Ruthless: How Enraged Investors Reclaimed Their Investments and Beat Wall Street

Ruthless: How Enraged Investors Reclaimed Their Investments and Beat Wall Street

by Phil Trupp
     
 

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"Take it, Phil. It's free money." That's what author Phil Trupp's trusted financial advisor said when he recommended auction-rate securities (ARS). The advisor went on to emphatically state that ARS were, "Completely safe. Completely liquid. Just another form of cash." What he failed to disclose to his client was that the financial market was in serious trouble and… See more details below

Overview

"Take it, Phil. It's free money." That's what author Phil Trupp's trusted financial advisor said when he recommended auction-rate securities (ARS). The advisor went on to emphatically state that ARS were, "Completely safe. Completely liquid. Just another form of cash." What he failed to disclose to his client was that the financial market was in serious trouble and banks had ordered brokers to move ARS off their balance sheets and into investor portfolios as quickly as possible. Soon, Phil would learn that 87% of the auctions had failed, and that $336 billion had been lost. Or was it stolen? And if so, could he prove it?

Ruthless: How Enraged Investors Reclaimed Their Investments and Beat Wall Street documents the dramatic, all-too-true story of Phil Trupp's travels from Washington to Wall Street and around the World Wide Web as he asks and gets answers to the questions he and hundreds of thousands of investors just like him had, including:

  • How does a 20-year-old market suddenly collapse?

  • Was the failure scripted?

  • What, if anything, could an ARS investor do to get his or her money back?

Ruthless is also a story about taking action, of how the mobilization of a network of focused, angry, and financially literate bloggers put enough pressure on state regulators to ensure that justice would ultimately prevail. And it did. Today, Phil's original investment has been returned, and almost $200 billion has been refunded to other investors who fell prey to the biggest scheme ever devised by Wall Street to rob Main Street.

Wall Street had hoped to make a killing off of individual investors like Phil Trupp. Unfortunately for them, Phil refused to lie down and die. Ruthless is a compelling true story of life-altering struggle and redemption. It's also one of the first books to speak up on behalf of victims of the financial meltdown, and a timely guide for any investor hoping to learn how to fight back against the criminal subculture of Wall Street.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In his latest exposé (after Tracking Treasure), Trupp, a former investigative reporter, details his response to learning, on Valentine's Day, 2008, that a third of his retirement investments might have been wiped out. Two years earlier, his Wachovia broker had urged him to park those funds in an Auction Rate Security account ("Take it, Phil, it's free money"), but now Trupp was answering his phone to a new Wachovia broker's disturbing hello: "We've got a problem." ARS financial instruments were auctioned nearly every week, but now, as the economy began to collapse, no one was buying, so there were too few bidders to hold an auction. Major banks were unwilling to step into the breach, and the billion international ARS market had frozen solid as the bonds' value plummeted. While the broker called the problem a temporary illiquidity, it became clear to Trupp that he'd been scammed. Having been assured that ARS accounts were as safe as cash, Trupp decided to fight back, creating a community (through blogging and organizing with other victims) that helped expose the fraud and put enough pressure on Wachovia and other major financial institutions to meet depositors' claims. His hard-hitting account of a real life David and Goliath is page-turner (Sept.)
From the Publisher
Trupp, an experienced news journalist, invested in auction-rate securities (ARS) around 2007 after being assured by his Wachovia broker that these debt obligations were safe and could be sold easily. Trupp explains that when the ARS market crashed in February 2008, he and over 100,000 other investors were left with some $336 billion in illiquid ARS. Trupp recounts his anger and tells of his odyssey to get redress for himself and other ARS investors. He heaps criticism on the greed of Wall Street, lax government regulation, and the mandatory arbitration process of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), which he claims is stacked against investors. Trupp retells investor stories and how he helped publicize the ARS problem over the Internet when traditional media failed to air the problem. As a result of the pressure brought by investors and state regulators, more than half of the ARS had been redeemed at the time of his writing. VERDICT Business-oriented readers who can get past Trupp's numerous angry rants will find his first-person account instructive of how Wall Street and regulators betrayed the trust of so many ARS investors. (Library Journal, September 15, 2010)
Library Journal
Trupp, an experienced news journalist, invested in auction-rate securities (ARS) around 2007 after being assured by his Wachovia broker that these debt obligations were safe and could be sold easily. Trupp explains that when the ARS market crashed in February 2008, he and over 100,000 other investors were left with some $336 billion in illiquid ARS. Trupp recounts his anger and tells of his odyssey to get redress for himself and other ARS investors. He heaps criticism on the greed of Wall Street, lax government regulation, and the mandatory arbitration process of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), which he claims is stacked against investors. Trupp retells investor stories and how he helped publicize the ARS problem over the Internet when traditional media failed to air the problem. As a result of the pressure brought by investors and state regulators, more than half of the ARS had been redeemed at the time of his writing. VERDICT Business-oriented readers who can get past Trupp's numerous angry rants will find his first-person account instructive of how Wall Street and regulators betrayed the trust of so many ARS investors.—Lawrence R. Maxted, Gannon Univ. Lib., Erie, PA

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780470910962
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
08/20/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
File size:
1 MB

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