Readers who won't mind paper-thin characterizations and who are mainly interested in the behind-the-scenes story of insider trading by Wall Streeters are certain to find this book more than merely interesting. Frantz, for many years a top Chicago Tribune reporter, benefited from candid interviews with several key figures in this remarkably detailed chronology of the way a ``kid from Queens'' began working for Smith Barney in 1978 and by 1986, thanks to his compulsive buying of stocks based on inside tips from Wall Street contacts, had upwards of $10 million stashed under code names in banks in the Bahamas and Cayman Islands. The man was Dennis Levineand if his arrest by SEC authorities in 1986 didn't get the headline attention received by Ivan Boeksy for similar white-collar crimes, it is clear from Frantz's scenario that Levine was a consummate inside-traderand shortly before his arrest was owed some $2 million-plus by Boesky for tips. This is a rarity in hardcover trade publishingin effect a real-life how-to book about the world of investment banking, mergers and acquisitions, with all the seamy particulars spelled out. $50,000 ad/promo; first serial to Esquire. (September 25)
This is the real inside story of one of the biggest scandals to hit Wall Street. Dennis Levine was the investment banker who accumulated over $13 million in illegal profits. Frantz, who covered the case for the Chicago Tribune , deftly takes the reader through Levine's story, quickly shifting scenes from the Bahamas to Switzerland to New York and Washington. He handles the complexities of the case nicely and shapes the arcane world of high finance into a suspenseful detective story complete with cliff-hangers and unexpected twists. Highly recommended. Richard C. Schiming, Economics Dept., Mankato State Univ., Minn.