Separating Fools from Their Money: A History of American Financial Scandals

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Transaction Publishers, 2007 - True Crime - 264 pages
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What do Michael Milken and Martha Stewart have in common? (Answer: Both became public scapegoats for an outrageous era of greed and excess.) What was the most outrageous party thrown by a financial baron of the twentieth century? (Answer: Tough call, but either Michael Milken's Predators Ball in 1985, or Dennis Kozlowski's Sardinian birthday bash in 2001, with its vodka-spouting sculpture.) Which U.S. war hero president became party to, and victim of, an unabashed con man known as the Napoleon of Wall Street? (Answer: Ulysses S. Grant, but it's a long story.)

These questions and more are discussed in Scott MacDonald and Jane Hughes' Separating Fools from Their Money. The authors trace the history of financial scandals from the early days of the young republic through the Enron/WorldCom debacle of modern times. A host of colorful characters inhabit the pages of this history, revealing human nature in all of its dubious shades of gray. At the same time, the book exposes themes common to all financial scandals, which remain astonishingly unchanged over more than two centuries--greed, hubris, media connections, self-interested politicians, and booms-gone-bust, to name a few.

Informative and entertaining, Separating Fools should engage the interest of investors and casual business readers, as well as economists interested in supplemental reading for their students.


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Wall Street Loses Its Innocence William Duer and the Panic of 1792
The Gilded Age Part I All That Glitters
The Gilded Age Part II Of Presidents and Bankers
Teapot Dome Erupts
Empires Undone Samuel Insull the Emperor of Utilities
The Decade of Greed Michael Milken Junk Bonds and Insiders 1980s
The Decade of Greed Continued Where the Money Is
The 1990s BE Before Enron A Few Bad Apples or Rotten to the Core?
Enron Etc Vol I Crooks Liars and EnvelopePushers
Enron Etc Vol II Enablers Symbols and Scapegoats
Eliot the Untouchable Spitzer not Ness
Selected Bibliography

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About the author (2007)

Jane E. Hughes is a professor of finance at Hult International Business School in Boston. She is the co-author, with Scott B. MacDonald, of International Banking and, with Scott B. MacDonald and David Leith Crum, of New Tiger and Old Elephants available from Transaction.

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