Don't Fall For It

Book description

Learn financial and business lessons from some of the biggest frauds in history

Why does financial fraud persist? History is full of sensational financial frauds and scams. Enron was forced to declare bankruptcy after allegations of massive accounting fraud, wiping out $78 billion in stock market value. Bernie Madoff, the largest individual fraudster in history, built a $65 billion Ponzi scheme that ultimately resulted in his being sentenced to 150 years in prison. People from all walks of life have been scammed out of their money: French and British nobility looking to get rich quickly, farmers looking for a miracle cure for their health ailments, several professional athletes, and some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. No one is immune from getting deceived when money is involved. Don’t Fall For It is a fascinating look into some of the biggest financial frauds and scams ever.

This compelling book explores specific instances of financial fraud as well as some of the most successful charlatans and hucksters of all-time. Sharing lessons that apply to business, money management, and investing, author Ben Carlson answers questions such as: Why do even the most intelligent among us get taken advantage of in financial scams? What make fraudsters successful? Why is it often harder to stay rich than to get rich? Each chapter in examines different frauds, perpetrators, or victims of scams. These real-life stories include anecdotes about how these frauds were carried out and discussions of what can be learned from these events. This engaging book:

  • Explores the business and financial lessons drawn from some of history’s biggest frauds
  • Describes the conditions under which fraud tends to work best
  • Explains how people can avoid being scammed out of their money
  • Suggests practical steps to reduce financial fraud in the future

Don’t Fall For It: A Short History of Financial Scams is filled with engrossing real-life stories and valuable insights, written for finance professionals, investors, and general interest readers alike.

Table of contents

  1. Cover
  2. Introduction
  3. Chapter 1 No One Sells Miracles
    1. Goats as Viagra?
    2. Radio
    3. The Placebo Effect
    4. Correlation Does Not Imply Causation
    5. Same as It Ever Was
    6. Notes
  4. Chapter 2 How to Sell Anything
    1. The Count
    2. Selling the Eiffel Tower
    3. Everyone Is in Sales
    4. Notes
  5. Chapter 3 Fast Money
    1. The Promise of Huge Returns with Minimal Effort
    2. When Trust Goes too Far
    3. Do Your Homework
    4. Notes
  6. Chapter 4 It’s the End of the World as We Know It
    1. Number of People in Extreme Poverty Fell by 137,000 Since Yesterday
    2. Notes
  7. Chapter 5 Sleight of Hand
    1. Bad Brad
    2. A Magician Reveals His Secrets
    3. Notes
  8. Chapter 6 When Success Doesn’t Translate
    1. Defeated by Decency
    2. Don’t Try to Get Rich Twice
    3. Notes
  9. Chapter 7 When Fraud Flourishes
    1. When There’s an ‘Expert’ with a Good Story
    2. When Capital Becomes Blind
    3. When the Banking Industry Gets Involved
    4. When Individuals Begin Taking Their Cues from the Crowd
    5. When Markets Are Rocking
    6. When the Opportunity Presents Itself
    7. When Human Beings Are Involved
    8. When Innovation Runs Rampant
    9. Notes
  10. Chapter 8 The Siren Song of New Technologies
    1. The Railway Napoleon
    2. The Media’s Role in a Bubble
    3. The Other Side
    4. The Silver Lining of a Market Crash
    5. Notes
  11. Chapter 9 The Seductive Power of FOMO
    1. How to Create a Monopoly
    2. The Roaring 20s
    3. When the Tide Goes Out
    4. Not a Ponzi but Close Enough
    5. The Seductive Power of FOMO
    6. Notes
  12. Chapter 10 Type I Charlatan
    1. John Law and the Mississippi Company
    2. Speculation Is a Hell of a Drug
    3. Pop Goes the Bubble
    4. Type I and Type II Charlatans
    5. Notes
  13. Chapter 11 Type II Charlatan
    1. The South Sea Company
    2. Type II Charlatan John Blunt
    3. The Bubble Act
    4. The Echo Bubble and Dunbar’s Number
    5. Notes
  14. Chapter 12 Fooled by Intelligence
    1. Newton’s Mania
    2. The Problem with Smartest People in the Room
    3. Why Smart People Make Dumb Decisions
    4. Fooling Yourself with Complexity
    5. Notes
  15. Chapter 13 How Gullible Are You?
    1. Ponzi versus Bernie
    2. The Sacred Relationship
    3. Notes
  16. Chapter 14 The Easiest Person to Fool
    1. Getting Rich versus Staying Rich
    2. Shot out of a Cannon
    3. The Biggest Fraud of All
    4. Notes
  17. Conclusion: Six Signs of Financial Fraud
    1. 1. The Money Manager Has Custody of Your Assets
    2. 2. There Is an Aura of Exclusivity in the Pitch
    3. 3. When the Strategy Is too Complicated to Understand
    4. 4. When the Story Is too Good to Be True
    5. 5. When the Returns Are Ridiculously Good
    6. 6. When They Tell You Exactly What You Want to Hear
    7. Notes
  18. Index
  19. End User License Agreement

Product information

  • Title: Don't Fall For It
  • Author(s): Ben Carlson
  • Release date: January 2020
  • Publisher(s): Wiley
  • ISBN: 9781119605164