You've read about it in newspapers and magazines, heard it on the
radio and in conversations, and seen it on the Internet. What could
possibly be new?
CONFESSIONS OF A WALL STREET ANALYST is THE inside and insider's
story on the events that slapped Wall Street executives with
billions in fines for their criminal acts. Author Dan Reingold
notes, "While the world finally saw justice served in the story of
WorldCom, the jury is still out on my view, on the
telecommunications industry, which burned so brightly and sucked in
so many people before it turned into the deepest of black holes.
Moreover, the jury is still out on the responsibility of the Wall
Streeters who aided and abetted the rise of these companies and
then simply got out of the way when they collapsed, at most paying
only a few modest fines. And, it's still out on the insider game
that I was a key part of, a game that the average investor --- and
even many of the professionals --- can never win."
Complete with a cast of characters (109 to be exact), notes, photos
and a glossary, CONFESSIONS OF A WALL STREET ANALYST delivers in
style, form and fact. On a timeline from the 1980s to the present,
including hundreds of conversations with key players, this book is
a one-stop shopping spree on the telecommunications superhighway, a
"once-sleepy industry suddenly looking like it was Barbarians at
the Gate all over again, with breathtaking hostile offer takeovers
fueled by a stock market that was making anything possible." The
stakes were mind-boggling: long distance, fiber optics, local
carriers, wireless providers, and the Internet. "In four short
years, a tiny upstart company, run by a former gym teacher, had
catapulted itself into the same league as old Ma Bell. WorldCom
symbolized how the telecommunications industry had transformed
itself, and we, the analysts were the nexus of it all."
Anticipation is the thread in this book. We read each detail, while
knowing where it will all end. Yet we still read, as Reingold has a
writing style that captures our attention. It's like watching the
movie Memento, which starts at the end and ends at the
beginning. And what a cast of characters! Execs from MCI, Morgan
Stanley, Credit Suisse First Boston, Solomon Brothers, AT&T,
Qwest, WorldCom, and many, many more. The Prologue starts the
reader at the Bernie Ebbers trial, where the verdict is read. From
then on, the story reads like a well-written tale of
In August 2000, SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt identified situations
"whereby officials of public companies provide information to Wall
Street insiders prior to making the information available to the
general public." This is Selective Disclosure, the precursor to the
October 2000 Regulation FD (Fair Disclosure). Janet Reno and many
federal officials have been heard from since these regulations were
filed. Insider trading was business as usual on Wall Street.
In his afterword, "Back to the Future, Some Policy Prescriptions,"
Reingold shares with us his views on where we go from here. His
visions are written from the viewpoint of a seasoned analyst, with
responsibility both to the industry and to its investors.
CONFESSIONS OF A WALL STREET ANALYST certainly got my
Reviewed by Marge Fletcher on December 28, 2010