Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Book Review: The Hellhound of Wall Street

Book review: The Hellhound of Wall Street : How Ferdinand Pecora's Investigation of the Great Crash Forever Changed American Finance

The Stock Market crash of 1929 woke investors up to the necessity of getting reliable info about the stocks they were buying. Companies often hid debt, investment banks flipped bad or mispriced securities to the public and otherwise leveraged information to their advantage.

Ferdinand Pecora was an unlikely government inquisitor - one of the few Italian-American lawyers at the time in New York. The book focuses on the testimony of investment bankers, financiers and other witnesses as Pecora exposes the inner workings of Wall Street. It's very easy to cheat people when you possess more information than they.

Bottom line: if you invest money, this is the book that shows how opaque risk is offloaded from Wall Street to you.

P.S. Know what the word opaque means before you start investing your own money.

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