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Confessions of a Wall Street Analyst Hardcover – February 7, 2006


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When retired telecommunications analyst Dan Reingold decided to write an account of what he'd seen while working for powerful Wall Street investment banks, he turned to his niece, a journalist at Fast Company and the author of Final Accounting: Ambition, Greed and the Fall of Arthur Anderson, for help. Together, they've created a solid structure for his recollections of life in the trenches, but because he's one of the good guys, Reingold doesn't have much to confess. Beyond detailing every step in his upward career mobility, Reingold does little but gripe about people like his main competitor, Jack Grubman, who spent years flaunting insider connections with executives who would float him advance info on major corporate deals. (Grubman is currently a defendant in several securities fraud cases.) Reingold does suggest that insider influence is so pervasive in the financial market that investors should avoid individual stocks completely, and he has a number of recommendations for industry-wide reform, but in the end, his story is basically that he worked in the same industry as a bunch of bad eggs. While the personal material is never less than engaging, it doesn't fundamentally alter our understanding of the recent market scandals. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Reingold, a prominent Wall Street analyst from 1989 to 2003, sets out to give a first-person narrative about business fraud and scandal. Because the author began his career at MCI, he opens the book with the trial of WorldCom (MCI)'s Bernie Ebbers and the mid-2002 collapse of the company, caused by lies and deception, which resulted in the $180-billion decline in shareholder value and 30,000 employees fired. As a telecom analyst on Wall Street, it was his job to understand WorldCom's numbers, and he missed the manipulation, as did many others. Turning his focus toward Wall Street, the author reveals how it really works. Although there has been some cleanup, he contends there are still many leaks, conflicts, and abuses of the law and investor trust. He claims that the book's contents are true, and unfair and often-illegal use of inside information continues. He believes that the average investor can never win the stock-market game, which belongs to the insiders. Interesting insight. Mary Whaley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness; First Edition edition (February 7, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060747692
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060747695
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #460,518 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

A great read if you are interested in this kind of stuff.
Lucas Trengove
This book was a great insight in to the world of telecom analysts who worked on Wall Street during the late 90s to early millenium years.
Geoff Howard
Well, this is a terrific book and I enjoyed reading it very much.
Craig Matteson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Over the course of the past 10 years, I have watched with dismay the devolution of the telecommunications industry. My point of reference has been the anecdotal feedback I have received from numerous friends and acquaintances that were employed in a wide variety of telecom companies - AT&T, Lucent, MCI, Global Crossing, to name just a few. It has been a tale of woe, with elements of malfeasance, misfeasance, greed, incompetence and venality.

A friend who works in the world of investments suggested that I read Dan Reingold's memoir, recently published by Collins, the Harper Collins imprint that produces most of their business titles. The full title of this fascinating and chilling book is, "Confessions of a Wall Street Analyst - A True Story of Inside Information and Corruption in the Stock Market." From his vantage point as one of the most respected Wall Street analysts covering the telecom industry, Reingold tells the ultimate "caveat emptor" story that should give pause to all of us who make stock market investment decisions.

Reingold tells a very credible tale, mixing in enough elements of mea culpa to make his story believable and accessible. In hindsight, he wonders why he and other analysts did not uncover before it was too late the accounting duplicity and fraud that ultimately led to indictments of several key telecom executives, and that served as the straw that broke the camel's back of the telecom industry.

In the first 300 pages, Reingold does an excellent job of walking the reader through the development of his role as an award-winning analyst, first within the fledgling MCI, and then on Wall Street with Morgan Stanley and finally with Credit Suisse First Boston.
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Format: Hardcover
I always find the inside stories of events as told by the participants very interesting. If they are candid, and that is a big if, they can provide information and perspectives on events and people that can't be had from those of us on the sidelines. The problem with these accounts is that any participant only knows what he or she did and those pretty much in their immediate vicinity. To get things in a larger context is often beyond their expertise and so their opinion on the big picture is often as distorted and incomplete as anyone else's guess. Then there is the self-interest bias that prevents most people from presenting and completely open picture of themselves and to load up to heavily on why the other guy is the real bum.

Well, this is a terrific book and I enjoyed reading it very much. Honestly, I picked it up with some trepidation for the reasons I list above. Dan Reingold tells his own story as one of the very top telecom analysts on Wall Street. He provides a very interesting and honest context for his entry and rapid rise and is quite clear about the lavish pay scales and pressures his job enjoyed and endured. He is quite open about his own experiences in moving up the ladder and from firm to firm (always at higher pay and better terms). I very much enjoyed the way he describes how these negotiations are handled.

The most interesting part of the book, for me, was his discussion of the inherent conflicts between the analysts and the banking side of the firm. For the most part, Reingold managed these conflicts well and honorably. This approach to his job not only earns our respect, but kept him from being caught up in the scandals that took down so many in his industry, especially the notorious Jack Grubman.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Chad E. Brown on September 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very valuable book for those who want to know what Wall Street analysts do, or at least what they did in this period. As a former Wall Street analyst, I can attest that it has the ring of truth. The author comes across as being overly obsessed with Jack Grubman, however. Getting revenge seems to have been one of his strongest motivations in writing this book, and he certainly has succeeded.

Dan Reingold is vulnerable to criticism himself. He pats himself on the back for putting "Hold" recommendations on stocks that fell sharply, and that he claims he thought were probably going to fall sharply. Why not say "Sell?" His defense seems to be that he was spending his time finding stocks that were Buys, and if a stock was not a "Buy" there was no point in writing a report on the stock.

At the end of the book he makes some recommendations about how to reform the role of Wall Street analysts. He makes well-founded points about the flaws in Spitzer's "reforms". But his own recommendations are poorly thought out. He does not seem fully to appreciate the economics behind research departments.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Katz MD on February 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
A fantastic account of one brilliant, talented, and hardworking man's ascent from Buffalo to the hallowed halls of Wall Street. In spite of the great views, the fantastic parties, the private jets, and the great pay it appears to have been a lonely trip. The account is that of the only honest guy on the street. The other analysts will do anything to get a piece of the cheese. Here's the story of one man's ethical struggle against a system that proclaims loudly, " GREED IS GOOD". The account is honest and forthright. Many of the stories are outrageously funny. The book is enjoyable and reads quickly. Make sure you buy it for your kid in college who aspires to be, " An Investment Banker."
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