Financial fraud, whether large or small is a persistent feature of the financial markets. If you scratch the surface of the investment world you'll find a continuous stream of major financial scandals which are almost unbelievable in the sheer scale of their subterfuge.
The Con Men shines a spotlight on some of these gargantuan frauds from the last 25 years. It questions how these men did it, why they did it, how there were able to get away with it, proposes strategies and tactics so that the reader can avoid being swindled.
Leo Gough was the editor of two investment newsletters during the 1990's, 'The Zurich Club' and 'Taipan' for Fleet Street Publications. Since 1997 he has spent much of his time in the Asia/Pacific region, working with banks, such as Citibank, and consultancy firms, such as AT Kearney. Currently Leo is working in management consultancy in the Middle East. He is the author of more than 20 books on personal finance and investment.
Introduction About the author Acknowledgements Part One A brief but efficient history of trickery Chapter 1 The horror stories Bernie Madoff Allen Stanford Could you have spotted a problem? Lessons from the past If you can't trust the analysts and the auditors, who can you trust? Chapter 2 Our touching need for confidence Insider trading Ivan Boesky and Dennis Levine Robert Vesco Plus ca change. . . Chapter 3 Shiny new inventions and old tricks Ponzi and 'Pump and Dump' schemes The SEC and Bernard Madoff Further SEC investigations Some frauds just never go away Part Two Let's go to work: the confidence men in action Chapter 4 Sharks or maniacs? Are some financial fraudsters psychopaths? Routine activity theory Nigerian scams - a different type of fraudster altogether? The problem with plausibility Chapter 5 Yielding to temptation: the Allen Stanford story Offshore jurisdictions Good old boys Making sense of Stanford Chapter 6 Shamanagement: financial wizardry to create paper profits The Olympus scandal The man who became the 'Man from Del Monte' Investors versus business shamans Part Three Why we get the swindlers we deserve Chapter 7 Some deadly sins of investment: trusting false prophets, investing for the Apocalypse and the money illusion Selling the sizzle, not the steak Gold bugs: waiting for Armageddon The money illusion You can fool some of the people all of the time ... Chapter 8 Moral hazard in the system The LIBOR scandal The swindling of Jefferson County, Alabama Surviving the banks Chapter 9 Due negligence: failing to do the analysis Harry Markopolos and Bernie Madoff A word on funds and funds of funds Due diligence always matters Part Four How to avoid being swindled Chapter 10 Funds are not all the same! The Bayou hedge fund fraud Avoiding hedge fund fraud Chapter 11 All the books are cooked: the trouble with company accounts Legal differences Corporate governance from the investor's point of view Company accounts Crazy Eddie Enron Investors and accounts Chapter 12 Safer strategies The first line of defence against fraud Lower your expectations Asset allocation Staying sane in the investment jungle Afterword Further reading Index