Predators & Profits by Martin Howell
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Predators and Profits helps you uncover the kind of scandals that brought down Enron and Worldcom. Are problem stocks still lurking in your portfolio? Learn how to identify them, while there’s still time. Leading Reuters business journalist Martin Howell identifies more than 100 crucial red flags: hidden risks from greedy executives, sleepy boards, accounting shenanigans, and questionable corporate culture. It’s all public information: Martin Howell shows how to find it, assess it, and act on it.
From the Back Cover
Foreword by John Bogle, Vanguard Group founder
Millions of investors saw their savings drained by scandals that brought financial empires like Enron and WorldCom to their knees.
Now there is a comprehensive and authoritative guide that shows investors how to protect their assets from tomorrow’s multi-billion-dollar corporate catastrophes.
Predators and Profits teaches investors how to detect tell-tale signs of trouble and how to pinpoint stocks at risk. It reveals techniques that helped short-sellers get set for Enron’s collapse with months to spare including ways to identify weak boards, greedy CEOs, and troubling business trends.
Lively and informative, this book draws on insights from successful short-sellers, market psychologists, private detectives, and more than 50 financial experts—including former SEC chair Arthur Levitt, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, and top investor Bill Miller.
The book provides a roadmap to easily accessible information and enables investors to install a firewall around their precious assets.
Pipedreams, propeller heads, and early birds
Why the biggest promises can lead to the biggest collapses
Superstar CEOs: celebrities, showmen, rude boys, and destroyers
Recognizing signs of disaster in the corner office
Jets, parachutes, stealth wealth, and pay for plundering
From re-priced stock options to stadium naming
Sleepy, inept, and tainted boards
How to tell whether the board’s doing its job
Dumb mistakes smart investors still make
Bringing common sense back to investing
“As investors across the globe ponder the lessons of the fanciful financial era that appears to have come to a shuddering halt, you can do no better than begin with this remarkable book by Martin Howell. Predators and profits sets a high standard in analyzing just went wrong during the classic bubble we have just witnessed and presents a thorough, easy-to-navigate compendium that is the definitive study of what went wrong with capitalism.”
—John Bogle, Founder,Vanguard Group
“Martin Howell’s Predators and Profits shows us many of the important reasons why we are in the worst bear market since the thirties.Well written and researched, it is must reading for anyone interested in preventing the predators from looting their portfolios, or that of millions of other investors, the next time a market fad runs wild.”
—David Dreman, Chairman and Chief Investment Officer, Dreman Value Management L.L.C.
How to guard against tomorrow’s financial scandals and protect your savings
Predators and Profits shows how to uncover the future Enrons and WorldComs still lurking in your portfolio—while there’s still time.
Reuters financial journalist Martin Howell identifies more than 100 crucial warning signs that could point to problems ahead.
Is a company rewarding failure? Is the board packed with ex-politicians? Is the audit committee qualified? Is the company selling assets to reach earning targets? Using unrealistic pension fund assumptions? Did the CEO just buy a mansion in a bankruptcy haven? It’s all public information, easy to find and use—if you know how.
Can’t afford to get burned again? You must read Predators and Profits.
About the Author
MARTIN HOWELL is editor-in-charge of Reuters equities coverage in North and South America. He has directed much of Reuters corporate news coverage in the United States in the past four years, including coverage of the Enron scandal, the Internet bubble, and Wall Street deception. For the past 18 years, he has written, reported, and edited business news throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australasia, and managed news teams on all these continents.
Reuters (www.reuters.com), the global information company, provides indispensable information tailored for professionals in the financial services, media, and corporate markets. Reuters information is trusted and drives decision making across the globe, based on the company’s reputation for speed, accuracy, and independence. Reuters has 16,000 employees in 94 countries, including some 2,400 editorial staff in 197 bureaus serving about 130 countries, making it the world’s largest international multimedia news agency.
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