Wonder Boy: Barry Minkow - The Kid Who Swindled Wall Street

Wonder Boy: Barry Minkow - The Kid Who Swindled Wall Street

by Daniel Akst

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A hyperactive child, compulsive teenage achiever and adult charmer, Barry Minkow at age 21 in 1987 controlled a $100-million, California-based carpet-cleaning and building-restoration business. A media darling well connected on Wall Street, he was in prison within a year. He was a con man: there were no restoration jobs or carpet-cleaning profits. Lenders were paid off by later investors in a Ponzi scheme, with Minkow extracting funds from girlfriends, gangsters, imprudent bankers and venture capitalists while his lieutenants set up dummy work sites in order to deceive investors and creditors. Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal correspondent Akst, whose reporting spurred Minkow's rise as well as his fall, breathlessly tells an intricate story of greed, chicanery and ruin, which he does not make entirely comprehensible. Photos not seen by PW. (Feb.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Akst, who broke the ZZZZ Best scandal in The Wall Street Journal , has written a very reliable account of Barry Minkow and his now-infamous swindle involving his ZZZZ Best carpet cleaning service company. This work reads like a novel and gives a clear account of Minkow and his unbelievable charm, which induced so many institutions and people to back him. It also paints a picture of a period in America when greed overcame common sense. This is very much like Joe Domanick's account on Minkow, Faking It in America ( LJ 9/1/89). Either gives sufficient coverage of the issue; this would be first choice if only buying one book on the subject.-- Michael D. Kathman, St. John's Univ., Collegeville, Minn.

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