Den of Thieves: James Stewart - 1992

Published in 1992, Den of Thieves is a world-renowned book written on the insider-trading scandal that nearly destroyed Wall Street. Written with poise and incredible knowledge, James Stewart takes us on a journey through court cases, jury transcripts and interviews that changed the face of finance forever. Four men, Michael Milken, Ivan Boesky, Martin Siegel, and Dennis Levine were masterminds of the largest trading ring and nearly left with millions of dollars under their belt. However, their near success fizzled out in the end. Den of Thieves illustrates this historical event in fine detail and gives us powerful insight into this horrific event.

"At the most basic level, American capitalism has flourished because everyone, rich and poor alike, has seen the marketplace reward merit - enterprise, innovation, hard work, intelligence. The securities laws were implemented to help protect that process, to guard the integrity of the markets and to encourage capital formation, by providing a level playing field on which everyone might pursue their fortunes. Violations of the securities laws are not victimless crimes. When insider traders gain windfall stock profits because they have bribed someone to leak confidential business secrets when prices are manipulated and blocks of stock secretly accumulated, our confidence in the underlying fairness of the market is shattered. We are all victims."

Stewart describes the madness that ensued as a historical event that victimized capitalism which in turn victimized the public. This book speaks in detail how human tenancies of greed can put the economy at high risk. Stewart talks about the lure of money and how the love of it can sometimes cause mass corruption. Den of Thieves was written with the investor in mind, seeking knowledge on economic history.

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