Shamanagement: financial wizardry to create paper profits

Innocent people never have fears when they go to face injustice.

Asil Nadir, former CEO of Polly Peck, when returning to the UK in 2010 to face trial

To a certain kind of mind, raising money from the public by issuing shares looks like a remarkably easy way to get rich quick. The truth is that most of the time it is a massively expensive exercise, which places a very heavy burden of responsibility on a company’s executives, and rightly so. In boom times, however, raising money in the market becomes much easier. With so much money seeking investments that offer high returns, standards drop and investors become less choosy. Hot money sloshes about looking for a home without taking the ...

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