Barbara Ann Radnofsky - August 2010

"Why do some laudable efforts to bring fraudsters to justice fail and others succeed?
Ruthless provides  answers (additional to don't swindle intelligent,resourceful, respected journalists). A victim of the 'Auction Rate Securities' (ARS) fraud, author Phil Trupp candidly discloses how he and 146,500 individuals and major institutions believed reassuring misrepresentations that their ARS investments were 'just like cash' in liquidity. Only when the investors were told the then-$336 billion market was 'frozen' in early 2008 did investors learn that it was a scam; underlying bonds and preferred stocks were not liquid at all, but distressingly long term. If all was well, the investors' granchildren, decades later, would be paid. Meanwhile, issuers and banks fared well, timely paid for issuance and holding auctions, some of which never happened.

The story of action by companies and investors catastrophically damaged by the massive liquidity crisis is summarized nicely by Phil Trupp's subtitle: 'How enraged investors reclaimed their investments...and beat Wall Street.' If you've not heard much about the Auction Rates Securities 2008 scandal, you are not alone; the book offers interesting explanation why there was little coverage for a fraud of breathtaking scope. Enjoy this honest, readable explanation and story, with a cast of bizarre characters including infamous personality and newsmaker 'Radioactive Man,' providing a diversion into the Kennedy and King assasinations after the major Bush Administration figure explains the President was 'actually aware' of all the (ARS) problems, and that 'Government jumping in - well it can only make matters worse.'"

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