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Fooling Some of the People All of the Time, A Long Short (and Now Complete) Story, Updated with New Epilogue



"The culture of corporate greed that you depict is one that must be held to account if we are to prevent companies and bad actors from engaging in practices that are harmful, not only to investors, but also to our national economy."
Senator Olympia J. Snowe

"What you will find within the pages of this book will blow you away. This is a tale of deceit, fraud, misrepresentation, cloak-and-dagger antics, millions and millions of wasted taxpayer dollars, and an unbelievable amount of effort expended by Einhorn and others to bring it all to light. . .This book may go down as one of the classic financial forensics books of our time."
Clyde Milton, Seeking Alpha

"But the most troubling material concerns an issue that is bigger than Allied and Einhorn's battle: it's the way criticisms of corporate behavior are received in the marketplace. Many, including the SEC, appeared inclined to shoot the messenger."
Bethany McLean, Fortune

In 2002, David Einhorn—one of the country's top investors—was asked at a charity investment conference to share his best investment advice. His response: short sell Allied Capital. At the time, Allied was a leader in the private financing industry with a reputation that had never been questioned. But Einhorn claimed Allied was using murky accounting practices to prop itself up. At the time of the original version of Fooling Some of the People All of the Time, the outcome of his advice was unknown. Now, the story is complete and we know Einhorn was right. He was right again when in 2008 Einhorn advised the same conference to short sell Lehman Brothers. With a new and substantial epilogue, the paperback edition of Fooling Some of the People All of the Time provides a detailed conclusion to the gripping battle between Allied Capital and Einhorn's Greenlight Capital and describes how many parts of the Allied Capital story were replayed in the debate over Lehman Brothers.

DAVID EINHORN is the president of Greenlight Capital, which he cofounded in January 1996. Greenlight Capital is a value-oriented investment advisor whose goal is to achieve high absolute rates of return while minimizing the risk of capital loss. Einhorn is the Chairman of Board of Greenlight Capital RE and also serves on the boards of Hillel; The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research; and of the Robin Hood Foundation.


Allied Capital Stock Price Chart.

Who's Who.

Introduction: The Spark of a Speech.

Part One: A Charity Case and Greenlight Capital.

Chapter 1 Before Greenlight.

Chapter 2 Getting the "Greenlight".

Chapter 3 Greenlight's Early Success.

Chapter 4 Value Investing through the Internet Bubble.

Chapter 5 Dissecting Allied Capital.

Part Two: Spinning So Fast Leaves Most People Dizzy.

Chapter 6 Allied Talks Back.

Chapter 7 Wall Street Analysts.

Chapter 8 The You-Have-Got-to-Be-Kidding-Me Method of Accounting.

Chapter 9 Fact—Or Maybe Not.

Chapter 10 Business Loan Express.

Chapter 11 Disengaging and Re-engaging.

Chapter 12 Me or Your Lyin' Eyes?

Chapter 13 Debates and Manipulations.

Chapter 14 Rewarding Shareholders.

Chapter 15 BLX Is Worth What, Exactly?

Part Three: Would Somebody, Anybody, Wake Up?

Chapter 16 The Government Investigates.

Chapter 17 A Tough Morning.

Chapter 18 A Spinner, a Scribe, and a Scholar.

Chapter 19 Kroll Digs Deeper.

Chapter 20 Rousing the Authorities.

Chapter 21 A $9 Million Game of Three-Card Monte.

Part Four: How the System Works (and Doesn’t).

Chapter 22 Hello, Who's There?

Chapter 23 Whistle-Blower.

Chapter 24 A Naked Attack.

Chapter 25 Another Loan Program, Another Fraud.

Chapter 26 The Smell of Politics.

Chapter 27 Insiders Getting the Money Out.

Part Five: Greenlight Was Right . . . Carry On.

Chapter 28 Charges and Denials.

Chapter 29 Charges and Admissions.

Chapter 30 Late Innings.

Chapter 31 The SEC Finds a Spot under the Rug.

Chapter 32 A Garden of Weeds.

Chapter 33 A Conviction, a Hearing, and a Dismissal.

Chapter 34 Blind Men, Elephants, Möbius Strips, and Moral Hazards.


About the Author.