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Fooling Some of the People All of the Time, a Long Short (and Now Complete) Story, Updated with New Epilogue
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Fooling Some of the People All of the Time, a Long Short (and Now Complete) Story, Updated with New Epilogue

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  3,057 ratings  ·  132 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 Wiley (first published May 27th 2007)
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4.02  · 
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 ·  3,057 ratings  ·  132 reviews


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Jon
Jul 23, 2012 rated it really liked 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
...more
Jacob
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
Max Stone
Aug 26, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
...more
Alex Song
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Jesus Christ.

This book is so good. Who knew David Einhorn was such a beast at writing? This is investing at its best. Unfortunately the outcome wasn't a quicker/cleaner one.

This is a must-read if you are interested in:
- hedge funds
- short selling
- investing in BDCs and specialty finance companies
- what a shithole various US government agencies are

My version of the book was old and didn't have the epilogue... but the TLDR is basically: Allied Capital went BK and was acquired by Ares. BLX is still
...more
Steve Bradshaw
Jan 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: investment
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
...more
Seth Spearman
Aug 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: economics, politics
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
...more
Rick
Dec 29, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: finance
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
Loh
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
To some, David Einhorn presents a convoluted argument regarding Allied Capital (the book essentially is a 400pg short investment thesis) - but I think if one takes the time and effort to digest and follow his train of thought (and read up on accounting theory), Einhorn's tenacity, intensity and research prowess shines through.

He is incredibly thorough and detailed about the financial shenanigans that Allied Capital engages in, and to aspiring securities analysts, there is no better example for
...more
Zhou Fang
Mar 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
David Einhorn is not only a hedge fund manager with an impressive track record, he is also an incredibly clear writer. Fooling Some of the People All of the Time is a book that reveals much about both his investing process in general and his experience shorting Allied Capital in particular. Despite his ultimate success in shorting Allied Capital, Einhorn's story strengthens my conviction that investors should stay away from short selling.

Greenlight's investment process could be described as sim
...more
Brandon
Oct 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
James
Mar 29, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: life-in-amerika
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 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allied_C...

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
...more
David Ball
Sep 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Carson
Jun 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
...more
Matt
Sep 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-it
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
...more
Laura
Jul 06, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
While the big message in this book is good, it's delivered much like someone who's been wronged and takes it personally by documenting every single transgression against him. This leads to a very accurate book with much documentation - transcripts, letters and news articles. Put another way: good for facts - bad for storytelling. The story would have benefited from setting a larger context of fraud. I think it would have been stronger from someone not so close to the subject. Or a stronger edito ...more
Ngee Poo
Jan 02, 2015 rated it liked it
The book's essence, and the unfavourable economics of short-selling in general, can be summarised by the following quote:

"...Allied is just one position in our portfolio. But, for the company and its management, it is the whole ballgame, so they will say and do things we wouldn't consider doing in order to win."

Thomas C
Sep 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Indispensable for people wishing to experience dishonest corporate culture.
Rodney Royden
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolute must read - especially for anyone considering a career in business and politics.

In short, basically a book about a dispute between a short-seller (Einhorn)* who shorted a company that he believed was fraudulently misrepresenting the numbers to mislead the public (Allied Express.)

Einhorn lobbied using evidence and tenacity but his viewpoint was shot down repeatedly by the media and the government (without obvious transparent reasonable inquiry into Einhorn's claims.)

* I hesitate to simp
...more
JDK1962
Oct 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this on the heels of watching the second series of the Showtime drama "Billions" (a guilty pleasure), and while not as compelling as the tales of Axe Capital, it's still a fascinating, outraging tale. It boggles the mind that you can lay out a case of (at best) improper accounting, and all of the responsible regulators feel free to shrug it off. I felt at the time that SEC Chairman Christopher Cox was completely worthless--a prime example of a regulator who was actually against any meanin ...more
James Worswick
Jul 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dropped
The first part of the book was good.

Note that I bought this book in hopes that I would learn some techniques on how to spot companies that are dishonest to their shareholders. I got a few information, but most of the book felt like it was either trying to be a mix between story telling, informative and a rant.

Unfortunately, I got very few points from this book because the book was written (and structured) very poorly. The information inside this book is not friendly towards people who have no ex
...more
Kristjan Velbri
Jul 09, 2017 rated it liked it
An historic account of how Einhorn shorted a stock and then went through the lengthy process of proving that the company was in bad shape. When everyone has a vested interest in looking the other way, it can be difficult to prove that a company is mismanaging its finances and lying to its customers. That is exactly what was happening and the company deserved to be shorted. The read itself is full of minute details, hence it takes some focus to chew through this interesting, but at times a little ...more
George Atuan
May 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Nice read. This is a great example of the difficulties shorting a stock even when you are sure you are right as it may take years for the fraud to unfold. David Einhorn identified the fraud in Allied in 2002 when it was around $20s i think and in 2010 (8 years) the stock was $3.47 when it was taken over. Read the book, the story is very educational and entertaining.
Robert Sutherland
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excellent first hand account of the Allied Financial story. If you are a finance geek, it’s for you. If you want to learn more about finance and accounting, this fits the bill while being entertaining. It’s also a great peek into the heads of people with very keen intellects and critical thinking skills.
Benjamin Lim
Sep 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Interesting insight into how a hedge fund manager thinks, and the level of conviction he/she must have to place a such a significant contrarian "bet". Really shows that, sometimes, the markets do not know what is actually happening and may not really care to understand what is actually happening.
Endre Moen
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a page-turner! And thats because author makes the reader feel as intelligent as himself. Putting my finger on something - is that author didnt have to wait until page 181 to explain what SBA is.

Terrence
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great book. Highly encourage you to read it.
If you are interested to read my review of this book, you may click on the link below.

https://terrencenotes.com/2019/07/01/...
Piotr Szybicki
Apr 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good, the author do not pull any punches and requiers from the reader a lot of inteligence and knowladge abut the financial markets. I like the way he describes his story as a hedge fund manager and the strauggles to expose the Allied Capital for a crimes they commited.
Alex Trimm
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finance
David is a BAMF.
Joseph Davin
May 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
First few chapters were great to give context to "mark-to-market" and other account practices.

Skimmed through the rest of the book because it was so repetitive. And angry.
Darryl
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
This just kind of makes you mad. The book is pretty technical, but the message isn't.
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