[By Nic Lindh on Monday, 22 January 2007]
Den of Thieves is the exhaustively researched story of the junk bond traders of the 80s and the damage they wrought on the stock market.
The author, James B. Stewart, covered the story for the Wall Street Journal, and in this book he vastly expands on our understanding of the zeitgeist of the era, the perpetrators, and the means by which they committed their crimes. Stewart’s prose is low-key and fluid, allowing the characters of the traders and law enforcement officers to come to focus.
Den of Thieves can be a bit of a slog at times, mostly due to the sheer amount of information—deal after crooked deal is described in unrelenting detail. Coupled with the highly technical nature and purposefully byzantine nature of the deals, keeping things straight in your head can be a bit of a challenge.
Where the book really shines is in describing, through their deeds, the almost demonic avarice and callousness of some of the corporate raiders of the 80s.
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