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The Con Men

Book Description

Financial fraud, whether large or small is a persistent feature of the financial markets. If you scratch the surface of the investment world you’ll find a continuous stream of major financial scandals which are almost unbelievable in the sheer scale of their subterfuge. 

The Con Men shines a spotlight on some of these gargantuan frauds from the last 25 years. It questions how these men did it, why they did it, how there were able to get away with it, proposes strategies and tactics so that the reader can avoid being swindled.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title
  3. Table of Contents
  4. About the author
  5. Acknowledgements
  6. Introduction
  7. Part One A brief but efficient history of trickery
    1. Chapter 1 The horror stories
    2. Bernie Madoff
    3. Allen Stanford
    4. Could you have spotted a problem?
    5. Lessons from the past
    6. If you can’t trust the analysts and the auditors, who can you trust?
    7. Chapter 2 Our touching need for confidence
    8. Insider trading
    9. Ivan Boesky and Dennis Levine
    10. Robert Vesco
    11. Plus ça change ...
    12. Chapter 3 Shiny new inventions and old tricks
    13. Ponzi and ‘Pump and Dump’ schemes
    14. The SEC and Bernard Madoff
    15. Further SEC investigations
    16. Some frauds just never go away
  8. Part Two Let’s go to work: the confidence men in action
    1. Chapter 4 Sharks or maniacs?
    2. Are some financial fraudsters psychopaths?
    3. Routine activity theory
    4. Nigerian scams – a different type of fraudster altogether?
    5. The problem with plausibility
    6. Chapter 5 Yielding to temptation: the Allen Stanford story
    7. Offshore jurisdictions
    8. Good old boys
    9. Making sense of Stanford
    10. Chapter 6 Shamanagement: financial wizardry to create paper profits
    11. The Olympus scandal
    12. The man who became the ‘Man from Del Monte’
    13. Investors versus business shamans
  9. Part Three Why we get the swindlers we deserve
    1. Chapter 7 Some deadly sins of investment: trusting false prophets, investing for the Apocalypse and the money illusion
    2. Selling the sizzle, not the steak
    3. Gold bugs: waiting for Armageddon
    4. The money illusion
    5. You can fool some of the people all of the time ...
    6. Chapter 8 Moral hazard in the system
    7. The LIBOR scandal
    8. The swindling of Jefferson County, Alabama
    9. Surviving the banks
    10. Chapter 9 Due negligence: failing to do the analysis
    11. Harry Markopolos and Bernie Madoff
    12. A word on funds and funds of funds
    13. Due diligence always matters
  10. Part Four How to avoid being swindled
    1. Chapter 10 Funds are not all the same!
    2. The Bayou hedge fund fraud
    3. Avoiding hedge fund fraud
    4. Chapter 11 All the books are cooked: the trouble with company accounts
    5. Legal differences
    6. Corporate governance from the investor’s point of view
    7. Company accounts
    8. Crazy Eddie
    9. Enron
    10. Investors and accounts
    11. Chapter 12 Safer strategies
    12. The first line of defence against fraud
    13. Lower your expectations
    14. Asset allocation
  11. Afterword
  12. Further reading
  13. Index
  14. Imprint