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Wall Street Versus America: A Muckraking Look at the Thieves, Fakers, and Charlatans Who Are Ripping You Off Paperback – May 29, 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Trade (May 29, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591841631
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591841630
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,197,632 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Gary Weiss has written a book that strips away the gloss and glamour of the stock world and reveals the sometimes sordid details.…Wall Street Versus America is erudite and savagely funny. -- Houston Chronicle

His arguments are hotheaded — as in, ‘by the way, be sure to stick the word "allegedly" into every sentence of the preceding paragraph’— but highly illuminating. -- The New York Times

With lethal intent, Weiss’s new book unleashes a nuclear blast across the spectrum of financial finagling. -- Barron’s

Witty, readable, and hunts big game. -- New York Post

About the Author

Gary Weis is the author of Born to Steal: When the Mafia Hit Wall Street. He is an award-winning investigative journalist known for the hard-hitting cover stories he wrote during his many years at BusinessWeek, on subjects from microcap fraud to manipulation of Treasury securities by Salomon Brothers.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michael Emmett Brady on January 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
The author has done an excellent job of detailing exactly what the problem is.On the one hand , we have Main Street,which aims at producing real wealth,based on the production of actual goods and services;on the other hand,we have Wall Street,whose main aim is to NOT produce any real goods or services.Wall Street's aim is to manipulate the paper claims to real wealth in such a way that Wall street speculators( the former investment banking houses like Bear Streans , Lehman Brothers ,and Merill Lynch,etc.),can extract a paper profit without the production of real goods and services, by the use of creative accounting,securitization,and leveraged buyouts involving the private equity firms.

Weiss does home in on the problem.The problem is that the United States has not had a truly dedicated SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission)chairman since the years 1971-1973,when Bill Casey made sure that such speculation was snuffed out before it could get started.Every SEC chairman since Casey has been someone who essentially allows the Wall Street speculators to peddle their baloney .Weiss does an especially good job in exposing the pathetic tenure of Authur Levitt,who was SEC chairman during the Clinton-Gore years.There was,at best,minimal to no regulation during all 8 years from 1993-2000.The Wall Street speculators built up steam during the Clinton years.Both secretaries of the Treasury,Rubin and Summers,helped create the speculative economy that has now collapsed.

I have deducted one half of a star because there is no discussion of the work of Adam Smith ,J M Keynes, or Kindleberger.All three wrote important works which identified exactly what the problem was-speculation financed and engaged in by the private commercial banking industry and investment banks.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mariusz Skonieczny on August 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
If you have $100,000, you are not being viewed as a $100,000 client to those on Wall Street. You are viewed maybe as a $2,000 or $3,000-a-year client to your broker or advisor. To you, your money represents hard work over many years. To them, you are just a tool to make them money. Wall Street needs you more than you need them. Without you, they would not exist. If you learn how to invest yourself, you don't need them anymore. They, on the other hand, benefit when you are uneducated about investing.

This book exposes how the business of investing works. It really opens your eyes to the true reality. Wall Street is a place that many associate with getting rich. The authors says,

"Much of Wall Street is built on catering to that fantasy,"

"That's because fortunes are made on Wall Street by catering to your greed. Not a penny is to be made protecting you from Wall Street's greed. That's your job."

I recommend this book to all investors. It is better to get educated than be sorry.

- Mariusz Skonieczny, author of Why Are We So Clueless about the Stock Market? Learn how to invest your money, how to pick stocks, and how to make money in the stock market
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tsook on February 13, 2012
Format: Paperback
Based on his views in this book there is no understanding of economics. He smears wall street with no understanding of the deeper issues. He stated in an interview he did not study economics (...) Same interview he states that the economy is down so he's not feeling too good. But some people say thats the best time to invest. Brilliant! My grandma could give that kind of advice.
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By Stan Mullin on February 26, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
great read
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5 of 10 people found the following review helpful By JD on December 15, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Since the great collapse of wealth in this country and around the world in the last year and having gone through two "bubbles" in less than 10 years (internet and housing) I was hoping to learn more about how Wall Street works. Although Weiss has a dry sense of humor about the tragedy we are all undergoing, he only foucuses on a few aspects of Wall Street..mutual funds, short selling, hedge funds, Grasso's pay and a fleeting moment on the internet bubble. Fast forward to 2008 where we have been choked to death by the underbelly of Wall Street and the big financial institutons, this book is basically outdated. Surley he understood the corruption withing the large Wall Street financial banks yet other than the sidebar about Randy Groves loosing to Merrill Lynch...ok this is where I get a bit confused, what part of the TARP are they hidding under? As Warren Buffet says, "you will know who is swimming naked when the tide goes out." The tide is out and we almost know who is swimming naked and then Madoof actually was going around pulling the suits off of people. It is really hard to keep up and learn how Wall Street is screwing main street. Have to wait for the next shoe to drop. One good thing about the book is his description of short selling using the borrow a book from the library analogy. Now that I got. The rest is obvious and history.
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More About the Author

Gary Weiss has uncovered financial wrongdoing for almost a quarter of a century.

AYN RAND NATION (St. Martin's Press: Feb. 28, 2012), his third book, began as an exploration of the roots of the 2008 financial crisis. It soon became apparent that Ayn Rand's teachings were a decisive influence, and that her philosophy has come to pervade the national dialogue over the role of government, deficits, and "entitlements" such as Social Security and Medicare. Her teachings have been adopted in large measure by all of the Republican presidential candidates, have a strong influence on the libertarian movement and Tea Party, and pose a challenge to moderates and conservatives as well as the left.

It is a hidden battle for the soul of America - and Rand is winning.

Weiss was for years an investigative reporter at BusinessWeek magazine, where his award-winning cover story, "The Mob on Wall Street," exposed mob infiltration of the market for small-cap stocks. The article won praise from Louis Freeh, director of the FBI, for paving the way for federal prosecution of mob crimes in the stock market. He uncovered the Salomon Brothers bond-trading scandal, and authored some of the earliest coverage on the dangers posed by hedge funds, Internet fraud and out-of-control leverage.

He was a contributing editor at Conde Nast Porfolio, writing about the people most intimately involved in the financial crisis, from Timothy Geithner to Bernard Madoff. He also writes a regular column for TheStreet.com and is a freelance contributor to many periodicals.

His first book BORN to STEAL (Warner Books: 2003), described the Mafia's takeover of brokerage houses in the 1990s. WALL STREET VERSUS AMERICA (Portfolio: 2006) was a detailed account of investor rip-offs.

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