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Origins of the Crash, by Roger Lowenstein.    Have you wondered how the stock market mania of the late 1990s could have become as irrational as it did?  Roger Lowenstein, one of the best financial journalists, has done an excellent job describing and detailing the elixir of corporate financial statement half-truths, Wall Street conflicts of interest, shabby corporate governance and outright fraud that intensified the recent market bubble.  He provides a highly readable description of how far too many corporate managers and directors, rather than working in the interests of their shareholders, essentially became looters of shareholder wealth via misleading financial statements, excessive use of stock options and other shenanigans.  Lowenstein also describes how hopelessly conflicted some Wall Street analysts, and even some public accounting firms, became during those wild-and-crazy times.  The chapter on Enron, a must-read all by itself, reveals how such a large corporation could collapse in such a short time.  For those who are already aware of the parts played in the market bubble saga by the likes of Jack Grubman and Andy Fastow, this book should prove to be an easy, lively read.  For those who are unfamiliar with their roles, this highly readable book will open your eyes.

 ISBN: 1594200033
Format: Hardcover, 288pp
Pub. Date: January 2004
Publisher: The Penguin Group

 

 

 

 

"Roger Lowenstein's writings have helped change the culture of America's executive suites and boardrooms.  His investigative talent and narrative skills make Origins of the Crash a compelling and fascinating read."

 Arthur Levitt, Jr.