weiss (Born to Steal: When the Mafia Hit Wall Street) details the myriad ways the financial industry preys on small investors. Scraping the bottom are the boiler-room operators who peddle worthless microcap stocks over the phone and the "paid research" outfits hired by companies to tout their stocks under the guise of independent analysis. But the author finds plenty of chicanery at the pinnacle of Wall Street probity, blue-chip mutual funds, which, he contends, charge exorbitant fees and pay kickbacks to brokers to steer customers their way—while yielding a markedly worse return than market indexes. He also pillories the industry's toothless watchdogs—the New York Stock Exchange, a business media addicted to hype and puffery, and a do-nothing Securities and Exchange Commission. (Weiss's savaging of oft-lionized ex-SEC chairman Arthur Levitt is particularly vicious and funny.) The author sometimes meanders, and his cures for the rot—empowered short-selling and investor grousing on the Internet—seem pretty feeble. But Weiss's wise-guy attitude and muckraking chops make for a devastating broadside. (Apr. 6)
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