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

Guy Lawson. Crown, $26 (368p) ISBN 978-0-307-71607-1
Relying on "hundreds of hours interviewing Sam Israel in prison" and "thousands of pages of legal documents," Lawson (The Brotherhoods) reveals the inside story of the infamously fraudulent hedge fund trader who in 2008 faked his own suicide in an attempt to escape imprisonment. As a protégé in the ‘80s to the successful but ethically dubious Frederic J. Graber, Israel quickly learned that shirking the rules was the quickest way to a buck. But by the late ‘90s, Israel's independent hedge fund venture, Bayou, was in serious trouble—the promise of guaranteed returns had driven the greedy financier to engage in increasingly unsavory business practices. Things hardly improved, but Israel's willingness to dissemble grew—as time went on, Israel became involved with ever shadier individuals; the job of upholding Bayou's manifold lies amounting to a kind of full-time counter-espionage. One such contact, intelligence operative and contract killer Robert Booth Nichols, informed a desperate Israel of a secret market run by the world's 13 most powerful families and for which the Fed is ostensibly "nothing but a front." Needless to say, things didn't turn out well for Israel, but the tale of his fraught journey makes for an exhilarating page-turner. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/30/2012
Release date: 07/01/2012
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-1-85168-978-1
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-307-71608-8
Open Ebook - 184 pages - 978-0-307-71609-5
Ebook - 179 pages - 978-1-78074-123-9
MP3 CD - 978-1-4805-7689-6
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