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Backstage Wall Street: An Insider's Guide to Knowing Who to Trust, Who to Run From, and How to Maximize Your Investments by Joshua M. Brown

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13The Greatest Financial Innovation in 70 Years

It is the winter of 2002, and I’m sitting in the half-empty boardroom of a hollowed-out brokerage firm. Investors had spent the past year pulling a net $27 billion from stock mutual funds. The brokerage industry has been utterly ravaged by the successive backbreaking events of the dot-com crash, 9/11, and that matched set of accounting debacles, Enron and WorldCom. Fully half of the guys I came up with in the business had left by this point; they were off selling insurance or mortgages or whatever else was a more readily received proposition than common stocks. Now that widely held fallen angels like Cisco, Lucent, Sun Microsystems, Palm, and AOL Time Warner had broken all our hearts, the American ...

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