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Fooling Some of the People All of the Time

A Long Short Story
Narrated by: L. J. Ganser
Length: 13 hrs and 20 mins
Categories: Money & Finance, Economics
4 out of 5 stars (36 ratings)

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Summary

A rare look inside the world of activist hedge funds from one of this country's top investors.

In 2002, David Einhorn, the president of Greenlight Capital, gave a speech at a charity investment conference and was asked to share his best investment idea. He described his reasons why Greenlight had sold short the shares of Allied Capital, a leader in the private finance industry. What followed was a firestorm of controversy.

Allied responded with a Washington, D.C. style spin-job - attacking Einhorn and disseminating half-truths and outright lies. Undeterred by the spin-job and lies, Greenlight continued its research after the speech and discovered Allied's behavior was far worse than Einhorn ever suspected. Fooling Some of the People All of the Time is the gripping chronicle of this saga, and this edition contains all new updates from the author.

Minute by minute, it delves deep inside Wall Street, showing how the $6-billion hedge fund Greenlight Capital conducts its investment research and detailing the maneuvers of an unscrupulous company. Along the way, you'll witness feckless regulators, compromised politicians, and the barricades our capital markets have erected against exposing misconduct from important Wall Street customers.

  • Goes behind the scenes to detail the truth about investing, short selling, and the politics of business
  • Shows the failings of Wall Street: its investment banks, analysts, journalists, and especially our government regulators
  • Offers insights into the battles surrounding hedge funds
  • Reveals the immense difficulties that prevent the government from sanctioning politically connected companies

At its most basic level, Allied Capital is the story of Wall Street at its worst. But the story is much bigger than one little-known company. Fooling Some of the People All of the Time is an important call for effective law enforcement, free speech, and fair play.

©2008 David Einhorn (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

Critic reviews

"[A] welcome antidote to the thousands of books written for investors that paint a sunny picture of companies.... Mr Einhorn's book recounts behind-the-scenes details of the sort that are seldom made public...an instructive guide for general investors." ( Financial Times)

What listeners say about Fooling Some of the People All of the Time

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    4 out of 5 stars

interesting,

maybe a little long for a short story. but learnt a lot of useful information on investing and shorts and also about Einhorn

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loved it

great story. I guess sometimes the bad guys win...well for a while at least before the market invariably destroys them....

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • James Klein
  • 02-02-11

where's the epilogue?

A wonderful, albeit heavily detailed account, of Einhorn's search for corporate justice. Given what has happened in the capital markets the past several years, it is easier now to understand the incompetence of regulators. Still, it is a little curious that Einhorn found so few takers of his perspective among what would have appeared to be unbiased professionals (journalists, professors, investors). Also disappointed how casually he dismissed the abusive and illegal tactics of naked short selling. But he does tell a convincing tale and one that should make us think every time we read a glowing account from a Wall Street analyst.

My biggest disappointment was the absence of the epilogue that is included in the newly published book version. Since Allied hit the wall after the completion of this book, I was very much looking forward to hearing how the market finally caught on to the systematic fraud and deception. It would be nice if Audible.com could offer this add-on to its customers who bought this book.

29 people found this helpful

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  • Daniel Juckette
  • 04-07-12

So that's what is happening

Would you listen to Fooling Some of the People All of the Time again? Why?

Yes. I am very unsophisticated about the financial system. Since the Recession began I have comprehended small bits of what happened and who the players are, but the picture is so big it's overwhelming. There is plenty of blame and finger-pointing to go around. This is essentially the story of one man's attempt to call attention to corporate criminal behavior and hold the felons accountable. However, it gave me a window into the workings of the financial system, its non-regulators, and the how fraud corrupts our political and financial system to threaten our way of life. I also gained insite into the paralysis of government, and why our politicians have become so unrepentant about their corruption.

What other book might you compare Fooling Some of the People All of the Time to and why?

The Sociopath Next Door because it explains institutional sociopathy clearly without completely talking down to the reader. Pushing readers out of their intellectual laziness without alienating them, when it's so much easier to take spoon-feedings from those who have the most to gain by fooling them, is a challenge beyond the grasp of most writers.. Most forms of media try to reduce your concentration level, so grabbing your attention and forcing you to work at understanding something complex, requires continually reminding the reader the information is important to them.

Which character – as performed by L. J. Ganser – was your favorite?

The author/protagonist's matter-of- fact incredulity was refreshing.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The Roman Empire with computers.

Any additional comments?

I was depressed that our problems seem so unfixable, yet the writer's unflagging optimism shines though. Hopefully, enough "smart people" will realize that winning by everyone else losing will ultimately erode the prey base so much they can't survive either.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Walter
  • 03-04-12

One of the best finance books in a long time!

What made the experience of listening to Fooling Some of the People All of the Time the most enjoyable?

This was an incredibly enjoyable book on all levels. You just have to admire the tenacity and intellect of Einhorn. It would have been the easy way out to cover the short on Allied and let it go, but he stuck with it as he had strong conviction. The amount of detail in his research is astounding. You have to hand it to Einhorn: he deserved to come out victorious in the end. He just did his homework better than anybody else.

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  • Minnjeff
  • 31-01-18

Don’t listen to this if you have investments in public companies!

A fascinating, frustrating, and frightening story for any individual investor. The fact that a public company could behave in such an unethical way without any recourse for many years should scare the pants off of anyone investing in public companies. Couldn’t stop listening!

1 person found this helpful

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  • jon fox
  • 08-08-20

Solid first half, redudant afterwards

Started out really interesting and devolved into repetitive complaining about Allied over and over again. I was hoping to hear more about other investments, but it turned into what felt like one side of the story about how someone was right and everyone else was wrong.

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  • L.K. Chen
  • 07-01-20

A fine book about an unfinished fight

Detailed but unfinished account of the fight between Greeenlight and Allied Capital. I can feel the frustration and was left hanging a bit at the end, when I learned the event was still playing out at the time of publishing. Not a problem though, since you can read that from the Internet. I have to admit that this is not a story with clearly identifiable heroes and evil-doers. Everything was in the grey area, by law, by ethics, and by view points.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 31-08-19

it was really a long short story

Too long talking about one short idea. I was expecting something that I can learn from Einhorn, some of his principles, values etc, but this book was only about his struggle with this one company. I did.not learn much. Maybe only strenghten one Buffett principle: Never short a stock.

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  • Shane Vince
  • 27-04-19

Awful story don’t bother. Just read a summary of allied capital

Awful read, boring story with no climax. A one sided tell all about an investor who lost his bet. Even after completing the book I had to find further news on the case because he does not write about how it ends in this book

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  • Spike101x
  • 20-03-19

Dave Whines For Several Hours

That's what the book should be called. It really is just a rant about how he feels no one was fair to him. After a couple hours I wasn't even rooting for him anymore. I kinda just wanted the book to be over.

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  • Nathan
  • 20-08-18

Not what I expected, but maybe that’s a good thing

Expected more about how Einhorn earned his reputation, but really it’s a long story about shorting one particular stock. Neat story, but not very applicable.