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Circle of Friends: The Massive Federal Crackdown on Insider Trading---and Why the Markets Always Work Against the Little Guy

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  56 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
The bestselling author of The Sellout tells the explosive story of the government’s crackdown on insider-trading networks—an investigation that has already racked up more than 60 convictions.

In Circle of Friends, award-winning journalist Charles Gasparino—one of Wall Street's most knowledgeable observers—follows government investigators and prosecutors as they pursue one o
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published July 2nd 2013 by HarperBusiness (first published June 25th 2013)
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Oliver Schnusenberg
Sep 16, 2013 rated it liked it
I thought it was a good book and a decent read. Mr. Gasparino did a good job of tracing all the events, which was not an easy thing to do given the number of people involved in the Galleon insider trading scandal.

Having said this, there were also things I did not like that much about the book. First, the cast of characters is extremely large, so it was very hard to follow individual characters. This was made particularly difficult because the order of the book did not seem to follow a logical or
Jul 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A serviceable account of the personalities and events surrounding the recent convictions of Raj Rajaratnam, Rajat Gupta and many others, along with the current government focus on Steve Cohen from SAC Capital. The book reads like an informative newspaper article but unfortunately doesn't envelope the reader in an atmosphere of suspense. This is unfortunate because Gasparino's writing comes alive when he describes the anguish individuals had in serving as cooperating witnesses against colleagues ...more
I'm going to assume that Gasparino didn't add the subtitle on this book, because a big part of his thesis is that insider trading isn't all that harmful to markets, especially when compared with mortgage fraud and other issues in modern financial systems. While I kinda-sorta see his point, the inside traders are still sleazy, still gaming the system, so I don't have a lot of sympathy for them. I do agree with his point that a lot more money has gone into catching these hedge fund crooks rather t ...more
Andrew Tollemache
Aug 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
I have to say for my first foray into Charlie Gasparino books I was impressed. CG can always be a tad blow hardy and kisses many sources ass too much, however in this case he did a good job describing how the Late 00's Insider Trading cases were cracked, tracked and prosecuted.
Most surprising of all, but not really, is the extent to which some of these trading superstars used dirty info to make their gains. I would love to know the total % of some fund's gains come from such shenanigans. Raj
Oct 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Your opinion about this book will probably depend on your opinion on insider trading. If you believe insider trading is a serious crime, this book may disappoint you. It is well written and fast paced. There aren't many sections that "most readers skip." The author seems either ambivalent or opposed to the illegality of insider trading. Gasparino comes across as a typical NY blowhard in most TV appearances but his public persona is subdued in this book. I enjoyed learning more about how Wall Str ...more
Barry Martin Vass
Mar 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this very much. Circle Of Friends is a well-written, knowledgeable, meticulously-researched study of Wall Street, particularly the last twenty years with the Federal crackdown on insider trading and the downfall of mortgage-based securities that caused the last stock market crash in 2008. I've followed Mr. Gasparino for years on the various business talk shows, and he has always had a quick grasp of any financial situation. If you're interested in background on why things work the way ...more
Mar 24, 2014 rated it liked it
There is something interestingly uncomfortable about this book. The FBI seems to be giving the real insiders who work at the publicly traded companies a pass to get to the traders who trade on their information and much of the investigation seems more than a little about "show time". Mr. Gasparino tells a compelling story with a good timeline that weaves all the pieces together. It is an especially interesting read in light of the continuing investigation of SAC Capital and the convictions of Mi ...more
John Branney
Jan 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
The critical factor that makes a good book is its ability to pull the reader into the story, no matter the background of the reader. This book just did not connect with me. The subject interested me, but the material was so dry and drawn out I struggled to turn the next page. This book was without drama. This book left me completely unfulfilled. Two thumbs down.
Dan Cotter
Mar 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a quick, decently written read on insider trading and the crackdown, although at times it seems to suggest that insider trading is a crimeless offense or that focus should be on finding people like Madoff. But a good read.
Feb 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
My rating: 3.8 stars
Interesting read...well written book.
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