"Ruthless" is a candid exploration of the criminal subculture of
Wall Street, and one of the first books to speak for the victims of
the financial meltdown. On February 14, 2008, author Phil Trupp
received a call from one of his brokers telling him a large portion
of his investments were frozen--on ice--turning his life and plans
for retirement upside down. When the fog started to clear, Trupp
realized he was one of many investors caught up in what experts
called the greatest attempted securities fraud in modern Wall
Street history--a $336 billion scam which made the savings and loan
scandal of the 1980s look like a simple street mugging.
The path to destruction, financial or otherwise, often begins
with a simple proposition. For author Phil Trupp it came from one
of his stock brokers: "Take it, Phil. It's free money." This free
money came from auction-rate securities (ARS). Auction-Rate
Securities are corporate or municipal bonds with a long-term
maturity for which the interest rate is reset at frequent auctions.
ARS interest rates were higher than money markets and were sold as
completely safe, liquid, Triple-A rated "cash equivalents," a
deceptive sales pitch that lured hundreds of thousands of investors
to buy the securities. Since 2008, most auctions have failed
leaving the market largely frozen. The victims ranged from
individual investors to the Joffee Foundation, a nonprofit that can
no longer fund programs that help prevent AIDS in Africa, to the
Port Authority of New York.
While this is a classic 21st century tale of Wall Street greed
and betrayal, it is also a story of redemption and the
life-altering struggle of American investors and others around the
world who, in the end, beat the Wall Street fraud-masters. Ruthless
is a story of how individual investors became mad as hell and
joined together to reclaim their cash investments. So far they've
reclaimed more than $200 billion and continue fighting for the
rest. A lively, page-turning guide for any investor with a stunning
lesson on how to fight back and win.
John Wiley & Sons
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