Publishers Weekly
October 2010

In his latest exposé (after Tracking Treasure), Trupp, a former investigative reporter, details his response to learning, on Valentine's Day, 2008, that a third of his retirement investments might have been wiped out. Two years earlier, his Wachovia broker had urged him to park those funds in an Auction Rate Security account ("Take it, Phil, it's free money"), but now Trupp was answering his phone to a new Wachovia broker's disturbing hello: "We've got a problem." ARS financial instruments were auctioned nearly every week, but now, as the economy began to collapse, no one was buying, so there were too few bidders to hold an auction. Major banks were unwilling to step into the breach, and the $300 billion international ARS market had frozen solid as the bonds' value plummeted. While the broker called the problem a temporary illiquidity, it became clear to Trupp that he'd been scammed. Having been assured that ARS accounts were as safe as cash, Trupp decided to fight back, creating a community (through blogging and organizing with other victims) that helped expose the fraud and put enough pressure on Wachovia and other major financial institutions to meet depositors' claims. His hard-hitting account of a real life David and Goliath is a page-turner. (Sept.)

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