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Fooling Some of the People All of the Time: A Long Short (and Now Complete) Story

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  1,463 ratings  ·  85 reviews
A revealing look at Wall Street, the financial media, and financial regulators by David Einhorn, the President of Greenlight CapitalCould 2008's credit crisis have been minimized or even avoided? In 2002, David Einhorn-one of the country's top investors-was asked at a charity investment conference to share his best investment advice. Short sell Allied Capital. At the time, ...more
Paperback, 426 pages
Published December 7th 2010 by John Wiley & Sons (first published May 27th 2007)
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Community Reviews

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Jul 23, 2012 Jon added it
David Einhorn manages a hedge fund whose strategy partly consists of pinning incompetent or fraudulent companies and betting against them. This book centers on his fight with Allied Capital, one of the fraudulent companies.

Fraudulent data turns Einhorn on like a full-fledged disco party turned on the Bee Gees. Seriously, you can feel his excitement about the numbers bubbling over on every page, and, to be honest, much of it is skim-worthy. Because it's just data data data.

And still, this book h
This is either a very in-depth case study or a tedious recounting of someone's side of the argument in a years-long battle to expose a company's wrongdoing, depending on whether or not you are interested in the topic and very familiar with how businesses and investing work. It's the story of a battle between a hedge fund manager who short sold a company's stock and publicized it and that company's reaction. The author is extremely detail oriented, which means that every time the company fails to ...more
Seth Spearman
I loved this book.

This book is not just a book. It is a public service. It is very eye-opening and disheartening and heroic look at corporate greed, market manipulation, colossal regulatory and media failure, all at the same time.

If you have a naive view of the virtue of the free markets, especially as they exist in the form of publicly traded corporations, and you don't want your naivete spoiled, then don't read this book. This is a story of a real stinker of a publicly traded corporation, Alli
Max Stone
I'm a big fan of David Einhorn, both his investing skill and his integrity. And I'm sure he is somewhere between 90% and 100% right on his fight with Allied Capital. But in general, what is the purpose of reading an extremely detailed account of a years-long scuffle between two parties which is authored by one of the parties. A book like this just cries out to be written by a third party. It might say exactly the same things, but it would be different coming from someone not in the fight.

Also i
Steve Bradshaw
This book is really two disparate parts welded together.

The first, quite enjoyable, section of the book describes Einhorn's start in the hedge fund business. If you have an interest in fund management, you'll get a lot out of how he put his first fund together and quickly rose to prominence with spectacular performance out of the gates. The book provides a detailed behind-the-scenes narrative on his early investment decisions and how each investment unfolded in the context of the overall fund. T
David Ball
The version I read of this was published in 2008, just as the financial crisis took off, and while I very much enjoyed the story, I wasn't happy with where Einhorn chose to stop writing. Being a trader, I was vaguely aware of how the Allied story ended, and if ever there was a book that needed an epilogue it was this one. But how the story unfolded was fascinating - you could almost call this an "accounting thriller". I'm shocked that it took six years for the regulators, media, and investment i ...more
It started out so promising... The first 50 or 60 pages are really great. They lay out a classic David v Goliath tale of an investor who is challenging a large and successful company with the belief that the company is engaging in accounting fraud. The challenge, raised by the author as CEO of hedge fund Greenlight Capital is one of the classic tales in hedge fund lore where a company goes out of its way to attack and discredit an individual. Einhorn, who was betting against the company, spent t ...more
I get a lot of books handed or recommended to me, most of which seem to miss what I actually enjoy in books. This one seemed one of the most egregious examples; a book about details behind short selling positions and market failure. Queue the confetti. While I had enjoyed Einhorn's takedown of GMC, this didn't seem like it would do anything for me.

I was wrong.

Halfway through, I had to stop and thank my friend for the recommendation. This is an interesting inside view of corporate (dys)function a
A rather dry book, the author is right about the accounting games at Allied,
but he uses most of the book repeating particular ideas.

The book was written before the story ended.
See wiki

For the last word.

Allied wasn't a total fraud like Enron or global crossing,
but the people in charge goosed the accounting to make their pay and bonuses bigger.

In the end the company was sold for $5 a share in 2010,
down from the $26 when the author started battle with ma
Jun 25, 2008 Carson rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Carson by: Paul
Great Book! This story demonstrates primary research in an investment setting at its best.

Also, this is a great example of what happens in big government (the Small Business Administration in this story). “Let’s give career Washington-types billions of dollars and measure them on how well they are able to spend it! Let’s not hold them accountable for how well the loans ultimately perform.”

Also, for the company in questions, they should “bribe,” I mean give campaign contributions to, the politici
Just finished this the other night. Unless you are interested in finance and investing, it may bore you.
However, I really enjoyed it. I respect Einhorn a lot and have read the excerpts from other speeches he has given.
This book further fuels my anger towards the management of large companies, who recognize fraud or stretching numbers, or at the very least improperly accounting for valuation and revenues, as merely a hurdle to increased profits. It also made me angry that he basically gift-wrappe
This is the story of the author's public campaign to discredit Allied Capital, a 50 year old company that made loans to small businesses. The author, who is a hedge fund manager, shorted the stock of Allied Capital in 2002 under the thesis that there was accounting and management fraud at the company and that it's loans were carried at an inflated value. The author subsequently went public with his thesis in the hope of convincing regulators to initiate action against the company.

Einhorn's book
Thomas Coppens
Indispensable for people wishing to experience dishonest corporate culture.
Gabriel Pinkus
While slow at times, this book offers WONDERFUL lessons for the practical investor...

Why shorting is difficult:
If you short a company run by crooks, they will play dirty while you can't
If you short a company run by crooks, while that short may make up a portion of your portfolio, the crook's life depends on the shorted company

Einhorn has clearly done very well shorting companies, but if shorting a fraudulent company leads to 5+ years of stress, headaches, thousands of hours of your time and even
This is a really good book, and a perfect example of the famous Buffett's quote "There’s never just one cockroach in the kitchen". The short trade started with a call based on inadequate accounting on investments by the Allied Capital company, but evolved into an almost thriller-like investment case that included public attacks, lending frauds, corporate spying, prosecutions, among others.

In my opinion, above all the details and developments of the story, the most interesting aspect of the book
Although full of rather shocking revelations about the lack of Government oversight in the SEC and the SBA (Small Business Administration), the book loses it's punch for two reasons: 1 You don't deserve a medal for self-service, and 2. it's god-awfully repetetive.
David Einhorn held a short position on Allied THROUGHOUT his "crusade", and you just can't discount that fact as you consider the value of this book. It's sadly poignant, that every time a government agency turns down his MANY request
This is overall a good book, however it does tend to get very technical and I would recommend staying away unless you are a passionate investor / want to learn how a short investor thinks. The entire book is about David Einhorn’s saga of shorting Allied Capital. The things that you find out about Allied almost makes this book seem like a movie given how many opportunities the SEC / SBA had to shut these guys down, but chose not to investigate, despite the warnings Greenlight gave them. It all st ...more
I misunderstood what this book was about. The author, David Einhorn, appears in either The Big Short or Too Big to Fail and came off really well, so I thought I would read his book. I was curious about what makes his hedge fund, Greenlight Capital, so successful.

This is not that book. This is a book about Einhorn's long fight against Allied Capital, and his many attempts to convince regulators and the market that Allied and its subsidiaries were operating fraudulently. This does not interest me,
Really excellent book. Not the easiest to read -- though he tries to explain the technical terms, the book is still essentially a narrative of his analysis of a complicated, publicly listed business loan issuer, one of the many denizens of America's 'shadow banking system'. Really an eye opener in terms of exposure, however brief, to the diversity of the American stock market. I picked it up mainly to understand the extent and depth of financial analysis at what is regarded as one of the world's ...more
Narrated by L. J. Ganser

13 hrs and 24 mins

Publisher's Summary

A rare look inside the world of activist hedge funds from one of this country's top investors.

In 2002, David Einhorn, the president of Greenlight Capital, gave a speech at a charity investment conference and was asked to share his best investment idea. He described his reasons why Greenlight had sold short the shares of Allied Capital, a leader in the private finance industry. What followed was a firestorm of controversy.

Allied respond
Jack Oughton
Pretty heavy stuff but also an enlightening look into the shenanigans of finance and trading from a man who has been involved firsthand in them (he runs a hedge fund)

Think of it as an extended case study, but autobiographical - less dry than academic/complex material. Probably not one you could finish in one setting unless you live and breathe this stuff. He doesn't really dumb it down too much either, which is what makes it worth reading in my opinion.

I learned a lot!
Alkek Library
David Einhorn is a very well-regarded hedge fund manager. After finding irregularities in a company called Allied Capital's financial statements, Einhorn went short the stock. Einhorn discussed his position that Allied Capital was in trouble at public forums. Then the nightmare began. Allied Capital waged a personal war against Einhorn that involves issues of Einhorn's free speech and the perception of short selling as wrong and injurious to capitalism (it's nothing of the kind IMO).

The Securiti
Charles Allan
David Einhorn is a very well-regarded hedge fund manager. After finding irregularities in a company called Allied Capital's financial statements, Einhorn went short the stock. Einhorn discussed his position that Allied Capital was in trouble at public forums. Then the nightmare began. Allied Capital waged a personal war against Einhorn that involves issues of Einhorn's free speech and the perception of short selling as wrong and injurious to capitalism (it's nothing of the kind IMO).

The Securiti
Rahul D'cunha
Investing is an obsession and not a job.I think few exemplify that more than David Einhorn, one of the smartest fundamental investors in the current era.
In a world, where short-sellers are castigated as profiteers and trouble makers, Mr Einhorn demonstrates through his most public short that fundamental short-selling is the only tool to expose fraud and corruption in financial markets.His appeal to regulators to close loopholes that allow companies to feed off tax-payer dollars is genuine but it
Book review fooling some of the people all of the time by David Einhorn.

Excellent book reminds me of when genius failed the greatest trade ever.

Interesting commentary on government in efficiency government corruption at the highest levels the way campaign finance corrupts public finance.

The story of David Einhorn doing a short sale of Allied capital primarily because of its subsidiary BLX (business loan express) it's basically the same thing as Enron but it has not blown up at the time of his wr
Douglas Murray
Great timeline following a short position established by Greenlight Capital where fraud was suspected (with lots of evidence). Details the frustration experienced when authorities at be failed to act, or just didn't care.

Important lessons for any professional investor about the pitfalls of being short, even when your thesis is correct.
Einhorn tells an extremely long winded story of fraud at Allied Capital. It's pretty interesting stuff, if you're into financial fraud, but almost annoyingly biased. Still, since Einhorn was right, he gets to write the book.

I think the book could have used a stronger editor, as Einhorn insists on explaining every move in his quest to show the truth about Allied's corrupt practices and documenting every slight (from the media, the SEC, Allied, and various individuals). The same info could have b
As a person who is also involved in short selling, this book was depressing. It is truly the case that the market bias is to the long side. Those that attempt this craft are met with much opposition, regulatory, peers, etc. However, for those that enter the business in search of the truth, this is a fantastic tail of Einhorns dselleep dive research into a corrupt company.

It is unfortunate that some of the fraud he was unable to uncover will be lost in the general problems of the sub-prime crisi
Honestly 95% of this book is pretty depressing, seeing how long fraud is allowed to persist. Then the company finally collapses at the end. Amazing how so much corruption within the gov't ranks is allowed to persist. Equally sad is the comment at the end when under investigation the SBA admitted to not even wanting the money back (tax payer $) after BLX admitted to defrauding them. I guess when it is only taxpayer money and not your own money you don't have skin in the game so who really cares i ...more
Lan Le
Probably one of the most influential financial reads I have read. A naive financial graduate who thinks the capital market is perfect and regulators enforce the laws against wrong-doings might find himself dumb-founded like myself.
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Joel Greenblatt is an American hedge fund manager and founder of Gotham Capital. He is also an academic and a writer. He is also an adjunct professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business. He is the former chairman of the board of Alliant Techsystems and founder of the New York Securities Auction Corporation.
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