Wall Street’s 10 Most Notorious Stock Traders

The country’s financial hub has a long history of lying, cheating, and stealing

No one likes recessions, but no one dislikes them more than the crooks who are an inevitable part of any financial market.

As the economy goes south, companies seeking to cut costs scrutinize their books more carefully and bring embezzlements to light. Investors take money out of higher-earning (and therefore inherently more risky) funds and put them into safer ones, and Ponzi schemes collapse as a result. Credit becomes tighter, and loan requests are more carefully investigated, so businesses with cooked books find their insolvency revealed. Read more »

Why Enron Always Happens

And how history shows it’s actually good for us

THERE’S AN OLD JOKE ABOUT A COMPANY’S NEEDING TO hire a new accounting firm. The chief executive invites the heads of eight firms to come in for interviews and he hires one right away. A friend asks him how he did it. “Simple,” the chief executive replies. “I just asked each of them one question. How much is two plus two?”

“That’s easy,” the friend says.

“Sure it is. Seven of them said four. So I gave the job to the eighth. He said, ‘What number do you have in mind?’” Read more »