Donnerstag, 9. August 2012

Octopus: Read This Book to Understand Wall Street

"So Sam Israel was a con artist, one of the best and most accomplished on Wall Street. But as the reality of his crime weighed on him, and he fell into a deep, drug-fueled funk, Israel began to become delusional. And eventually, he himself was conned by a series of Sting-like grifters who convinced him that a secret network of Trilateral Commission/CIA/Bildeburg-style elite insiders were trading in a secret bond market that generated huge guaranteed profits for the small club of financial titans allowed entry into the group.

Israel was led to believe in the existence of this secret bond market after falling hard for an inspired piece of manic conspiracy theory literature called The Last Circle that posited the existence of a massive international financial-political conspiracy called “The Octopus.” Israel believed the Octopus definitely existed, and this belief led him to a series of disastrous trades in which he signed over huge chunks of his fraud-ridden $400 million stake to con artists, who promised to “invest” it for him in the secret bond market.

The story of Israel’s drug-fueled psychological downfall and descent into a nightmare-fantasy existence is definitely the stuff of movies, a high-end cross of Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and Permanent Midnight (the only thing that would have made some parts of this book funnier is if Israel had been seduced into the secret bond market by a briefcase-toting Alf/Mr. Chompers). And that’s great fun, and I’m sure lots of people who have no interest in Wall Street will enjoy that story."

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