Den of Thieves

by James B. Stewart

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Last Updated on September 5, 2023, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 242

Den of Thieves by James B. Stewart was published in 1991 and became a bestselling non-fiction book. The book is mainly about the insider trading scandal in the 1980s and its effects on Wall Street and the rest of America. Stewart focuses mainly on four men—Dennis Levine, Ivan Boesky, Michael Milken, and Martin Siegel—and discusses their vast collective influence on the financial meltdown in the 1980s.

Stewart was granted access to interviews with these four men, and he was also permitted to view trading records and grand jury transcripts from specific cases. He interviewed lawyers and other members of the financial community and met with the very law enforcement personnel responsible for tracking and arresting the men who perpetrated these crimes.

Stewart gives background on the four men and explains their insight into the realization that the stock price of certain companies could rise to staggering amounts if there were gossip about the possibility of a merger or takeover. If investors knew about this possibility ahead of time, they could stand to make dizzying amounts of cash.

As Stewart so persuasively argues, these men were fated to get caught, because they got greedy. When they finally did get nabbed, a small group of detectives managed to bring these men to justice, despite the pricey legal council obtained by the four men. Some argue that the men did not get the prison terms they deserved, especially since they created such financial havoc.

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