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

Book - 2012
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Octopus is a real-life thriller that tells the inside story of an audacious hedge fund fraud and the wild search, by a colorful cast of rogues and schemers, for a "secret market" beneath the financial market we all know.
Sam Israel was a man who 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 1980's, Sam founded his own fund and promised his investors guaranteed profits.  With the proprietary computer program he'd created, he claimed to be able to predict the future.
But his future was already beginning to unravel.
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 Publishers, c2012.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780307716071
Branch Call Number: 332. 64524092 ISR L
Characteristics: xv, 352 p. ; 25 cm.


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Jan 16, 2015

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

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

May 15, 2013

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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