In the go-go nineties Jordan Belfort proved to Wall Street that you didn’t need to be on Wall Street to make a fortune in the stock market. But his company, Stratton Oakmont, worked differently. His young Long Island wannabes didn’t know from turnaround plans or fiduciary trust. Instead, they knew how to separate wealthy investors from their cash, and spend it as fast as it came in--on hookers, yachts, and drugs. But when Jordan’s empire crashed, the man who had become legend was cornered into a five-year stint cooperating with the feds. This continuation of his Wall Street Journal bestseller, The Wolf of Wall Street, tells the true story of his spectacular flameout and imprisonment for stock fraud.
In this astounding account, Wall Street’s notorious bad boy--and original million-dollar-a-month stock chopper--leads us through a drama worthy of The Sopranos, from his early rise to power to the FBI raid on his estate to the endless indictments at his arrest, to his deal with a bloodthirsty prosecutor to rat out his oldest friends and colleagues--while they were doing the same. With his kingdom in ruin, not to mention his marriage, the Wolf faced his greatest challenge yet: how to navigate a gauntlet of judges and lawyers, hold on to his kids and his enraged model wife--and possibly salvage his self-respect. It wasn’t going to be easy. In fact, for a man with an unprecedented appetite for excess, it was going to be hell.
From a wired conversation at an Italian restaurant, where Jordan’s conscience finally kicks in, to a helicopter ride with an underage knockout that will become his ultimate undoing, here is the tale of a young genius on a roller coaster of harrowing highs--and more harrowing lows. But as the countdown to his moment in court begins, after one last crazy bout with a madcap Russian beauty queen, the man at the center of one of the most outrageous scandals in financial history sees the light of what matters most: his sobriety, and his future as a father and a man. Will a prison term be his first step toward redemption?
Amazon Exclusive: Jordan Belfort on Catching the Wolf of Wall Street
At this moment, our financial system has all but imploded. Real estate prices have plummeted, Wall Street's most venerable investment banks have gone belly up, the credit-crunch has brought the economy to a grinding halt, and once-thriving cities have been turned into financial Hiroshimas, with foreclosed homes littering every block and abandoned pets roaming the streets.
When I wrote my first book, The Wolf of Wall Street, I wanted it to serve as a cautionary tale to anyone who was living a life of unbridled hedonism, to anyone who thought there was something glamorous about being known as a Wolf of Wall Street. Now, with Catching the Wolf of Wall Street, the dire economic straits we find ourselves in have made that desire even more powerful.
Catching the Wolf of Wall Street is an eye-opening glance into the self-destruction of my own life, as a result of my own criminal actions.
In short, I get my comeuppance...and then some.
You might find many of the chapters to be completely hysterical (reading about someone else’s pain can be that way sometimes, especially when they deserve to feel pain, like I did), but I can assure that writing this book was an incredibly painful undertaking, especially the parts that dealt with my separation from my children when I went to jail. I shed many a tear, dredging up those memories, and I found myself having a renewed appreciation for some of life’s simpler things, like freedom, for one.
That being said, when I look back at it all, I can only come to one sad conclusion: that I lived one of the most dysfunctional lives on the planet. I put money before integrity, greed before ethics, and covetousness before love. I chose friends unwisely, cut corners wherever I could, and then drowned my guilt and remorse beneath elephantine doses of recreational drugs.
I deserved to get caught.
Of course, some of you might be wondering whether or not I’ve changed at all--if I’m truly sorry for my crimes, and if the many public apologies I’ve made to people who lost money as a result of my actions were, indeed, sincere.
The answer to that is an unequivocal yes; I am sorry, and I do apologize. In fact, not a day goes by when the mistakes of my past don’t back up on me or are thrown in my face. But then I remind myself why I wrote these books in the first place, and of the many supportive letters I’ve received from people all over the world, who’ve gotten the intended message--namely that: crime doesn’t pay. Perhaps the latest crop of Fat Cat CEOs and Wall Street powerbrokers will get that message too.
Then we go about fixing this mess.--Jordan Belfort
(Photo © Blake Little)
Belfort’s memoir (his recollection of events with some changed names and reconstructed dialogue) was written after serving almost two years in prison for securities fraud. The author recounts his meteoric rise on Wall Street, where he built one of the largest brokerage firms by age 27. He reflects upon his remarkable journey, explaining his core skill of training salesmen, especially stupid or naive young people, showing them how they can become rich. This is the story of a scam artist who enjoyed a lifestyle of parties, hookers, and drug dealing until the FBI took him away in handcuffs at age 36. It tells of his cooperation with the government and his life as an informant. In recounting what he acknowledges was his dysfunctional life, his apparent devotion to his children is a bright light. This sordid saga will either become popular as a cautionary tale of greed and treachery or it will become romanticized as glamorous excess and celebrity. --Mary Whaley
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