Rx Book REview - Blood on the Street
by Kaye Shinker
Blood on the Street, by Charles Gasparino
Review by Kaye Shinker
Since Mercury is retrograde I thought it might be appropriate to
review a book I've just reread.
In The Textbook for Financial Astrology
Book 1, I challenge the student to think of things to
do while Mercury is retrograde. I suggest doing things that start
with the prefix "re".
Review is on the list. So let's read
a book review while we work our way through these
three weeks of "re".
My Toastmaster’s club has a book
exchange every few months. The objective is to persuade another
member to take home your book. I searched my book shelves to see
which one of my precious volumes I was willing to trade. I contemplated
on the Street,
by Charles Gasparino. I reread the jacket, skimmed
the introduction and epilogue. My club would like this book. Next,
I paged through it looking for an enticing quote that I could read
aloud to the group. I became immersed in rereading one page after
It was like reading today’s Wall
Street Journal only a different cast of characters. Every one of
the same brokerage firms making headlines today were involved in
the Dot. Com bubble of the late ‘90’s. Goldman Sachs,
Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Lehman Brothers, Citigroup, all took
part in various improprieties involving their investment brokers
I began to understand the past twenty
years of games these characters played with the savings of the American
public. The book recounts the details of how the investment banking
divisions of large Wall Street brokerages influenced their analysts
to issue positive stock ratings on companies that kicked back to
the brokerage’s investment banking business. It was clear
how they hyped certain stocks that were basically worthless. They
recommended certain stocks to their brokers who then sold them to
a public that was willing to get rich quick.
When the bubble burst the firms paid hefty
fines as did some of the individual analysts. Evidently the fines
had little effect. These same firms are involved in the current
mess of credit default swaps as well as derivatives. These genuises
of Wall Street are back into the Wall Street Journal's headlines.
Finally I found a few pages I had highlighted
the first time I read the book. Page 300 had a great paragraph.
My club would love the quote.
While Goldman didn’t have
a name-brand analyst, the firm’s cut-throat business practices
had made it just as successful as Morgan at snaring technology
banking deals during the bubble. The last thing Goldman needed
was to be singled out for its research conflicts, while Morgan
received a pass. CEO Hank Paulson soon tried to convince Dick
Grasso to make sure the language in Goldman’s final settlement
agreement omitted the word “fraudulent” to describe
its research practices. But Grasso was no fan of Paulson, whom
he regarded as a “snake” for his effort to infuse
more computerized trading at the the exchange at the expense of
Grasso’s cherished specialist trading system. “Hank,
you better talk to Eliot.” Grasso said. Later Grasso would
remark that Paulson ”couldn’t have cared less how
much he paid in a fine, just what the documents said.”
The book gives you a history for the
current cast of Wall Street characters. It is an account of greed,
arrogance, and corruption and includes the incompetence of government
regulators to halt the fleecing on the investors. Except for the
names of the players I felt like I was reading today’s edition
of the Wall Street Journal.
I've pre-ordered Charles Gasparino's next
book from Amazon.
Kaye Shinker offers personal consultations
based upon your natal horoscope. Kaye's analysis of an individual's
chart is focused on the financial implications of the planets
in their signs and houses in YOUR chart. The reading is
meant to give you ideas of ways to best use your time and money
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