Thursday, January 26, 2006

Problems with Wall Street, Gary Weiss' new book and blog

Gary Weiss, a former writer at BusinessWeek has a new book coming out (Wall Street Versus America : The Rampant Greed and Dishonesty That Imperil Your Investments) and has a blog to promote it. He has a post entitled "BW BLUES", to which I wrote the following comments:

Gary, what on earth does this nostalgic rant about BW have to do with your book or Wall Street?

I mean, if BW didn't do hard-ball investigative stories on Wall Street back when they were fully staffed, why would anybody have any expectation that they would do any better or worse at half-staff or back up to full staff, or with less or more ads running in the book?

P.S., usually I don't make "anonymous" comments, but in your case it fits in with the conspiracy-theory attitude that you're promoting and cultivating (and craving?) with this blog.

P.P.S, I'm opposed to naked shorting, but simply because I'm opposed to so-called "legal" shorting as well. It's about basic fairness (equity, the social kind). Yes, Wall Street is a mess, but why not lobby for cleaning up the mess rather than this "line your own pockets rather than try to get the problems fixed" approach that you seem to *prefer*?

signed, "Anonymous" - another COWARD

He's moderating comments, so we'll see if he accepts and publishes mine.

Here's his book:

The Amazon listing bills the book as "A shocking appraisal that shows how Wall Street is intrinsically corrupt—and what individual investors can do to protect themselves". Their description starts out like this:

For several years high-profile corporate wrongdoers have been vilified by the media. Yet the problem, according to Gary Weiss, is not just a few isolated instances of malfeasance. The problem is in the very fabric of Wall Street and its practices that enable and even encourage corruption—practices that are so pervasive and so difficult to combat that they are in effect perfect crimes, with the small investor left holding the bag.

In this blistering report from the front, Weiss describes how the ethos of Mafia chophouses, boiler rooms, and penny stock peddlers now permeates all of Wall Street. Protected from investor lawsuits by laughably corrupt arbitration systems, Wall Street firms are free to fleece unsuspecting clients with little or no risk. But as this empowering book shows, ordinary investors can fight back and come out on top—if they learn to recognize warning signs, filter media chatter, and spot looming corporate meltdowns in advance.

Prepare to be surprised, get angry, and then get even. Wall Street Versus America is a wild ride you can’t afford to miss.

Click here to read more.

I'm not offering a recommendation on his book, yet, but I will leaf through it when it appears in my local book store.

My concern about the book is simple: What's new? What shocking revelations about Wall Street don't I already know? In my view, Wall Street exists for one purpose: to take as much money as possible from our pockets and put it in their own pockets. The SEC? I believe that the SEC should be renamed the Securities and Exchange Industry Protection Administration, privatized, and then prosecuted for racketeering and protecting Wall Street. So, how much is this book going to help me?

BTW, I do get a tiny commission if you buy the book after clicking on my link to Amazon.


Please read our Stock Market Outlook for 2006 and our Daily Stock Market Commentary.

-- Jack Krupansky


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