Den of Thieves

DoTDen of Thieves, written by Pultizer-prize winner James Stewart, is a book about the 1980’s insider trading scandal that rocked the US financial markets. Stewart introduces the reader to the lives of the four central characters of this scandal- Michael Milken, Ivan Boesky, Martin Siegel, and Dennis Levine. He takes us into the lives of these four players whose genius made them more wealthy and successful than most normal people can even imagine. Stewart avoids the temptation to paint a black and white picture of the actors in this Wall Street scandals, not only of people like Milken and Boesky but also prosecutors like Rudy Giuliani, but helps us understand how each of the players was motivated by their own reasons. The book is an interesting read of the rise and fall of the four major players as well as the actions of the prosecutors who brought them to justice.

I believe this is a great book for anyone interested in the financial markets, especially in topics related to the US stock market and insider trading. Unfortunately, the book assumes the reader of a good level of knowledge about financial economics. The tour of Wall Street is filled with a good bit of financial jargon and many references to investment banks. The book is certainly not written for somebody who doesn’t have basic knowledge of finance.      

(If you are curious, here’s where the major players in the drama are now:

Michael Milken: Forbes 458th richest man in the world. More information about him is available on his website at  http://www.mikemilken.com/.

Ivan Boesky: Divorced and broke, he now survives on an alimony he gets from his ex-wife.

Dennis Levine: He wrote the popular book “Inside Out: The Dennis Levine Story” and is still active in the finance world.

Martin Siegel: Couldn’t find anything about what he is doing now. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Rudy Guiliani: Well, I don’t need to say anything, do I? Former mayor of New York City and a front-runner candidate for President in the Republican Party.)

Advertisements

30 Comments

Filed under Books

30 responses to “Den of Thieves

  1. Daniel Miller

    The book seems ok so far. I haven’t made it all that far yet, so it is to early to tell for sure. I’ll have more to say next time.

  2. Aaron Winters

    I’ve started reading this book over the last few weeks and I like it so far. The book starts out with “a cast of characters” so you have an idea whos who when starting to read the book. I’ve been referring to that frequently as I’m still trying to keep everyone and their roles straight. One thing I didn’t know was that Rudy Guilliani was an attorney during that time.

  3. Bob Loewens

    Den of Thieves is an interesting book in my opinion. Before this book I had never heard of the scandal the insider trading ring of the 80s. I always knew it was a problem but not to this extent. So far it displays how easy it could have been to get caught up in these deals during that time, it was all over the place. As one character in the book said, “Wall Street seemed to be becoming a ring of favors”, and when the potential profits from some of these deals is over $1 million it can be very tempting. As far as a business application ethics seem to be a huge factor in this book, none of the main characters have them. A recent chapter described one broker’s moves to repay another who he owed large amounts of debt from sour deals where he guaranteed the other against losses. The broker bought assets from his clients at an extremely undervalued price, sold them to the debtor, bought them back at a higher price, creating a little profit for the debtor, and sold them back to the uninformed clients at an extremely overvalued price, using the profits to repay millions of dollars of debt. He also committed tax fraud to repay his dues. Around this time colleagues were starting to get suspicious of his ability to repay such large amounts without any additional borrowing or reported profits, it was kept off of the books, a perfect example of unethical behavior.

  4. Rajeev Arora

    The book starts with the introduction of one of the main character Mr. Siegel. In the first part of the book writer briefly explained the background of Mr. Siegel and his family. In this part they explained how his father business was going down and ended with bankruptcy and how his marriage didn’t work. Writer explained that how Mr. Siegel became popular within company with in very short period. Mr. Siegel was hired by Kidder, Peabody’s & co. in 1971. So far book is very interesting and as I read further, I’m pretty sure I’ll know a lot about the trading scandals in the Wall Street. i only heard about the wall street scandals, I’m sure this book clarify the details of those scandals.

  5. Daniel Miller

    I have gotten farther in the book and find it interesting. Their are so many characters that are just linked through trading insider information that it is hard to keep them straight. I find it funny that even when they were trading insider information they still lost tons of money on some of their stocks. Granted they made far more than they lost, but still. I was also amazed at how casual they got at giving out information. When they stared they wee only giving out hints to each other and they were only passing a few hints along, but by the end they were flat out saying buy this or sell that, and it seemed like it was no big deal.

  6. Rajeev Arora

    The part so far I read explained about the four financiers (main characters): Dennis Levine, Martin Siegel, Boesky, and Milken-at the center of the two main circles of insider trading on Wall Street and all walked away with tons of money. It also explains that about the leveraged buyouts and takeover in 1980s. Den of the thieves explained about the company’s stocks, those who were privy to that information before it became public could make huge sums of money. how some of the biggest names in financial history were involved in one of the greatest insider-trading schemes ever and how their exposure turn the stock market position through corporate America. Book explained how inside information works, even though they lose tons of money on some of the stocks. One of the chapters described that how brokers use the large amount of some one else money to repay the debt.

  7. Bob Loewens

    The book is getting pretty exciting now. Levine’s insider trading activity at the swiss bank has been exploited and the true identity of Mr. Diamond has been revealed. It is surprising how his trades were traced through minor trading activity in some of the bank’s employees accounts. These employees traded as Levine did to essentially profit on the inside information. Levine has been caught and turned to an informat for the government as has Boskey. Seigel. after many thoughts of suicide, has decided to cooperate but has not been much help as a generator of info for the SEC lawyers. They are now after the source, Mike Milken who is determined not to give up without a fight. This is a great book for finance majors to familiarize yourself with not only the financial jargon used in the industry but how to spot the type of activity that can get you inserious trouble. Most of the investment bankers are facing jail time and huge fines, one SEC lawyer wanted to leave nothing to Siegel but his home, which he had to move from to stay out of the public’s eye creating panic in the markets.

  8. Daniel Miller

    I thought the book ended in an acceptable manner. James Stewart did a nice job of tying everything into a nice ending. I liked how he explained how they turned on each other. At the end it was a race to see who could flip in order to save themselves first. I would have liked to see a break down of how much each person had to repay in fines and what jail time each one received. They told us the major players in the book, but I would have liked to see a chart at the end that covered those that were not specified in the book. All in all I think the book did a good job of showing how enticing it can be to enter into illegal acts. The money that is held out at the end of the stick is very motivating, but the book hit you with the lesson at the end about how no matter how smart you are a mistake will be made and the perpetrators will be caught.

  9. Aaron Winters

    This is really a great book. I don’t believe there’s a slow moment or dull part in the book. Once you start reading it you want to keep reading. I believe there’s a lot to learn from this book, and if there were a class specifically for business ethics, this would be a great book for it. I thought it was interesting how “friends” turned on each other when things started going bad. I thought it was also ridiculous how blind Milken’s lawyers were or at least portrayed. I was happy to see Siegel got the lightest sentence out of everyone that was prosecuted because he was the one who seemed the most apologetic for his acts and did everything he could to make things right.

  10. Eraj Tabaraliev

    I didn’t read it all, but it reminds me of the “Wall Street” movie. It is interesting book so far, but it is long book. Did anybody read it all? What happened to Siegel?

  11. Rajeev Arora

    This is really great book to read about the Wall Street. How one can make huge amount of money with inside information. Even though book and other sources say that insider trading is legal somehow. All major players of Wall Street got busted and get big penalize not in prison but as money wise everybody paid off very well. James Stewart did nice job to explain the whole scenario. Book describe that it don’t matter how smart the people are to make good amount of money (illegally) one day they are going to be in hands of law. Another thing book shows that the greediness of the people. Even though they had enough money to live luxurious life for the rest of their lives, but they never said stop. Overall, book is interesting and Stewart author of the book prove that the system worked, to uncover these kinds of illegal activites.

  12. Bob Loewens

    Den of Thieves was a good book to read if you are interested in being a stock broker or an investment banker. It shows what not to do and the consequences of adverse behavior. It is also decribes the working of our regulatory system and the process of federal investigations. All in all the book provides an inside look into the past workings of Wall Street and a breif description of the workings of this world of finance.

  13. abusinessprofessor

    NYT (April 29, 2008) has an article about Michael Milken, “the onetime “junk bond king” of Drexel”, and a central character in the book Den of Thieves. Some believe that “The financial crisis we’re in today stems from the invention by Drexel Burnham Lambert of the junk bond”. These analysts believe that “You can draw a straight line from Drexel Burnham to the financial world today”. However, Milkem counters that “critics who compare the subprime debacle to the bubble in high-yield, high-risk corporate bonds that Drexel helped inflate two decades ago are ‘people who don’t understand markets very well'”.

    According to the article, Milken “has spent the past two decades trying to rehabilitate his image after pleading guilty to six felony counts of securities fraud and conspiracy, paying $600 million in fines and spending 22 months behind bars. He has remade himself as a thought leader and impassioned crusader against prostate cancer, a disease he battled. His former nemesis Rudolph Giuliani, the man who prosecuted him, is now singing his praises. (Mr. Giuliani is another prostate cancer survivor.)”

    The article also states that:

    Did he [Milken] invent the junk bond? Yes. Did he [Milken] help make securitization popular? Yes. Did he [Milken] have anything to do with the current mess? Absolutely not.

    Blaming Mr. Milken for today’s credit crisis is like blaming the inventor of paper money.

    He may have made some mistakes along the way, but Mr. Milken helped create a new generation of companies and an entirely new way to finance nascent ideas that have helped fuel the global economy far beyond his exit from Drexel. The list of companies that would not exist without him is long: MCI, CNN and Turner Broadcasting (now part of Time Warner), Barnes & Noble and Occidental Petroleum, just to name a few.

    Toward the end of every bubble, people misuse the financial tools at their disposal, and then a witch hunt begins for the villain. Then, of course, the regulators jump in and try to fix things — and often go a bit overboard.

    That’s exactly what Mr. Milken said worries him most: that excessive regulation will send the economy into an even deeper funk. The biggest financial companies have every motivation to push for more regulation to quash competition, the way they did of him in 1990, he said.

    For those who are interested, the complete article is available on the NYT website.

  14. Douglas McBean

    Hi guys

    I have read this book three times – love it!

    I was a D&O liability insurance broker during the 1980’s and beyond and accordingly provided defence costs insurance to D’s and O’s caught up in insider trading allegations – note there are more of these cases now both in USA and UK (where I am based) than in the “notorious” 80’s!!!

    If you like the book can I also recommend The Predator’s Ball by Connie Bruck.

    I too would be interested to read about what Marty Siegel is doing now? Did you (business professor) ever find out?

    Douglas McBean MBA, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

  15. Keatan Fisher

    As of now I’m at chapter 6 in the novel. The novel starts off with a prologue basically describing several persons convicted of participating in illegal financial activities. The main characters thus far are Martin Siegel, Ivan Boesy, Dennis Levine, Michael Milken, Ralf DeNunzio, Joseph Frederick, Victor Posner, Donald Engel, Robert Wilkis, and Robert Freeman. As the novel progresses it describes each one of these persons’ backgrounds. It descirbes not only the extensive inside trading scenarios that took place between each person, but also gives an in depth description about their upbringing, personal lives with their families, their personal relationship with each other (opposed to just the business aspect), and the “quirks” of each character. Chapter 6 ends off with Martin Siegel wanting to leave his current company, Kidder, Peabody & Co. that seems to be going downhill. He figures that if he also leaves he can lead an honest life and tear-away from his inside trading ties.
    I think it’s important to note how each person in the novel feels about inside trading, both before and after they commit the act. It seems that some individuals have no moral compass at all. They want lotttttts of money and they don’t care at what cost. However, the book mentions several characters, such as Siegel that feel sick and are ridden with anxiety each time they commit an illegal act. It seems that they can’t fight the temptation of inside trading because of all the luxeries acquired through it. It’s like an addiction that can’t be broken…

  16. Urvi Desai

    Den of Thieves by James Stewart is a very interesting book. The part till I have read shows the characters of 3 very smart people Boesky, Siegel and Milken. They are all into investments and have their own style of managing their work. The book explains the cost associated with being an Investment banker. They are all so busy with work and have no time for family and friends. Though all three of them had different styles they all had one thing in common is the American dream of making big bucks. So far I really liked the book it makes a point that ultimately what is important is to make money, that’s how the financial markets work.

  17. Venkata S Mudunuru

    This is a great book about Investment banking scenario of America during the 80s period. Though, as of now I could just complete 80 pages of the book, the amount of detail in this book seem amazing and is just plain captivating. The Prologue gives an idea about the direction of the book contents that move between the raw facts and personal idiosyncrasies of the main characters with an ease. Though there are many characters as listed in the cast, the main characters are Martin Siegel, Ivan Boesky, Michael Milken and Dennis Levine.

    The book till the part I read introduces these main characters, their family life, their ambitions, the ways they chose for success. As Urvi mentioned in her comment above, these characters struggle between balancing their personal lives and the professional errands. But the notable feature is that most of them are graduates of Harvard except for a couple like Dennis Levine and Eric Gleacher. But the fact that Siegel chose to join Kidder, Peabody & Co., rather than the well positioned Goldman Sachs, weighing his ambitions and the future career development took me to surprise. Similarly, though there are many ethical issues related to the way these people conducted their businesses, the way Milken targeted the unheeded Junk bond market and decides to swim against the stream triggers to think outside the box.

    Though all the main characters are mad at making fast and big money at any expense, they are very much different in the way of their investment strategies and leading their lives. For example, Milken avoids show off and leads a modest life whereas Boesky flaunts a boastful life. However, in my view, all of the main characters worked really hard to reach the position they aimed at except for Dennis Levine who was thinking about the side-ways to earn fast bucks from day one. He also baits many others like Wilkis, Reich and Sokolow into this vicious circle of insider trading, who inspite of their fears about the illegality of such kind of acts, gets involved due to their temptation to earn big money and lead luxurious life which could not be achieved from their hectic and unsatisfactory professional life. I am looking forward to read more about Milken and Siegel and the turn of events.

  18. Gary Pereira

    Pages read – 221.

    Think about the greediest person you personally know and the characters in this book will make them look like Mother Theresa. Den of Thieves has numerous characters, which at certain times is hard to follow everyone as it skips around going forward and backwards in time. The main characters though are narrowed down to four people, Ivan Boesky, Michael Milken, Martin Siegel, and Dennis Levine. These four characters were the who’s who of insider traders in the 80s. To sum it up what exactly these characters did (except for Milken who was involved in insider trading but was more notorious for dealing with junk bonds) they would make friends with people who work on mergers and acquisitions. As you know, it is illegal for people working on mergers to tell people what is going on behind the doors. The main characters Siegel, Levine, and Boesky would entice these investment banks and lawyers who worked on mergers to tip them off so they could trade on that information. Armed with inside information it ended up leading to huge profits, making the characters filthy rich. It got to the point were Siegel and Levine just ended up using their jobs at investment banks as a means to an end. They sought to solicit investment bankers into their scheme, promising them riches and a life they deserved (they would trade in the name of the investment banker providing information in an off shore account).

    Milken on the other hand was primarily in the junk bond arena. This was an unregulated industry at the time, and Milken made his money on huge spreads between the buy and sell price of bonds. Since Milken was the only one who knew the spread, buyers and sellers didn’t know how much he was making up the securities. One of the insiders at Drexel claimed traders do not go above 5% markup; Milken was marking up 25%. Later on in the book goes into detail on Milkens pay in 1986 of 550 million! If you take the future value of that salary, with 3% inflation, Milken would be taking home 1 billion dollars per year in today’s dollars! The best part of all this was that he though he deserved more.

    What I found interesting is the presence of all the investment banks, which are all today either bankrupt, taken over by a deposit bank, or have turned into a full bank. I also found it interesting how racism played a role in investment banking. You would have your ‘WASP’ investment banks, ‘Jewish’ investment banks, and I believe Merrill Lynch was the only Catholic investment bank. This is something you never hear about in history class about how firms discriminated on religion (this is also apparent on the TV show ‘Mad Men’).

  19. Keatan Fisher

    Yesterday I finished reading “Den of Thieves.” A lot has happened since my last posting which included up to chapter 6 in the book. Chapter six deals mostly with Martin Siegel. After Fortune Magazine publishes an article questioning Siegel’s relationship with Ivan Boesky, he tells Boesky that he is done leaking information and receives his “last” payment. However, Siegel continues to to trade on inside information with Robert Freeman from Goldman Sachs for the sake of keeping Kidder, Peabody “alive.” At this point in the book, inside trading all over wall street is becoming out of control. This is clearly depicted when Freeman calls Siegel asking if it was true that KKR’s bid was having trouble going through. The irony of this was that KKR was Kidder, Peabody’s client and Siegel hadn’t heard any such news that KKR’s bid might not go through, yet Freeman had (meaning others were leaking information). After trading on several more insider tips, Siegel continued his relationship with Freeman, but refused to release or act on any confidential information. Soon Siegel leaves Kidder, Peabody because he knows it cannot survive and hopes to excape the “ring,” and break-off all relations with Boesky, Freeman, and others involved in insider trading. book goes on to discuss the intertwined fraudulent interactions, mostly between John Mulheren (who leaves Spear Leads to open up his own partnership, Jamie Securities), Ivan Boesky, and Michael Milken. These interactions not only breached security laws against inside trading, but all sorts of security crimes “including tax fraud, false public disclosures, market manipulation, and many more technical crimes” (Stewart, 219). One example, of manipulation discussed is that of parking stocks. Mulheren would purchase shares off of Drexel (Ivan Boesky) so that Drexel could maintain certain mandatory financial ratios; in this case a net capital and debt requirement. This would then allow Drexel to engage in a leveraged buyout of another company. Favors such as this performed for Drexel are considered “soft dollar” favors. In this particular case however, Mulheren didn’t realize that Boesky was using him, and thought that he was assuming the risk associated with purchasing the stocks while in Boesky’s point of view, Mulheren was just holding the stocks and would be reimbursed for any losses at a later date (which is illegal). The crimes became so intricate that they were beyond the scope of what the drafters of the security laws imagined. The illegal activities conducted were capable of remaining under the SEC’s radar brilliantly because they in fact resulted in hostile takeovers, which were legal (Stewart 219).
    The second half of the book is dedicated to describing how exactly the SEC discovers who was participating in these illegal activities and how they were related. The demise of these inside traders more or less began when the SEC noticed a pattern between the trading of BCM Management (suspected to be an acronym for the names of Kevin Barry, Brian Campbell, and Bernhard Meier) and the trading of those individuals’ personal accounts kept at the Bank Leu International Bahamas branch of Switzerland. The SEC also found a relationship between those accounts and an account held by “Mr. Diamond” (Dennis Levine). Coincidentally enough, Meier’s trades were based on information from Levine. Half of the struggle in convicting Levine was that Bank Leu has very strict policies regarding the privacy of its account holders. Eventually, through coercion and plea bargaining, Meier tells the SEC that the account Levine’s. After that incident it was like a chain reaction occurred and the “den” was broken into. In a successful attempt to reduce his own sentencing, Dennis Levine drops the names of others he engaged illegally with, namely Boesky and Randall Cecola. After Boesky is indicted he rats out Michael Milken, Martin Siegel, and Mulheren. Even low level employees within these companies were used as leverage against the “top dogs” and encountered sentencing to set an example that these practices would no longer be tolerated. For instance, Lisa Jones at Drexel who had nothing to actually do with the trading besides entering the data committed perjury in attempt to remain loyal to her boss, Michael Milken. It took about half a decade for the final convictions of the big players in this scandal. The main reasons for this were that the SEC and U.S. Attorney’s Office had trouble coordinating their investigations, it was difficult to find hard evidence against the betrayers because of the complexity of the engagements, and establishing who was being a credible and reliable witness was a huge debacle, after all it was a bunch of criminals pointing fingers at each other. The SEC and the U.S. government were greatly scrutinized for how long and inefficient the process was, and the lack of harshness of punishments. Eventually, the majority of those heavily engaged in the illegal activities of the eighties were caught and those who weren’t, I guess we’ll never know who they were.

  20. Urvi Desai

    The book Den of Thieves shows how some of the biggest names in American financial history were involved in one of the greatest insider-trading schemes ever and how their exposure and punishment sent shock waves through corporate America. I found the book really intriguing because I myself am an MBA with Finance concentration. After reading about half the book I can now say that why B schools teach Ethics in MBA. It is so important to be ethical in the field of finance but at the same time can Ethics really be taught I wonder. It is greed which dominates our wishes. It the zest to acquire more wealth and power which makes an individual indulge in things which he knows is illegal but yet takes the risk. I read many reviews of the book online in which someone commented that there is no bigger fool than an MBA. I don’t think I agree to that because if they were fools they wouldn’t be making so money. So I am eager to read further to see how they are caught.

  21. Venkata S Mudunuru

    The first thing anyone would say after reading a substantial part of this book will be that Stewart effectively captured the motivations and thoughts of the key players. He managed to bring the Wall Street-speak down to the layman’s level, explaining some of the more finance related terminology. I just finished the Book One i.e., “Above the law” part.
    It is interesting that this book discusses Milken’s expensive public relations efforts as a path for building his junk bond empire. The most consequential and lucrative was the floating ‘junk’ (low grade) bond to provide capital for involuntary takeovers of one company by another. Milken and Boesky, together driven by greed, were conscious partners in criminal schemes to enrich themselves at the expense of the investing public. Milken and company rewrote the rules of investment banking for their own ends. The outstanding success of Milken and Drexel in the Posner case was the turning point which brought into light the potential hidden in the M&As and especially the hostile takeovers.
    And ofcourse, the question of ethical behavior on the part of such financial professionals and investment bankers is another key dimension of this book. It makes you wonder how these people were so attracted into the insider trading circle. Inspite of their hidden fears and conscience, their greed of making fast and huge money prevailed over their values and ethics. I found the particular telephone booth arrangement of Boesky for handing over the cash to Siegel as very dramatic which reflects their very intention of resorting to unethical means.
    However, moving on to the Book Two to read how the chase unfolds…

  22. Gary Pereira

    Den of Thieves in the second section of the book goes into detail on the crack down of the ‘insiders’. The best part of it was that it did not start with the titan Milken; it started with two Merrill Lynch brokers from Venezuela. Eventually it the ‘ratting out’ of investment bankers leads to the downfall of Levine, who provides incriminating evidence on Boesky. By this time, the SEC was thinking that they have the trophy prize. Little did they know that Boesky had evidence on the two kings of Wall Street, Michael Milken, and Martin Siegel who ended up being the last two to fall. This was more than the SEC ever thought in their wildest dreams would happen. The fines levied on these people were more than the entire budget of the SEC!

    While I believe that what the SEC did was great to clean up Wall Street, I did not like how they themselves used inside information. They did not disclose the crack down on Boesky to the public so they could sell off his mass investments to pay for fines. I think the SEC should have been less concerned with retaining the monetary value of the stocks and focus on penalizing the person involved (they are the Government they should not be concerned about making money). In fact, this allowed the SEC to make money on stocks that would later tank because of the Boesky news (this is the exact thing that they were fighting!).

  23. Keatan Fisher

    The second half of the book is dedicated to describing how exactly the SEC discovers who was participating in these illegal activities and how they were related. The demise of these inside traders more or less began when the SEC noticed a pattern between the trading of BCM Management (suspected to be an acronym for the names of Kevin Barry, Brian Campbell, and Bernhard Meier) and the trading of those individuals’ personal accounts kept at the Bank Leu International Bahamas branch of Switzerland. The SEC also found a relationship between those accounts and an account held by “Mr. Diamond” (Dennis Levine). Coincidentally enough, Meier’s trades were based on information from Levine. Half of the struggle in convicting Levine was that Bank Leu has very strict policies regarding the privacy of its account holders. Eventually, through coercion and plea bargaining, Meier tells the SEC that the account Levine’s. After that incident it was like a chain reaction occurred and the “den” was broken into. In a successful attempt to reduce his own sentencing, Dennis Levine drops the names of others he engaged illegally with, namely Boesky and Randall Cecola. After Boesky is indicted he rats out Michael Milken, Martin Siegel, and Mulheren. Even low level employees within these companies were used as leverage against the “top dogs” and encountered sentencing to set an example that these practices would no longer be tolerated. For instance, Lisa Jones at Drexel who had nothing to actually do with the trading besides entering the data committed perjury in attempt to remain loyal to her boss, Michael Milken. It took about half a decade for the final convictions of the big players in this scandal. The main reasons for this were that the SEC and U.S. Attorney’s Office had trouble coordinating their investigations, it was difficult to find hard evidence against the betrayers because of the complexity of the engagements, and establishing who was being a credible and reliable witness was a huge debacle, after all it was a bunch of criminals pointing fingers at each other. The SEC and the U.S. government were greatly scrutinized for how long and inefficient the process was, and the lack of harshness of punishments. Eventually, the majority of those heavily engaged in the illegal activities of the eighties were caught and those who weren’t, I guess we’ll never know who they were.

  24. Venkata S Mudunuru

    I have finished the book and the second part is equally interesting as the prior.
    I agree with Gary above… the break down of this vicious insider trading circle started with a couple of brokers from Merill Lynch. As the end of the first section mentions about the surrender of Boesky, i was expecting the start of second section with a big name… But the major breakdown of the massive multibillion-dollar inside-trading conspiracy mastered by the circle of Milken, Boesky, Siegel and Levine started only when the SEC commission investigators could get hold of Levine’s European bank accounts. It was interesting that once Levine was in net, they started ratting on each other to save one’s own skin and eventually the circle melted down. However, when people like Mooradian who were actually a part of the trading and conspiracy though at a lower level turned against their own biggies as witnesses, Lisa Jones became a bait for the mere attempt of her loyalty towards Milken.
    Stewart’s descriptions were so intricate that inspite of the fact that the FBI or Securities Exchange Commission investigators triumphed over some of America’s most expensive lawyers to bring this powerful quartet to justice, they were shown as overworked and underpaid as it was, enhancing their reputation. They persevered, finding resolve in the knowledge that they were, as one of them put it, “engaged in the single most important thing we would ever do in our lives.” However, in the midst of all, Ivan Boesky, managed to serve the interests of his clients and Justice at the same time.

    All in all, a great insight into Wall Street and the insider trading scandals of the 1980s and captivating from beginning to the end.

  25. Urvi Desai

    I have finished reading the book and was amazed they way boesky got weak blurted out. I agree with Sireesha that Ivan Boesky, managed to serve the interests of his clients and Justice at the same time. Overall the book was definitely very interesting for students who are going to be the future managers. I am even looking forward of reading Stewart’s other books. It helped me learn the crash of 1980;s and cleared many of my financial concepts as well. It is also a good read for non finance students since all the concepts are explained well in layman’s terms.

  26. Philip Pellegrino

    The first 200 pages or so is spent introducing the main players and their tactics, businesses, habits, etc. It is truly amazing how young some of the major players were, some were in their mid-twenty’s when they first started pulling in huge sums of money. It is also amazing how little regulation there was in the junk bonds and M&A areas. Not only was there little regulation, but it seemed that even when an investigation was launched early on, it was easily derailed by the participants and their lawyers. Also, I found it quite interesting how Milken, Boesky, and Siegel became as connected as they did. Milken was financing M&A’s through junk bonds and both he and Siegel were providing with inside information. The other astonishing part was Levine and his off shore accounts. It is amazing that no one at the SEC was able to shut down his insider trading scheme sooner. It was quite obvious, especially when he was trading on M&A deals that he or his firm was a participant in. More on the next part of the book to come…

  27. It seems like business is still getting hit hard. Is anybody seeing an upswing in their respective niches? Health reform seems like a mess. I generate long term care insurance leads and annuity leads for the insurance industry, but volume has been terrible in the last two months. I am afraid the worst is yet to come, but maybe it is just my attitude.

  28. It’s nearly impossible to find experienced people in this particular subject, however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about!
    Thanks

  29. Hi to all, the contents existing at this web page are actually amazing for people knowledge, well, keep up the nice work fellows.

  30. Magnificent goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you’re simply extremely magnificent.
    I really like what you have got here, certainly like what you’re
    stating and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still care
    for to keep it wise. I cant wait to learn much
    more from you. This is really a terrific web site.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s