In Take on the Street, Arthur Levitt--Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission for eight years under President Clinton--provides the best kind of insider information: the kind that can help honest, small investors protect themselves from the deliberately confusing ways of Wall Street.
At a time when investor confidence in Wall Street and corporate America is at an historic low, when many are seriously questioning whether or not they should continue to invest, Levitt offers the benefits of his own experience, both on Wall Street and as its chief regulator. His straight talk about the ways of stockbrokers (they are salesmen, plain and simple), corporate financial statements (the truth is often hidden), mutual fund managers (remember who they really work for), and other aspects of the business will help to arm everyone with the tools they need to protect—and enhance—their financial future.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
|Publisher:||Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
|Sold by:||Random House|
|File size:||796 KB|
About the Author
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The chairman's memoir is less of a kiss and tell confession and more a how to avoid-trouble-and-maintain-common-sense guide. He is surprisingly easy on the obstructionists who blocked the reform bills: Lieberman against FASB's proposal to expense stock options, and Tauzin against auditor independence. There is a funny episode about Steve Jobs disinviting Levitt from joining Apple's board after he read the chairman's speech on corporate governance. There is always the presence of Phil Graham who appears as a kind of Wizard of Oz giving his poo-bah approval on proposed investor bills. In the end, one comes away with the same prejudicial view of the usual Washington lobbying game between well-financed interest groups and political honchos addicted to soft money. Despite the real achievements of the chairman, historical reforms rarely emerge from bull market bubbles, but often surface after titanic scandals, like so few lifeboats, after all the shareholders have drowned. The chairman is like the doomed captain, he must take the blame for whatever accidents happened on his watch. All the icebergs with names like Enron, Worldcom, and Tyco, drifted by his sight during his tenure.
I like the books that are coming out without the fluff and hypocracy of past business books. This one and a few like it are great at telling it like it is, without giving ideas that are a) not feasible in the real world, b) non-implementable, c) written by someone without any experience.
The easy-to-read writing style and frank advice are only part of the charm of this expose of "insider" advice and information of outstanding value to every investor. It is both practical and frightening to see how much trickery is involved in company statements and how shabbily investors are treated by the management of many companies and by their "trusted" brokers. Although this "Take" on Wall Street is very useful, there are many other aspects of coporate/company life that "...Corporate America Don't want You To Know...". One such perspective is the "inside" look into high-tech industry and how bungling and counterproductive management practices frequently found in such companies can lead to major profit losses and how this is viewed by the highly skilled and educated R&D technical staff on whose inventive genius a company's competitive advantage rests. I therefore suggest that in addition to "Take On The Street" investors serious about the high-tech sector also read the wicked, satirical book, "MANAGEMENT BY VICE" by the scientist/author, C.B. DON. As "Take On The Street" focuses on Wall Street company trickery, so "Management By Vice" exposes true-to-life examples of high-tech project bungling and blunders, managerial self interest, ignorance and bluffing as well as typical attitudes towards investors among others. Both books are a must-read for cautious investors, though from different "insider" angles..."Take On The Street" for investment advice and "Management By Vice" for high-tech management/employee relations "caveats". In this way, these books also provide the necessary ammo and information with which the investor can learn how to cast a cynical eye on blustering management, what to look for in a company's statements and what tough questions to ask of the Board Members, managers & CEOs so as to demand corporate accountabalility to the shareholders!