Random House, Inc.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The story of the billionaire trader Steven A. Cohen, the rise and fall of his hedge fund, SAC Capital, and the largest insider trading investigation in history—for readers of The Big Short, Den of Thieves, and Dark Money and fans of Showtime’s Billions.
NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY JENNIFER SENIOR, NEW YORK TIMES • Longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence and FT & McKinsey Business Book of the Year 2017
The rise over the last two decades of a powerful new class of billionaire financiers marks a singular shift in the American economic and political landscape. Their vast reserves of concentrated wealth have allowed a small group of big winners to write their own rules of capitalism and public policy. How did we get here? Through meticulous reporting and powerful storytelling, New Yorker staff writer Sheelah Kolhatkar shows how Steve Cohen became one of the richest and most influential figures in finance—and what happened when the Justice Department put him in its crosshairs.
Cohen and his fellow pioneers of the hedge fund industry didn’t lay railroads, build factories, or invent new technologies. Rather, they made their billions through speculation, by placing bets in the market that turned out to be right more often than wrong—and for this they have gained not only extreme personal wealth but formidable influence throughout society. Hedge funds now manage nearly $3 trillion in assets, and competition between them is so fierce that traders will do whatever they can to get an edge.
Cohen was one of the industry’s greatest success stories. He mastered poker in high school, went off to Wharton, and in 1992 launched SAC Capital, which he built into a $15 billion empire, almost entirely on the basis of his wizardlike stock trading. He cultivated an air of mystery, reclusiveness, and extreme excess, building a 35,000 square foot mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut, and amassing one of the largest private art collections in the world. On Wall Street, Cohen was revered as a genius.
That image was shattered when SAC became the target of a sprawling, seven-year government investigation. Labeled by prosecutors as a “magnet for market cheaters” whose culture encouraged the relentless hunt for “edge”—and even “black edge,” or inside information—SAC was ultimately indicted in connection with a vast insider trading scheme, even as Cohen himself was never charged.
Black Edge offers a revelatory look at the gray zone in which so much of Wall Street functions, and a window into the transformation of the U.S. economy. It’s a riveting, true-life legal thriller that takes readers inside the government’s pursuit of Cohen and his employees, and raises urgent questions about the power and wealth of those who sit at the pinnacle of modern Wall Street.
Baker & Taylor
"Steven A. Cohen is a Wall Street legend. Born into a middle class family in a decidedly upper class suburb on Long Island, he was unpopular in high school and unlucky with girls. Then he went off to Wharton, and in 1992 launched the hedge fund SAC Capital, which grew into a $15 billion empire. He cultivated an air of mystery and reclusiveness -- at one point, owned the copyright to almost every picture taken of him -- and also of extreme excess, building a 35,000 square foot house in Greenwich, flying to work by helicopter, and amassing one of the largest private art collections in the world. But on Wall Street, he was revered as a genius: one of the greatest traders who ever lived. That public image was shattered when SAC Capital became the target of asprawling, seven-year criminal and SEC investigation, the largest in Wall Street history, led by an undermanned but determined group of government agents, prosecutors, and investigators. Experts in finding and using "black edge" (inside information), SACCapital was ultimately fined nearly $2 billion -- the largest penalty in history -- and shut down. But as Sheelah Kolhatkar shows, Steven Cohen was never actually put out of business. He was allowed to keep trading his own money (in 2015, he made $350 million), and can start a new hedge fund in only a few years. Though eight SAC employees were convicted or pleaded guilty to insider trading, Cohen himself walked away a free man. Black Edge is a riveting, true-life thriller that raises an urgent and troubling question: Are Wall Street titans like Steven Cohen above the law?"--
Traces the rise and fall of stock trader Steven Cohen and his hedge fund, SAC Capital, to offer insight into personalities behind the largest insider-trading investigation in Wall Street history while revealing how Cohen continues to make billions as a free man.