Thank you for visiting us. We are currently updating our shopping cart and regret to advise that it will be unavailable until September 1, 2014. We apologise for any inconvenience and look forward to serving you again.

Wiley
Wiley.com
Print this page Share

Confidence Game: How Hedge Fund Manager Bill Ackman Called Wall Street's Bluff

ISBN: 978-0-470-64827-8
335 pages
April 2010
Confidence Game: How Hedge Fund Manager Bill Ackman Called Wall Street
An expose on the delusion, greed, and arrogance that led to America's credit crisis

The collapse of America's credit markets in 2008 is quite possibly the biggest financial disaster in U.S. history. Confidence Game: How a Hedge Fund Manager Called Wall Street's Bluff is the story of Bill Ackman's six-year campaign to warn that the $2.5 trillion bond insurance business was a catastrophe waiting to happen. Branded a fraud by the Wall Street Journal and New York Times, and investigated by Eliot Spitzer and the Securities and Exchange Commission, Ackman later made his investors more than $1 billion when bond insurers kicked off the collapse of the credit markets.

  • Unravels the story of the credit crisis through an engaging and human drama
  • Draws on unprecedented access to one of Wall Street's best-known investors
  • Shows how excessive leverage, dangerous financial models, and a blind reliance on triple-A credit ratings sent Wall Street careening toward disaster

Confidence Game is a real world "Emperor's New Clothes," a tale of widespread delusion, and one dissenting voice in the era leading up to the worst financial disaster since the Great Depression.

See More
Preface.

Acknowledgments.

1 The Meeting.

2 The Short Seller.

3 The Question.

4 Backlash.

5 The Worst That Could Happen.

6 The Trouble With Triple-A.

7 Unanswered Questions.

8 Crimes And Cockroaches.

9 Turning The Tables.

10 Scrutiny.

11 The Black Hole.

12 The Court Of Public Opinion.

13 The Insurance Charade.

14 When Crack Houses Become Collateral.

15 Storm Warnings.

16 An Uncertain Spring.

17 Apocalypse Now.

18 Parting The Curtain.

19 Ratings Revisited.

20 The Panic Begins.

21 Catastrophe And Revenge.

22 Time Runs Out.

23 Bailout.

24 Judgment Day.

25 The Nuclear Threat.

Epilogue.

Notes.

Index.

See More
Christine S. Richard has covered financial markets in Washington, Hong Kong, Singapore, and New York. Her work on the bond insurers received awards from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, the Deadline Club, the Newswoman's Club of New York, the New York Press Club, the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the National Association of Real Estate Editors. Her articles were included in a series on the municipal bond market that was nominated by Bloomberg News in 2007 for the Pulitzer Prize. She lives in Frenchtown, New Jersey, with her husband and their daughter.
See More
"This a riveting account of a tenacious investor, incompetent/apathetic regulators & analysts and a company that hid information, deceived investors and used every connection it had in its attempts to silence him. At points this reads like a John Grisham novel … except it actually happened. For me, this is the best of the ‘melt down’ books to date … hands down."
— Todd Sullivan, valueplays.net, April 2010

" ... Ackman’s pursuit of MBIA spanned the two major crises of capitalism of the last decade, from the earlier era of corporate fraud prosecutions epitomized by Enron and its off-balance-sheet special purpose vehicles (SPVs), to the late credit debacle stemming from the collapse of the CDO house of cards."
—The Hedge Fund Law Report, May 2010

See More
May 25, 2010
Confidence Game

In Confidence Game: How A Hedge Fund Manager Called Wall Street’s Bluff (Wiley; April 2010; $27.95; 978-0-470-64827-8; Hardcover), Bloomberg News reporter Christine Richard tells the story of how Bill Ackman tried to warn the powers that be that MBIA and the $2.5 trillion bond insurance business was a catastrophe waiting to happen.

Written with the full support of and access to Bill Ackman, the book opens when the hedge fund manager issued a research report titled Is MBIA Triple-A? in late 2002. This is an opening shot in what became a long and bitter Wall Street feud between him and MBIA. Soon after, Ackman was branded a fraud in the media and was investigated by Eliot Spitzer and the SEC. However, the investigations ultimately led nowhere and Bill Ackman turned the tables years later when MBIA crumbled and his short position made his investors more than $1 billion.

MBIA, one of the five biggest financial institutions in the country in terms of outstanding credit exposure, Moody’s Investors Service, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings all assigned MBIA’s bond-insurance unit AAA or Aaa ratings. The rating companies had determined that the firm could weather another Great Depression and still meet all of its claims. Bill Ackman wasn’t convinced. MBIA held just $1 of capital for every $140 of debt it guaranteed. The high leverage meant MBIA had virtually no margin of safety.

Given unprecedented access to one of Wall Street’s most famous investors, Richard narrates a compelling, behind-the-scenes human drama that explores many crucial issues, including the market’s unquestioning acceptance of credit ratings, their dangerous reliance on financial models, and the use of securitization to create value from thin air and assumptions.

Confidence Game is a real-world "Emperor's New Clothes," a tale of widespread delusion and one dissenting voice in the era leading up to the worst financial disaster since the Great Depression.

See More
Buy Both and Save 25%!
+

Confidence Game: How Hedge Fund Manager Bill Ackman Called Wall Street's Bluff (US $27.95)

-and- Steal These Ideas!: Marketing Secrets That Will Make You a Star, 2nd Edition (US $24.95)

Total List Price: US $52.90
Discounted Price: US $39.67 (Save: US $13.23)

Buy Both
Cannot be combined with any other offers. Learn more.
Back to Top