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Going South: An Inside Look at Corruption and Greed, and the Power of the HealthSouth Message Board Hardcover – December 1, 2005

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From Publishers Weekly

Combining two trends of the 1990s-the rise and fall of corporate health care giants such as HealthSouth in response to managed care; and the explosion of the Internet as a virtual meeting place and public square-Cast provides a limited case study of the convergence of these two worlds. The HealthSouth Yahoo! board became a forum for the company's disgruntled current and former employees. (Including Cast, whose surgical clinic belonged to HealthSouth for a year.) Cast does a great job showing the camaraderie of an Internet board, but he reprints too many long excerpts from posts; the name-calling and bickering feels like reading an unfiltered online discussion, but the reprinted vitriol helps the reader understand the company's lawsuits against its anonymous critics, which succeeded in wringing an apology from one of them. The story of Richard Scrushy, the flamboyant CEO of HealthSouth who started a company-supported country band and piloted his corporate jet, is fascinating, especially as told by Cast, a consummate outsider who didn't interview any company insiders for his book. The book follows Medicare fraud lawsuits, shareholder suits and an FBI raid on company headquarters from the investor point of view and shows how the HealthSouth message board finally helped small investors make a profit when the company's stock resumed trading after the FBI raid. Cast, however, in focusing solely on HealthSouth's case, misses a natural opportunity to explore the wider implications of the clash between the free-wheeling Internet ethos and the strictures of corporate health care.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Kaplan Business; illustrated edition edition (December 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1419520172
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419520174
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,950,388 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By bborden on December 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
A great chronicle of the rise-fall-rise of Healthsouth and the Yahoo message board investors who stood together to weather the storm and prosper.

A must read for those interested in massive corporate corruption, narcissism, fear, intimidation and greed.

SEC investigations, FBI raids, suicide, taped conversations, rogue bondholders and cooked books are some of the ingredients of this true story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By DocShopper on July 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Healthsouth has become, in the mind of the public and media, synonymous with Enron and Worldcom. But the true story is much different. Rather than collapsing into bankruptcy, Healthsouth has survived and is flourishing under new management.

Dr. Cast tells the story of Healthsouth through its troubled times in 2003 through the recovery in a well-written readable style. But the most important lesson in this book is how a few investors (myself included) made lots of money by looking beyond the media reports and sharing information online that was not being disseminated through any other media outlet. The real story here is one of individual investors beating out the so-called experts at their own game. While this was a unique situation, some would call once-in-a-lifetime, every individual investor should be prepared to take advantage of a similar situation. This book should be required reading for every investor.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mike Hanvey on December 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Cast never cease to amaze me with his diversity, resilience, eccentricities,and good humour. I suppose that's a

roundabout way of saying that as an author he is as captivating as he is an outstanding fellow human being.

In "Going South, not only do you get an insider glimpse at the chronology of Healthsouth; You'll discover enlightenment aimed at keeping ahead of the curve in investment. The "How and Why things happen" and most important, the latest trends. Far more than a stinging exposi of corporate corruption ... The detail financial sections are templates to understanding how to become very wealthy.

"Going South" is one of the most compelling business books ever published a must read and add to your personal library.
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3 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Fifty Percent on December 3, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Ol 50%, the star of the book, is sorting through numerous requests to play my part in the movie.

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