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In Octopus, Rolling Stones investigative journalist Guy Lawson tells the story of Sam Israel, the manager of the Bayou Hedge Fund, and the Ponzi scheme that brought Israel to national attention. Through a narrative that includes the CIA, Wall Street, and European aristocrats, as well as exclusive information from Israel himself, students will learn the full extent of Israel's attempts to conceal his hedge fund's poor performance. Lawson provides a somber reminder of how the world's financial systems are susceptible to corruption.
“Lawson [has] found gold…This is a fantastic story, in both senses of the word, with a freshness that recalls Liars Poker.”
—Bryan Burrough, New York Times
"Lively...turns a lens on the fast and loose ways of Wall Street...would make an excellent gift for a regulatory complicance officer...or a shrink."
“Penetratingly comprehensive…Lawson nimbly traverses the labyrinthine depths of a worldwide banking con that managed to involve looted Federal Reserve notes and the JFK assassination…An eye-opening window onto Wall Street’s destructive culture of unchecked hubris and a harrowing thrill ride into the unraveling mind of a desperate operator.”
"A scintillating real-life thriller about one of the most peculiar frauds in history…Part true-crime thriller, part Wall Street investigation, Octopus is filled with startling revelations.”
—Gary Weiss, former investigative reporter for Business Week and author of Born to Steal, Wall Street Versus America and Ayn Rand Nation
"An absorbing, splendidly detailed and darkly illuminating tale of our times.”
—David Whitford, Editor-at-Large, Fortune magazine