- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: Random House; First Edition edition (February 7, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780812995800
- ISBN-13: 978-0812995800
- ASIN: 0812995805
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 223 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Black Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street Hardcover – February 7, 2017
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“A modern version of Moby-Dick, with wiretaps rather than harpoons.”—Jennifer Senior, The New York Times
“If you liked James B. Stewart’s Den of Thieves, Sheelah Kolhatkar’s thrilling Black Edge should be next on your reading list.”—The Wall Street Journal
“A lot of people do not trust Wall Street. They regard it as a moneymaking machine for those who work there, which has little interest in practice in its stated aim of channeling capital into businesses and helping them to grow for the broader benefit of society. For such skeptics, Steven Cohen is Exhibit A.”—John Gapper, Financial Times
“A richly reported, entertaining tale about the cat-and-mouse game between the government and Cohen.”—Andrew Ross Sorkin, The New York Times Book Review
“Masterfully deconstructing a massive web of Wall Street operating, New Yorker staff writer Sheelah Kolhatkar retraces the seven-year government investigation that took down the firm—though not the man—in a true-life thriller with Shakespearian stakes. . . . Her chilling account of a blighted industry is as mesmerizing as a human story as it is as a financial one.”—Fortune
“There are few financial-industry struggles as titanic as the one portrayed in these pages.”—Reuters BreakingViews
“One of the best books about the 2008 financial meltdown.”—The Globe and Mail
“Well-written, with pointed characterizations of the ambitious players and their motives, this book is highly recommended for readers interested in finance, crime, and politics.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“A tour de force of groundbreaking reporting and brilliant storytelling, a revealing inside account of how the Feds track a high-profile target—and, just as important, an unsettling portrayal of how Wall Street works today.”—Jeffrey Toobin, New York Times bestselling author of American Heiress
“Black Edge is not just a work of major importance, it is also addictively readable—and horrifyingly compelling. Sheelah Kolhatkar pulls back the curtain on the cheating, corruption, and skulduggery that underlie large swaths of the hedge fund industry and some of Wall Street’s most fabled fortunes. This book is as hard to put down as it is to stomach.”—Jane Mayer, New York Times bestselling author of Dark Money
“Fast-paced and filled with twists, Black Edge has the grip of a thriller. It is also an essential exposé of our times—a work that reveals the deep rot in our financial system. Everyone should read this book.”—David Grann, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost City of Z
“Black Edge is a real-life thriller about the government’s attempt to get the legendary trader Steve Cohen on insider trading charges—and the lengths to which he goes to elude them. Using deep reporting and top-notch storytelling, Sheelah Kolhatkar is able to shed new light on one of the least known and most fascinating characters on Wall Street.”—Bethany McLean, co-author of The Smartest Guys in the Room
About the Author
Sheelah Kolhatkar, a former hedge fund analyst, is a staff writer at The New Yorker, where she writes about Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and politics, among other things. She has appeared as a speaker and commentator on business and economics issues at conferences and on broadcast outlets including CNBC, Bloomberg Television, Charlie Rose, PBS NewsHour, WNYC and NPR. Her writing has also appeared in Bloomberg Businessweek, New York, The Atlantic, The New York Times and other publications. She lives in New York City.
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If you're interested in white-collar crime, particularly securities fraud, you are probably familiar with "Den of Thieves," and excellent account of the excesses of Wall Streets Masters of the Universe in the 1980s, like Michael Milken. "Black Edge" is a 21st century continuation of the tale, with the main difference being that the bad guy not only eludes justice, but he continues to prosper,unlike what happened to Michael Milken. "Black Edge" reads like a cross between crime fiction and a primer on high finance, meaning it's tautly written, the story flows beautifully, and the author Sheelah Kolhatkar weaves together an extremely complex array of characters into a well structured and easily comprehended narrative. Any negative review I've read of this book up to February 17, 2017 is entirely bogus and illegitimate, written by people who know, or are the people themselves, who are painted in an unflattering light in this book. Don't expect a feel good book with a justice prevails outlook, however. In 21st century America, with the undoubted further de-regulation of Wall Street that is to come in the future, those that think laws are for suckers will continue to prosper at the little guy's expense.
P.S. anyone who has read thus far and takes exception to the political overtones of my review, please keep this in mind: I'm very well versed in Libertarian free market economics, as I've read a few classics, such as "Free to Choose" and "The Road to Serfdom"; while the free market is in theory a beautiful idea, in practice it's simply my opinion that the Steven Cohen's of the world need at least some regulations to help equalize the opportunity for all trading in the securities market, and to keep them from distorting the market forces grossly in their favor. I want to keep my review as apolitical as possible, and respect the views of anyone reading this. I hope it comes across that way.
Well, “Black Edge” has left me lost for words.
It’s an amazing feat of journalism that is told with the skill of a novelist. It’s a crash course in insider dealing, taught at a level that will be accessible to anybody.
Most depressingly, it’s a mathematically precise demonstration of the fact that the finance industry elite has come out of the 35 year bull market as the true winner, and in effective control of both the judiciary and the executive branch, leaving the select winners of this poker game with enough resources to buy out anybody who stands in their way as they, the new Masters of the Universe, dance in and out of yachts and auction houses, legally delegating the dirtywork of further enriching themselves to others.
The only conclusion one can draw from this account, and the only hope, is that while the way to end this is evidently not in the courtroom (the sundry prosecutors’ offices are mere training ground for jobs representing the winners), not even in the polling booth (all events in this account took place during the allegedly progressive presidency of Barack Obama, while Donald Trump has already appointed a villain from this story to a recruiting position!), but as HG Wells once imagined it:
The “tripod” in “Black Edge,” the rather heinous Steve Cohen, will not go down because we earthlings beat him, but only when the stock market that’s been supporting him eventually deflates, robbing him of the means to buy his underlings’ silence and the services of the best lawyers along with the sundry Picassos, Giacomettis and sports franchises.
It is a sad indictment of our system, but I truly cannot fathom of another way out.
Buy and read this book. I sincerely hope you arrive at a different conclusion.