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This review is from: Octopus: The Secret Market And The World's Wildest Con (Paperback)
A real page turner, I read it in one day, well written and an eye opener. But the hyperbole on the cover is misleading. The fraud is not even on the same scale as Madoff, Isaac's fraud was very small potatoes by comparison. This book is not about the fraud, I see it as a study of one aspect of human nature and how any of us, when faced with a seemingly inescapable disaster, especially if it is one of our own making, could be tempted to take extreme measures to recover, however unlikely those measures might be. Isaac came from a top drawer American family, which is extremely well connected, hugely wealthy and successful. He was personable and had an extraordinary range of contacts and friends. He set out to show that he could independently carve out a successful business using his talents and drive. So it is easy to understand his determination to put things right, but once he had strayed there was no return and step by step he fell into an abyss of self deceit and destruction. And the book will cause many of us to look into ourselves. Have none of us ever dreamed of a quick exit from life's challenges, especially financial ones? Never purchased a lottery ticket in the hope it will release us from daily routines even though we know deep down the odds are impossible yet justifying in part the purchase because we know a percentage of the ticket cost goes to a good cause? This writ large was what drew Isaac into an ever more bizarre web of false promise of ever increasing returns from ever more unlikely scenarios. Read it!