Black Edge

Black Edge

Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street

eBook - 2017
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"Steven A. Cohen is a Wall Street legend. Born into a middle class family in a decidedly upper class suburb on Long Island, he was unpopular in high school and unlucky with girls. Then he went off to Wharton, and in 1992 launched the hedge fund SAC Capital, which grew into a $15 billion empire. He cultivated an air of mystery and reclusiveness -- at one point, owned the copyright to almost every picture taken of him -- and also of extreme excess, building a 35,000 square foot house in Greenwich, flying to work by helicopter, and amassing one of the largest private art collections in the world. But on Wall Street, he was revered as a genius: one of the greatest traders who ever lived. That public image was shattered when SAC Capital became the target of a sprawling, seven-year criminal and SEC investigation, the largest in Wall Street history, led by an undermanned but determined group of government agents, prosecutors, and investigators. Experts in finding and using "black edge" (inside information), SAC Capital was ultimately fined nearly $2 billion -- the largest penalty in history -- and shut down. But as Sheelah Kolhatkar shows, Steven Cohen was never actually put out of business. He was allowed to keep trading his own money (in 2015, he made $350 million), and can start a new hedge fund in only a few years. Though eight SAC employees were convicted or pleaded guilty to insider trading, Cohen himself walked away a free man. Black Edge is a riveting, true-life thriller that raises an urgent and troubling question: Are Wall Street titans like Steven Cohen above the law?"--
"The story of billionaire trader Steven Cohen, the rise and fall of his hedge fund SAC Capital, and the largest insider trading investigation in history--for readers of The Big Short, Den of Thieves, and Dark Money Steven A. Cohen changed Wall Street. He and his fellow pioneers of the hedge fund industry didn't lay railroads, build factories, or invent new technologies. Rather, they made their billions through speculation, by placing bets in the market that turned out to be right more often than wrong--and for this, they gained not only extreme personal wealth but formidable influence throughout society. Hedge funds now oversee more than $3 trillion in assets, and the competition between them is so fierce that traders will do whatever they can to get an edge. Cohen was one of the industry's biggest success stories, the person everyone else in the business wanted to be. Born into a middle-class family on Long Island, he longed from an early age to be a star on Wall Street. He mastered poker in high school, went off to Wharton, and in 1992 launched the hedge fund SAC Capital, which he built into a $15 billion empire, almost entirely on the basis of his wizardlike stock trading. He cultivated an air of mystery, reclusiveness, and excess, building a 35,000-square-foot mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut, flying to work by helicopter, and amassing one of the largest private art collections in the world. On Wall Street, Cohen was revered as a genius: one of the greatest traders who ever lived. That image was shattered when SAC Capital became the target of a sprawling, seven-year investigation, led by a determined group of FBI agents, prosecutors, and SEC enforcement attorneys. Labeled by prosecutors as a "magnet for market cheaters" whose culture encouraged the relentless pursuit of "edge"--and even "black edge," which is inside information--SAC Capital was ultimately indicted and pleaded guilty to charges of securities and wire fraud in connection with a vast
insider trading scheme, even as Cohen himself was never charged. Black Edge offers a revelatory look at the gray zone in which so much of Wall Street functions. It's a riveting, true-life legal thriller that takes readers inside the government's pursuit of Cohen and his employees, and raises urgent and troubling questions about the power and wealth of those who sit at the pinnacle of modern Wall Street. Advance praise for Black Edge "A tour de force of groundbreaking reporting and brilliant storytelling, a revealing inside account of how the Feds track a high-profile target--and, just as important, an unsettling portrayal of how Wall Street works today."--Jeffrey Toobin, New York Times bestselling author of American Heiress "Black Edge is not just a work of major importance, it is also addictively readable--and horrifyingly compelling. Sheelah Kolhatkar pulls back the curtain on the cheating, corruption, and skulduggery that underlie large swaths of the hedge fund industry and some of Wall Street's most fabled fortunes. This book is as hard to put down as it is to stomach."--Jane Mayer, New York Times bestselling author of Dark Money "Fast-paced and filled with twists, Black Edge has the grip of a thriller. It is also an essential expose of our times--a work that reveals the deep rot in our financial system. Everyone should read this book."--David Grann, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost City of Z"--
Publisher: New York :, Random House,, 2017
ISBN: 9780812995817
Branch Call Number: Online eBook
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file, rda
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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Feb 05, 2018

Well-written and smoothly told, the author takes us through the rise and fall of one of the richest men in the world. Steve Cohen succeeds beyond most people's wildest dreams in the culture of win-at-all-costs greed that pervades the hedge-fund corner of the financial system; part of the success seems to have hinged on "Black Edge," or the use of illegal insider information for major trades. The story here takes us from the start of his company, through many of the suspect trades, to the investigation and court cases from the FBI and the SEC that follow.

Sep 13, 2017

i re-iterate other comments that this book is a little long and tedious at times but still an interesting read about the insides of the hedge-fund sector.

Jul 11, 2017

It may be tedious and boring to the lay person, however this is well worth the effort. An extraordinary insite into the 'nouveau riche' of our times.

May 02, 2017

Somewhat of a tedious, boring read which focuses on a very small and select group associated with SAC Capital [Steven A. Cohen's crooked hedge fund]; basically about speculation - - or really rigged speculation and insider trading. The people are all crooked at all levels, whether their daily insider machinations, or their falsified school transcripts, or blood doping for the triathlon - - they are evidently crooked through and through, and do nothing, nor appear to have ever done anything, of a productive nature or value. As that Keynesian economist [John Maynard Keynes] stated later in his life, speculation is a useless and counterproductive activity - - not of any worth in any economy, except to benefit the crooks!
Perhaps the only two real-life characters of any moderate interest were FBI agent, Kang, and the attorney, Bowe. [Agent Kang also figures in Anita Raghavan's book, The Billionaire's Apprentice - - - he is evidently one of three actual active and achieving agents in that outfit!]
The author ends the book most cleverly, providing us with a portent of what's to come in the Trump Administration, but I was somewhat perplexed as the author covers the fall of another Indian-run hedge fund [I forget the name, think it was Medallion???] but nary a single mention of Rajat Gupta --- this was highly suspicious to this humble reader?!?!? [Gupta, the king of American jobs-offshoring, went to jail for a paltry year for providing insider information to the Medallion dude. Gupta also personifies the character of the types the Gates Foundation appoints to its Global Advisory Board.]
Essentially, though, it wasn't about that global economic meltdown, just a small slice of market rigging through rigged hedge fund speculation. [The personally interesting component touched on in this book by the author was the POV of the healthcare hedge fund sector, which my own extensive research has shown is one of the primary cost drivers in healthcare, i.e., (1) private equity/leveraged buyouts across the healthcare sector; (2) hedge fund speculation across the healthcare sector {which the author briefly touches upon indirectly}; and, (3) the clause in congressional legislation forbidding negotiation of pharmaceutical/medicine prices.]

Apr 25, 2017

Everyone should read at least an abridged version of this book! I am not interested in the market but when you understand how a small group of individuals can amass vast sums of money by breaking the law and because they have the ability to hire great legal counsel and remain untouched it is appalling!!!!! What Martha Stewart did and paid for with time in prison now seems so unfair to what Steve Cohen has gotten away with!!! Hopefully he will pay in the next life.

Mar 15, 2017

A suspenseful read, besides being informative. This book focuses on one small group of people and how they made a ton of money by being very crafty. Honesty is for dopes, you might think after reading this.

I could not understand how these economic practices really help the economy. There is, of course, a point of view that these types of financial businesses do not contribute, and in fact are actually destructive. Among other books about this viewpoint is "Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business." This is a good overview of how finance works in today's economy, and is a useful companion to "Black Edge."

Mar 03, 2017

good primer on how to succeed on Wall Street, remember laws and regulations are only operating expenses to the rich folks

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