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Octopus

Sam Israel, the Secret Market, and Wall Street's Wildest Con

Lawson, Guy

Book - 2012
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Octopus
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This real-life thriller tells the inside story of a hedge fund fraud and the wild search for a "secret market" beneath the financial market we all know. Sam Israel seemed to have it all, until the hedge fund he ran, Bayou, imploded and he became the target of a nationwide manhunt. Born into one of America's most illustrious trading families, Israel was determined to strike out on his own. So after apprenticing with one of the greatest hedge fund traders of the 1980s, Sam founded his own fund and promised guaranteed profits. With his proprietary computer program, he claimed to be able to predict the future. But after suffering devastating losses and fabricating fake returns, Israel knew it was only a matter of time before his real performance would be discovered, so when a former black-ops intelligence operative told him about a secret market run by the Fed, Israel bet his last $150 million on a chance to make billions. Thus began his year-long adventure in the "Upperworld," a society populated by clandestine bankers, shady European nobility, and spooks issuing cryptic warnings about a mysterious cabal known as the Octopus. Whether the "secret market" was real or a con, Israel was all in, and as the pressures mounted and increasingly sinister violence crept into his life, he struggled to break free of the Octopus' tentacles.

Publisher: New York : Crown Business, c2012
ISBN: 0307716090
9780307716095
0307716074
9780307716071
Characteristics: xv, 352 p. ;,25 cm

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Jan 16, 2015
  • StarGladiator rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

To anyone knowledgeable about global finance, this is a bizarre book, mixing a bit of truth with considerable fiction. Probably, the number of 13 of the richest families exerting control is close to, or in actuality is, factual. But secret software systems are both silly and unnecessary, once you understand that the banks own the financial exchanges, clearinghouses and ratings companies, so who needs these secret computer systems? They already control everything! The American intel establishment was founded and created by the super-rich and their employees, not working parallel to them? [Just track who owns the NYSE, ICE, Markit Group, DTCC, Climate Exchange, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, then just try to find out who owns the banks!]

Jan 24, 2014
  • capitalcity rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

Myth, delusion, irreality writ large; credulity to the max. Visiting a neighborhood in the financial Twilight Zone.

May 15, 2013
  • campbekn rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I enjoyed the first half of the book - about Israel's journey in to the hedge fund market, much more than I did the second half, which reads much more like a thriller. That aside though, there is something for everyone in this novel.

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