- By Michael Perino

The Hellhound of Wall Street: How Ferdinand Pecora's Investigation of the Great Crash Forever Changed American Finance

  • Title: The Hellhound of Wall Street: How Ferdinand Pecora's Investigation of the Great Crash Forever Changed American Finance
  • Author: Michael Perino
  • ISBN: 9781594202728
  • Page: 389
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The Hellhound of Wall Street How Ferdinand Pecora s Investigation of the Great Crash Forever Changed American Finance A gripping account of the underdog Senate lawyer who unmasked the financial wrongdoing that led to the Crash of and forever changed the relationship between Washington and Wall Street In The Hell

    A gripping account of the underdog Senate lawyer who unmasked the financial wrongdoing that led to the Crash of 1929 and forever changed the relationship between Washington and Wall Street In The Hellhound of Wall Street, Michael Perino recounts in riveting detail the 1933 hearings that put Wall Street on trial for the Great Crash Never before in American history had soA gripping account of the underdog Senate lawyer who unmasked the financial wrongdoing that led to the Crash of 1929 and forever changed the relationship between Washington and Wall Street In The Hellhound of Wall Street, Michael Perino recounts in riveting detail the 1933 hearings that put Wall Street on trial for the Great Crash Never before in American history had so many financial titans been called to account before the public, and they had come within a few weeks of emerging unscathed By the time Ferdinand Pecora, a Sicilian immigrant and former New York prosecutor, took over as chief counsel, the investigation had dragged on ineffectively for nearly a year and was universally written off as dead The Hellhound of Wall Street provides a minute by minute account of the ten dramatic days when Pecora turned the hearings around, cross examining the officers of National City Bank today s Citigroup , particularly its chairman, Charles Mitchell, one of the best known bankers of his day Mitchell strode into the hearing room in obvious disdain for the proceedings, but he left utterly disgraced Pecora s rigorous questioning revealed that City Bank was guilty of shocking financial abuses, from selling worthless bonds to manipulating its stock price Most offensive of all was the excessive compensation and bonuses awarded to its executives for peddling shoddy securities to the American public Pecora became an unlikely hero to a beleaguered nation The man whom the press called the hellhound of Wall Street was the son of a struggling factory worker Precocious and determined, he became one of New York s few Italian American lawyers at a time when Italians were frequently stereotyped as anarchic criminals The image of an immigrant lawyer challenging a blue blooded Wall Street tycoon was just one sign that a fundamental shift was taking place in America By creating the sensational headlines needed to galvanize public opinion for reform, the Pecora hearings spurred Congress to take unprecedented steps to rein in the freewheeling banking industry and led directly to the New Deal s landmark economic reforms A gripping courtroom drama with remarkable contemporary relevance, The Hellhound of Wall Street brings to life a crucial turning point in American financial history.

    1 thought on “The Hellhound of Wall Street: How Ferdinand Pecora's Investigation of the Great Crash Forever Changed American Finance

    1. "Halls of justice painted green.Money talking,Power wolves beset your door.Hear them stalking,Soon you’ll please their appetite.They devour."Metallica, And Justice for All, 1988.A stellar portrait of a true unsung hero: one man who, with integrity and persistence, brought to justice the fat cats who caused the 1929 stock market crash, and made a real difference, forever changing American finance.I'd never heard of Ferninand Pecora until I saw this book browsing through a Manhattan bookstore wh [...]

    2. A great story of how an unregulated financial industry led to 1929 crash and its reasons revealed by almost single-handedly by a Congressional Committee council - Ferdinand Pecora. His investigation of the financial industry combined with his questioning techniques revealed how much greed of a few led to ruin of many small investors. Makes for compulsive reading.A brief set of notes follows:A story of Ferdinand Pecora, who was chief counsel for the Senate Committee on Banking and Currency, charg [...]

    3. How come we haven't all heard of Ferdinand Pecora? What a guy. Someone reincarnate him already and jail the crooks running things today.This book was fascinating and I couldn't put it down. Very in-depth look at how wall street callousness didn't so much cause the great depression as it pulled huge swaths of Americans into harms way.Funny thing though. The chief "villian", Charles Mitchell, President of the National City Corporation, brought non-government bond and equity investing to the averag [...]

    4. This tells the story of Pecora's investigation into banking and Wall Street, or the impetus of many of our financial laws and regulations. Interesting story and insight into this period of time. It was really interesting to hear about the run on the banks and how that happened and understand why their was such panic at the time.

    5. Absolutely required reading for everyone. Those who do not know and learn from history are bound to repeat it. We have repeated it. Again.

    6. Really 3.5. I felt really interested and engaged in the beginning but my interest lagging in the last third. Definitely has material I never knew before and I am glad there is a book covering the Pecora's work. Also the subject material felt very timely.

    7. One of the best books I have read on this subject. It is so frighteningly close to what happened in 2008 and exactly the same circumstances and involving the same families and banks. In 1933 the federal government passed the Glass Steagall Act to prevent further embezzlement, stealing, short selling and other nefarious activities of bankers and Wall Street. This protected the public until the 1980s when slower but surely governments both Democrats and Republicans dismantled the Act. The result w [...]

    8. A great story of accomplishment. Pecora, an Italian immigrant, broke preconceptions of immigrant incompetence to change US history. No doubt that today's regulators looked at his success with salivating envy. Unfortunately, he didn't seek fame but rather to do the right thing.

    9. This book will make you weep. Not only was everything that brought the nation down in 1929 repeated in 2008, it was the same bank! National City Bank, now Citigroup. Enron, insider trading, bonuses (it was in the 20's that the bonus system was inaugurated), sweetheart deals, screwing your employees, lying to your shareholders, fraudulent wash sales. On and on and on. But now we have no Ferdinand Pecora (the chief counsel for the Senate Hearings on the crash and the hero of this book), no FDR, an [...]

    10. I learned of this book reading the alumni newsletter from St. John's, as Michael Perino is currently a Professor there. Yogi Berra's famous quote "It's deja vu all over again" is apropos, as it tells the story of the financial collapse of 2008, only, Perino wrote this book as a historical account of the 1930's banking crisis. This is a very comprehensive read, as the author painstakingly researched the material he so articulately presents in a robust, compelling fashion. Ferdinand Pecora was bor [...]

    11. One of the best Wall Street books ever written, this highly readable book reads like fiction, except it isn't. This masterpiece documents the deeply ingrained period racism, the greed and corruption from early Wall Street bankers without the dramatic flair that some other authors on the topic are prone to include. It bothers me when books point to a revenue strategy that a bank has and then dramatically includes an editorial as to the ethics of such strategy. This author didn't do that. In fact, [...]

    12. I saw this book lying around at my office so I picked it up and thought it would be an interesting read. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the book. It's very well written and flows seamlessly, and the research behind it is also top notch. The facts are presented as story of sorts. Whenever a new player is introduced, he is first established by Perino in a manner that provides us with their impact and stature for a better context.Pecora's story is inspirational and reflects the importance of [...]

    13. Very thoroughly researched history of the Senate's investigation into the stock market crash of 1929 and the lead counsel investigating , Ferdinand Pecora. Change the names and dates and it could have been written about the events of the last three years with the highly disappointing exception that the our present Congress has yet to lay a finger on any of the guilty parties on Wall Street or to investigate it's own culpability in the looting and collapse of FNMA. I believe George Santayana's fa [...]

    14. It's pretty remarkable how closely history repeats itself. If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, our "job creators" are indeed insane. I remember hearing congress people complain of "Depression-Era Regulations". This book reminded me that another way to think about "Depression-Era Regulations" is regulations designed to prevent another depression--which is why we came so close to having another depression when we killed many o [...]

    15. It is the small details that personalized this book for me. The research was great - as Perino introduced an individual, there was always a context provide. Some other bit of trivia or insight that made me remember all the players. This book is really just one more example of how the idea of six-degrees of seperation is really so true.Still amazed that we have learned so little from the banking crisis of the 1920-1930.

    16. A fascinating, well-written book telling the story of the investigation by the Senate Banking and Currency Committee into Wall Street abuses and crimes in the run-up to the Great Depression. And speaking of depressing things, their bullshit and crimes were no different than those of Wall Street in recent years. Plus ca meme, plus ca change.

    17. If your interested in greed, power and JUSTICE! Ha. The closest person to M.P. we have today is E. Warren. Pecora was shooting fish in a barrel, only because of his tenacious brilliant mind. The banks got spanked! Dont worry this was a minor set back for the the humble Banksers. The seem to have profited from speculation win or loose.

    18. It all sounds so familiar - banks knowingly selling worthless bonds; banks manipulating stock prices; insider trading, banks insisting THEY can police themselves far better than any government agency; banks giving out huge bonuses to its executives for peddling shoddy securities.But this is 1929 and the 1933 U.S. Senate hearings - not 2008.Have we learned nothing?

    19. Excellent detailed account of the corruption and subsequent hearings of the Wall Street Bankers who contributed to the 1929 crash. Sad part is that history repeated itself during the deregulation and credit default swaps that lead to the 2008 crash. Pecora is an American hero---he has the real life litigation genius that Lt. Caffe displayed in a Few Good Men.

    20. I love these kinds of history books that tell it all as a narrative. Great book and really fun back-&-forth leading up to, during and after one of the few times when Congress has actually gone after high-level financial crooks.

    21. This was a book with very interesting parallels to the current financial crisis. Good story about a man few people know but who made a big difference in the financial world.

    22. interesting account of how the wall Street had a major role in triggering the great depression. a trial led to major reforms in the banking sector that are still relevant today

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