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Den of Thieves Paperback – September 1, 1992
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
- Richard Drezen, Merrill Lynch Lib. , New York
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Stewart avoids the temptation to paint all of his law-breakers with the same brush and just focus in on the nuts and bolts of the story's timeline. Instead, he allows you to meet each individual and see how they became embroiled in Wall Street's worst scandal since the 1930s. You see some of the simple unrepentant scumbags you'd expect (Levine most closely fits the bill), but mostly you see more complex people. Milken comes off as a truly broken person who was never completely connected to reality in the same way most of us are. Most of the players come off as ordinary people who, on their own, would have cruised through their careers in uneventful fashion if not presented with a tempting, lawless option by a more proactive criminal. Each of the perpetrators has their own level of comfort with their involvement in the insider trading scheme. Some are so uncomfortable that they get out of the scheme on their own, some cry over the money they can't bring themselves to stop taking, and of course some just think they are God's gift to the financial world.
You also get to see how law enforcement can work in a situation like this - sometimes it isn't very pretty. You come to realize that regulators and public prosecutors are imperfect people in imperfect situations, subject to their own set of desires, temptations and problems.Read more ›
arbitrageur and LBO into the mainstream and people like Boesky and Milken household names.
Stewart begins by looking at the rise of some of Wall Street's highest fliers and, in many cases, providing exhaustive details of how the prevailing mantra of "greed is good" led them to orchestrate their own downfall. The audacity of many of these people is almost breathtaking, as is the wealth they accumulated. Stewart moves on to detail the process by which the government, in the form of the SEC and then-US Attorney Rudy Giuliani, brought this house of cards tumbling down. The various players in the game are portrayed with varying degrees of sympathy. However, the government authorities are not necessarily portrayed in the most flattering light and Stewart raises a number of questions about the overall handling of the investigations.
One word of caution - readers should not get too bogged down in the details of the story. The insider trading scandal involved
hundreds of players and transactions and schemes that were unbelievably complex. It is almost impossible to assimilate the entire story without getting somewhat confused. Nevertheless, the book is at its most effective when you take a step back and look at the grand scheme of the insider trades, the methods by which the perpetrators were brought to justice and the punishment they suffered from their crimes.Read more ›
Most of the financiers introduced are truly repugnant characters, in particular guys like Dennis Levine, Marty Siegel, and Richard Freeman. Levine comes across as a conniving weasel who was basically inept at arbitrage and was able to hide this fact from the ignorant (not everyone) by cheating. Siegel was portrayed as a smug crook who turned crybaby as soon as he had to take his medicine. I can't decide if I disliked Levine or Siegel more. Freeman is the most interesting. He seems clearly guilty of insider trading, and pretty much escaped severe prosecution thanks to his benefactors (Robert Rubin) at Goldman Sachs, along with most of his personal wealth.
While Stewart does some exceptional research, it is also clear that he is engaging in a lot of speculation. The most obvious example is the numerous recounted conversations between all the characters, which is of questionable accuracy and few of which are verifiable beyond what the author was able to extract from a large group of people whose honesty is suspect. This includes all the attorneys, corporate chieftains, and in my opinion it especially includes all the government agents and prosecutors.
There is a lot of myth surrounding Milken, and unfortunately most of it is inaccurate. For one, Milken has always been very guarded of his privacy.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I loved this book. If you're at all interested in financial books, this story of the real characters behind the movie Wall street is a cracker. Deserves more than five stars too.Published 2 months ago by S. G. Kennedy
Kind of disjointed writing and if it were I, I would have put the mug shots of all these POS's in the book so I (the reader) can keep them straightPublished 2 months ago by Kindle Customer
This is one of those books I couldn't put down until I was finished reading the entire thing. While it is quite lengthy, it's a captivating read. Read morePublished 3 months ago by CJ
You can never, ever go wrong with James Stewart. Just a class act an unbelievable writer.Published 3 months ago by Joe L.