Octopus is a real-life thriller that tells the inside story of an audacious hedge fund fraud and the wild search, by a colorful cast of rogues and schOctopus is a real-life thriller that tells the inside story of an audacious hedge fund fraud and the wild search, by a colorful cast of rogues and schemers, for a “secret market” beneath the financial market we all know.
Sam Israel was a man who seemed to have it all – until the hedge fund he ran, Bayou, imploded and he became the target of a nationwide manhunt. Born into one of America’s most illustrious trading families, Israel was determined to strike out on his own. So after apprenticing with one of the greatest hedge fund traders of the 1980’s, Sam founded his own fund and promised his investors guaranteed profits. With the proprietary computer program he’d created, he claimed to be able to predict the future.
But his future was already beginning to unravel.
After suffering devastating losses and fabricating fake returns, Israel knew it was only a matter of time before his real performance would be discovered, so when a former black-ops intelligence operative told him about a “secret market” run by the Fed, Israel bet his last $150 million on a chance to make billions. Thus began his year-long adventure in “the Upperworld” -- a society populated by clandestine bankers, shady European nobility, and spooks issuing cryptic warnings about a mysterious cabal known as the Octopus.
Whether the “secret market” was real or a con, Israel was all in – and as the pressures mounted and increasingly sinister violence crept into his life, he struggled to break free of the Octopus’ tentacles. ...more
David Wessel, the Pulitzer-Prize-winning reporter, columnist, and bestselling author of In Fed We Trust, dissects a topic--the federal budget--that isDavid Wessel, the Pulitzer-Prize-winning reporter, columnist, and bestselling author of In Fed We Trust, dissects a topic--the federal budget--that is fiercely debated today in the halls of Congress and the media, and yet is misunderstood by the American public.
In a sweeping narrative about the people and the politics behind the budget, Wessel looks at the 2011 fiscal year (which ended September 30) to see where all the money was actually spent, and why the budget process has grown wildly out of control. Through the eyes of key people--Jacob Lew, White House director of the Office of Management and Budget; Douglas Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office; Blackstone founder and former Commerce Secretary Pete Peterson; and more--Wessel gives readers an inside look at the making of our unsustainable budget....more
A wake-up call for middle class Americans who feel trapped in a post-crisis economic slump, The Unfair Trade is a riveting exposé of the vast global fA wake-up call for middle class Americans who feel trapped in a post-crisis economic slump, The Unfair Trade is a riveting exposé of the vast global financial system whose flaws are the source of our economic malaise. Our livelihoods are now, more than ever, beholden to the workings of its imbalances and inequities.
The trillions of dollars that make up the flow of international finance—money that is often steered away from the people who deserve it the most—have not just undermined the lives of working and middle class Americans. It is a world-wide phenomenon that is changing the culture of Argentina; destroying the factory system in Northern Mexico, enabling drug cartels to recruit thousands of young men into their gangs; that has taken down the economies of Iceland, Ireland, Spain, Greece, and possibly Italy; and is driving American companies such as a 60-year-old family owned manufacturer of printed circuit boards to shutter all but one of its factories.
Veteran journalist Michael Casey has traveled the world—from China to Iceland, Spain to Argentina, Indonesia to Australia—recounting extraordinary stories about ordinary people from one continent to another whose lives are inextricably linked. By tracing the flow of money and goods across the world, he illustrates how an American homeowner’s life is shaped by the same economic and social policies that determine those of a low wage migrant worker on an assembly line in China. This combination of financial acumen, narrative-driven reporting, and compelling story-telling gives The Unfair Trade a unique human angle.
Casey shows that our economic problems are largely caused by political agendas that prevent the free market from encouraging fair competition and impeding the allocation of resources. Until governments work together to make this global system more efficient—until China removes incentives for its citizens to save excessively, for example, or the U.S. ends the de facto subsidies enjoyed by politically powerful banks—the global playing field will remain lopsided, job creation will lag, and our economies will be vulnerable to new crises....more
Charles H. Ferguson, who electrified the world with his Oscar-winning documentary Inside Job, now explains how a predator elite took over the country,Charles H. Ferguson, who electrified the world with his Oscar-winning documentary Inside Job, now explains how a predator elite took over the country, step by step, and he exposes the networks of academic, financial, and political influence, in all recent administrations, that prepared the predators’ path to conquest.
Over the last several decades, the United States has undergone one of the most radical social and economic transformations in its history.
·Finance has become America’s dominant industry, while manufacturing, even for high technology industries, has nearly disappeared.
·The financial sector has become increasingly criminalized, with the widespread fraud that caused the housing bubble going completely unpunished.
·Federal tax collections as a share of GDP are at their lowest level in sixty years, with the wealthy and highly profitable corporations enjoying the greatest tax reductions.
·Most shockingly, the United States, so long the beacon of opportunity for the ambitious poor, has become one of the world’s most unequal and unfair societies.
If you’re smart and a hard worker, but your parents aren’t rich, you’re now better off being born in Munich, Germany or in Singapore than in Cleveland, Ohio or New York. This radical shift did not happen by accident.
Ferguson shows how, since the Reagan administration in the 1980s, both major political parties have become captives of the moneyed elite. It was the Clinton administration that dismantled the regulatory controls that protected the average citizen from avaricious financiers. It was the Bush team that destroyed the federal revenue base with its grotesquely skewed tax cuts for the rich. And it is the Obama White House that has allowed financial criminals to continue to operate unchecked, even after supposed “reforms” installed after the collapse of 2008.
Predator Nation reveals how once-revered figures like Alan Greenspan and Larry Summers became mere courtiers to the elite. Based on many newly released court filings, it details the extent of the crimes—there is no other word—committed in the frenzied chase for wealth that caused the financial crisis. And, finally, it lays out a plan of action for how we might take back our country and the American dream....more
Cover to cover - this book is full of amazing advice. I live for his "Cheap Shots." And my copy is already dog-eared as I'm constantly referring to itCover to cover - this book is full of amazing advice. I live for his "Cheap Shots." And my copy is already dog-eared as I'm constantly referring to it....more
Practically indispensable for anyone interested in the changing landscape of media, and publishing in particular. A beautifully laid out, simply writtPractically indispensable for anyone interested in the changing landscape of media, and publishing in particular. A beautifully laid out, simply written screed for those who want to understand how technology is changing -- or not changing -- our media-consumption habits and, in fact, our brains themselves....more