They Cooked The Books

They Cooked The Books

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by Patrick Michael Edwards
     
 

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Have you ever wondered about expressions such as "The cat's out of the bag," "Fast-buck artist," and "On the Q.T.?" Patrick Edwards explores these sayings and their fascinating origins, original meanings and present day usage having to do with Wall Street crime and Ponzi schemes.

For instance, "Cooking the books" originated in England when the Earl of Strafford

Overview

Have you ever wondered about expressions such as "The cat's out of the bag," "Fast-buck artist," and "On the Q.T.?" Patrick Edwards explores these sayings and their fascinating origins, original meanings and present day usage having to do with Wall Street crime and Ponzi schemes.

For instance, "Cooking the books" originated in England when the Earl of Strafford said: "The proof was once clear; however, they have cooked it ever since." The year was 1636, and the Earl was referring to altering ingredients in a recipe-not the "creative accounting" all too common in today's business world.

The expressions in this book deal with "white-collar crime," first defined in 1939 by Professor Edwin Sutherland, who said, "There is a vast difference between white collar-crime and blue-collar crime, and high social status has a lot to do with the distinction. White-collar crime is often committed by a person of respectability in the course of his or her occupation."

Edwards uses familiar phrases, idioms and proverbs to take the reader through high profile events of the 2000s, such as the demise of Enron, Adelphia, WorldCom, and more recently AIG and Ponzi schemes. He also includes thought-provoking and humorous quotes, such as this one from comedian Jay Leno: "It looks like more than 13,000 people were caught up in that Madoff Ponzi scheme. You know what a Ponzi scheme is? That's when you throw good money after bad; or as the government calls it, a stimulus package."

Come along on a fascinating historical tour of some of today's most familiar financial expressions.

Patrick M. Edwards 2011

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

Edwards presents a novel approach to the financial debacle by analyzing the expressions we've come to associate with fraud and dishonesty.

So many books analyzing America's financial meltdown have flooded the marketplace that they almost become indistinguishable,but Edwards' contribution stands out from the crowd. The twist here is the book isn't about financial malfeasance—it's a well-researched, engaging and often amusing study of 100 expressions we use to describe financial malfeasance. Edwards says in his preface that he found more than 500 expressions that could apply, but selected the most relevant 100 for his book. He has collected such euphemisms as "cooking the books," "it's not worth the paper it's written on" and "the cat's out of the bag," and intelligently organized them into appropriate categories including "Easy Money," "A Fool and His Money are Soon Parted" and "This is a Fine Mess You've Gotten Yourself Into." Each expression occupies a minichapter in which Edwards includes the saying's origin, discusses the way its meaning may have changed from one century to another and demonstrates its modern-day usage by including it in a salient quote. More often than not, Edwards makes a wry comment or witty observation that lightens up what otherwise could be an overbearing work. He refers to Wall Street fraud and the government's ineffectiveness in regulating the financial services industry—in fact, it's an underlying theme throughout the book—but only insofar as it relates to the expressions themselves. Edwards also manages to find just the right quotation from personalities old and new to add to the beginning of every chapter; the quote for the chapter describing the expression "They Could Sell You the Brooklyn Bridge" is from Paul Newman: "If you're playing a poker game and you look around the table and can't tell who the sucker is, it's you."

A unique, humorous way of viewing financial folly.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781466210738
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
08/12/2011
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.48(d)

Meet the Author

Patrick Edwards was born in Burbank, Ca. and spent his formative years in Southern California. After graduating from University High School in
West Los Angeles, he joined the United States Coast Guard and served in a search and rescue capacity during the Vietnam War.

In 1975, he graduated with a B.S. degree in Biological Sciences from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and went on to a distinguished 30-year career as a consultant in the pharmaceutical industry.

Edwards is an accomplished speaker, having been a former member of Toastmasters International and enjoyed lecturing in the field of medicine on numerous occasions.

He is founder and CEO of Big Island Publishers, LLC. His writing credits include columns, editorials,
and a photo essay of Haleakala, the world's largest dormant volcano, which is located on the island of Maui.

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They Cooked The Books 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
'They Cooked the Books' was fun to read. Some statements regarding an idiom's first use are too certain, especially since the author includes websites such as wikipedia as sources for idiom history. Even hardcopy encyclopedias are no more than a starting point for research. Wikipedia information can be changed by almost anyone. But my question regarding research depth did not dim my enjoyment of reading this well written book.