books

  • 07 Jul 2010 at 2:08 PM

Emails That Have The Potential To CHANGE OUR LIVES

Sinner

As is I’m sure the case for many of you fine people, on a daily basis, a whole lot of garbage ends up in my inbox, most of it unsolicited. Sometimes though, on rare occasions, there is the potential for universe-altering gold. Such as the following: Read more »

  • 23 Jun 2010 at 10:30 AM

Charlie Gasparino Inspires Entreprenuer

Joseph Collins had a novel reaction to “Blood on the Street: The Sensational Inside Story of How Wall Street Analysts Duped a Generation of Investors.” The 2005 book by Charles Gasparino, now of Fox Business News, inspired Collins to create a potentially revolutionary Internet communications tool. “I was reading Charlie’s book and I thought it was very unfair that Eliot Spitzer could just walk into companies and demand their email,” Collins recalled. Spitzer was New York’s Attorney General when the Internet busted, and he exposed a steady stream of embarrassing emails from Wall Street cheats. Some of the most memorable were from Merrill Lynch’s former star Internet analyst Henry Blodget calling a company he was publicly hyping “a pos.” That stood for “piece of” something I can’t even spell in this column. What the world really needed, Collins decided after reading Gasparino’s book, were emails that couldn’t be copied, forwarded or saved. That way, people could speak candidly without worrying about overreaching snoops like Spitzer.Collins, 32, a Northwestern University graduate, was struggling to build a chain of gas stations amid rising real estate and gasoline prices. He saw a brighter future in designing disappearing emails. The result is VaporStream electronic conversation software, which is available on a free-trial basis at www.vaporstream.com. “It’s just a new form of instant messaging or email,” Collins said. “We like to think of it as the natural evolution of online communications.”

“While debating changes to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) told his colleagues: “Read this new book, ‘The Big Short.’” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was decrying Republican obstructionism on the floor when he said, “I recommend everyone within the sound of my voice to read the book.” It’s terrific for people who haven’t spent a lot of time on” the subject, Levin said. “My wife is really into it. I read it, marked it up for my staff, underlined it, made copies and asked them to read it.”

The Big Short A Hot Read On Hill [Politico]

Tetsuya Ishikawa worked for six years as a credit banker at ABN AMRO, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Last year he was fired from MS, and a couple years prior to that, he was listed as one of the salesman investors should contact if they wanted to get a piece of ABACUS. And since getting canned, he’s written a novel based on his “personal account of 21st-century banking excess,” which was just published this week. How much of the story relayed by narrator Andrew Dover actually happened to ‘Tets’? He’d put it at “close to 90 percent.” (Dover was hired for his job with a $3 million guarantee, whereas in six years, Tets only took home a little “more than £1 million before taxes.” Also, Andy does a lot of blow, where as the author says that “he was never a keen consumer of cocaine”). As for being a real page turner, according to reviewer Sathnam Sanghera, Ishikawa “makes structuring, syndicating and selling credit derivative, CDO and securitisation products as dull as it sounds,” and does not name-check The Fabulous Fab, having not realized during the writing process that the SEC would be going after his former colleague the same week he made his authorial debut. And it’s not clear how much light is shed on how exactly we got into this mess. Tets (via Dover) does however do a pretty good job of talking lap dances, strippers, and turning hoes into housewives, based on his experience in the field. Read more »

1 day, 2 thumbs, 3 prosties

Here’s an excerpt and a claim from Peter Elkind’s “Rough Justice: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer,” that may or may not be real but I want to be true more than I’ve ever wanted anything in this world. Especially the quotes. Please let these be exact quotes. Read more »

  • 25 Mar 2010 at 5:15 PM

Casting The Crisis

As previously mentioned, HBO has purchased the rights to Andrew Ross Sorkin’s Too Big To Fail. John Mack has stated that his part should go to Bobby DeNiro and that of Lloyd Blankfein to Danny DeVito. Today the HuffPo has offered its picks for the other spots and while we’re in strong agreement with some (Stephen Colbert as carpet-lover John Thain, Lucille Bluth doing Nancy Pelosi), in others we beg to differ (there should be an open casting call for child actors to play Tim Geithner). Also, they don’t have any suggestions for Vikram Pandit or Jimmy Cayne. The former is a toughie, the latter Gary Busey, no questions asked (he’s got the blonde hair, huge teeth, love of drugs and looks good in a pair of Zubaz). And finally, no one’s figured out where we can find a place for Drew Carey, who’s apparently been lobbying hard for a role, as has Gary Coleman. Let’s do the producers a solid and take two today to finish this thing off right. You’re not doing anything anyway (except for watching this.)

  • 04 Mar 2010 at 10:30 AM

Eliot Spitzer On Why He Picked Prosties

A new book about everyone’s favorite hooker fucker comes out next week. It was written by a former senior adviser of Eliot Spitzer, Lloyd Constantine, and apparently the former governor is none too pleased, describing the tome as “a fundamental breach of trust…little more than a self-serving and largely inaccurate interpretation of events mixed with unfounded speculation.” Spitzer doesn’t say specifically what Constantine got wrong, leaving us to speculate.

*Maybe it was the suggestion that Ness started banging hookers because he couldn’t play tennis anymore: “Mr. Constantine offers one diagnosis for Mr. Spitzer’s tempestuous behavior that perhaps only a wealthy Manhattanite could suggest: acute lack of tennis. Mr. Spitzer dropped his weekly game with Mr. Constantine in 2006, worried that a tender hamstring would cause him to hobble on the campaign trail. That ‘deprived Eliot of an important physical release,’ Mr. Constantine writes.”

*Or that Spitz was crying over the phone when he admitted to paying for puss, when in reality, he could’ve just had a tickle in his throat: “The book’s emotional capstone is the agonizing final days of the Spitzer governorship. There is a disconsolate Mr. Spitzer weeping into the phone the night of March 9, after telling Mr. Constantine that he was about to be exposed.”
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