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Catching the Wolf of Wall Street: More Incredible True Stories of Fortunes, Schemes, Parties, and Prison (Anglais) Broché – 24 octobre 2013


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Extrait

Chapter One


The Aftermath


September 4, 1998
Joel Cohen, the disheveled assistant United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York, was a world-class bastard with a degenerate slouch. When I was arraigned the following day, he tried to convince the female magistrate to deny me bail on the grounds that I was a born liar, a compulsive cheater, a habitual whoremonger, a hopeless drug addict, a serial witness-tamperer, and, above all things, the greatest flight risk since Amelia Earhart.

It was a helluva mouthful, although the only things that bothered me were that he had called me a drug addict and a whoremonger. After all, I had been sober for almost eighteen months now, and I had sworn off hookers accordingly. Whatever the case, the magistrate set my bail at $10 million, and within twenty-four hours my wife and my attorney had made all the necessary arrangements for my release.

At this particular moment, I was walking down the courthouse steps into the loving arms of my wife. It was a sunny Friday afternoon, and she was waiting for me on the sidewalk, wearing a tiny yellow sundress and matching high-heeled sandals that made her look as fresh as a daisy. At this time of summer, in this part of Brooklyn, by four o'clock the sun was at just the right angle to bring every last drop of her into view: her shimmering blond hair, those brilliant blue eyes, her perfect cover-girl features, those surgically enhanced breasts, her glorious shanks and flanks, so succulent above the knee and so slender at the ankle. She was thirty years old now and absolutely gorgeous. The moment I reached her, I literally fell into her arms.

"You're a sight for sore eyes," I said, embracing her on the sidewalk. "I missed you so much, honey."
"Get the fuck away from me!" she sputtered. "I want a divorce."

I felt a second-wife alarm go off in my central nervous system. "What are you talking about, honey? You're being ridiculous!"

"You know exactly what I'm talking about!" And she recoiled from my embrace and started marching toward a blue Lincoln limousine parked at the edge of the curb of 225 Cadman Plaza, the main thoroughfare in the courthouse section of Brooklyn Heights. Waiting by the limo's rear door was Monsoir, our babbling Pakistani driver. He opened it on cue, and I watched her disappear into a sea of sumptuous black leather and burled walnut, taking her tiny yellow sundress and shimmering blond hair with her.

I wanted to follow, but I was too stunned. My feet seemed to be rooted into the earth, as if I were a tree. Beyond the limousine, on the other side of the street, I could see a dreary little park adorned with green-slat benches, undernourished trees, and a small field covered by a thin layer of dirt and crabgrass. The park looked as sumptuous as a graveyard. My misery made my eye hang on it for a moment.

I took a deep breath and let it out slowly. Christ, I needed to grab hold of myself! I looked at my watch . . . didn't have one . . . I had taken it off before they slapped the cuffs on me. Suddenly I felt terribly conscious of my appearance. I looked down at my abdomen. I was one giant wrinkle, from my tan golf pants to my white silk polo shirt to my leather boating moccasins. I hadn't slept in how many days? Three? Four? Hard to say—I never slept much anyway. My blue eyes burned like hot coals. My mouth was dry as a bone. My breath was—wait a minute! Was it my breath? Maybe I scared her off! After three days of eating grade-D bratwurst I had the worst case of dragon breath since—didn't know when. But, still, how could she leave me now? What kind of woman was she? That bitch! Gold-digger—

These thoughts roaring through my head were completely crazy. My wife wasn't going anywhere. She was just shell-shocked. Besides, it was common knowledge that second wives didn't bail on their husbands the moment they got indicted; they waited a bit so it wasn't so obvious! It couldn't be possible—

—just then I saw Monsoir smiling at me and nodding his head.

Fucking terrorist! I thought.

Monsoir had been working for us for almost six months now, and the jury was still out on him. He was one of those unnerving foreigners who wore a perpetual grin on his face. In Monsoir's case, I figured it was because his next stop was to a local bomb factory, to mix explosives. Either way, he was thin, balding, caramel-colored, medium height, and had a narrow skull shaped like a shoe box. When he spoke, he sounded like the Road Runner, his words coming out in tiny beeps and bops. And unlike my old driver, George, Monsoir couldn't shut up.

I walked to the limousine in a zombielike state, making a mental note to thrash him if he tried to make small talk. And my wife, well, I would just have to humor her. And if that didn't work, then I would start a fight with her. After all, ours was the sort of wildly rocky, dysfunctional romance where knock-down, drag-out brawls brought us closer together.

"How are you, boss?" asked Monsoir. "It is berry, berry good to have you back. What was it like inside the—"

I cut him off with a raised palm: "Don't—fucking—speak, Monsoir. Not now. Not ever," and I climbed into the back of the limousine and took a seat across from Nadine. She was sitting with her long, bare legs crossed, staring out the window into the rancid gullet of Brooklyn.

I smiled and said, "Taking in your old stomping ground, Duchess?"

No response. She just stared out the window, a gorgeous ice sculpture.

Christ—this was absurd! How could the Duchess of Bay Ridge turn her back on me in my hour of need? The Duchess of Bay Ridge was my wife's nickname, and depending on her mood it could cause her to either flash you a smile or tell you to go fuck yourself. The nickname had to do with her blond hair, British citizenship, over-the-top beauty, and Brooklyn upbringing. Her British citizenship, which she was very quick to remind you of, created a rather royal and refined mystique about her; the Brooklyn upbringing, in the gloomy groin of Bay Ridge, caused words like shit, prick, cocksucker, and motherfucker to roll off her tongue like the finest poetry; and the extreme beauty allowed her to get away with it all. At five-seven, the Duchess and I were pretty much the same size, although she had the temper of Mount Vesuvius and the strength of a grizzly bear. Back in my younger and wilder days, she was pretty quick to take a swing at me or pour boiling water over my head, when the need arose. And, as odd as it seemed, I loved it.

I took a deep breath and said in a joking tone, "Come on, Duchess! I'm very upset right now and I need a bit of compassion. Please?"

Now she looked at me. Her blue eyes blazed away above her high cheekbones. "Don't fucking call me that," she snarled, and then she looked back out the window, resuming her ice-sculpture pose.
"Jesus Christ!" I muttered. "What the hell has gotten into you?"

Still looking out the window, she said, "I can't be with you anymore. I'm not in love with you." Then, twisting the knife in deeper: "I haven't been for a long time."

Such despicable words! The audacity! Yet for some reason her words made me want her even more. "You're being ridiculous, Nae. Everything will be fine." My throat was so dry I could barely get the words out. "We've got more than enough money, so you can relax. Please don't do this now."

Still staring out the window: "It's too late."

As the limousine headed toward the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, a combination of fear, love, desperation, and betrayal overtook me all at once. There was a sense of loss that I had never experienced before. I felt completely empty, utterly hollow. I couldn't just sit across from her like this—it was absolute torture! I needed to either kiss her or hug her or make love to her or strangle her to death. It was time for strategy number two: the knock-down, drag-out brawl.

With a healthy dose of venom, I said, "So let me get this fucking straight, Nadine: Now you want a divorce? Now that I'm under fucking indictment? Now that I'm under house arrest?" I pulled up the left leg of my pants, exposing an electronic monitoring bracelet on my ankle. It looked like a beeper. "What kind of fucking person are you? Tell me! Are you trying to set a world record for lack of compassion?"

She looked at me with dead eyes. "I'm a good woman, Jordan; everyone knows that. But you mistreated me for years. I've been done with this marriage for a long time now—ever since you kicked me down the stairs. This has nothing to do with you going to jail."

What a bunch of horseshit! Yes, I had raised a hand to her once—that terrible struggle on the stairs, eighteen months ago, that de_spicable moment, the day before I got sober—and if she had left me then, she would have been justified. But she didn't leave; she stayed; and I did get sober. It was only now—with financial ruin lingering in the air—that she wanted out. Unbelievable!

By now we were on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, approaching the Brooklyn-Queens border. Off to my left was the glittering island of Manhattan, where seven million people would dance and sing their weekend away, unconcerned with my plight. I found that wholly depressing. Off to my immediate left was the armpit of Williamsburg, a flat swath of land loaded with dilapidated warehouses, ramshackle apartments, and people who spoke Polish. Just why all those Poles had settled there, I hadn't the slightest idea.

Ahhh, a brainstorm! I would change the subject to the kids. This, after all, was the common bond we shared. "Are the kids okay?" I asked softly.

"They're fine," she answered, in a rather cheery tone. Then: "They'll be fine no matter what." She stared out the window again. The unspoken message was: "Even if you go to jail for a hundred years, Chandler and Carter will still be okay, because Mommy will find a new husband faster than you can say Sugar Daddy!"

I took a deep breath and decided to say no more; there was no winning with her right now. If only I had stuck with my first wife! Would Denise be saying now that she didn't love me anymore? Fucking second wives; they were a mixed bag, especially those of the trophy variety. For better or worse? Yeah, right! They only said that for the sake of the wedding video. In reality, they were only there for the better.

This was payback for leaving my kind first wife, Denise, for the blond-headed scoundrel seated across from me. The Duchess had been my mistress once, an innocent fling that spiraled way out of control. Before I knew it, we were madly in love and couldn't live without each other, couldn't breathe without each other. Of course, I had rationalized my actions at the time—telling myself that Wall Street was a very tough place for first wives, so it wasn't really my fault. After all, when a man became a true power broker, these things were expected to happen.

These things, however, cut both ways—because if the Master of the Universe took a financial nosedive, then the second wife would quickly move on to more-fertile pastures. In essence, the gold digger, aware that the gold mine had ceased to yield the precious ore, would move on to a more productive mine, where she could continue to extract ore, undisturbed. Indeed, it was one of life's most ruthless equations, and right now I was on the ass end of it.

With a sinking heart, I shifted my gaze back to the Duchess. She was still staring out the window—a beautiful, malevolent ice sculpture. At that moment I felt many things for her, but mostly I felt sad—sad for both of us, and even sadder for our children. Up until now they had lived a charmed life in Old Brookville, secure in the fact that things were just as they should be and that they would always stay that way. How very sad, I thought, how very fucking sad.

We spent the remainder of the limo ride in silence.


From the Hardcover edition. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

Revue de presse

What separates Jordan's story from others like it, is the brutal honesty. (Leonardo DiCaprio)

Still a hustler, still a salesman - and also a hell of a writer. (Kirkus reviews)

spankingly candid insights into sex, drugs and rocky stockbroking. (GQ Australia)

Salacious reading. (The Star-Ledger)


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86 internautes sur 99 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
better then the first one but still not very good 28 mai 2009
Par je - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
After Belfort's first disaster, he comes back with a continuation of his life after Stratton. I find the author to be very self indulgent, whether it's cheating in business or on his wives, abusing drugs and alcohol, or boasting about how much everything in his house costs. As the Feds close in, Belfort is offered a deal: rat on your friends for a reduced sentence. Jordan takes about ten minutes before quickly agreeing. Even though he is now faced with repaying the staggering sum of over $100 million in restitution, Jordan shows very little remorse for all the people he ripped off. Instead, he seems to whine over being supposedly singled out for something "everyone on Wall Street does". After being barred from the securities industry, Jordan enters an appropriate field: taking advantage of lower income people in the refinancing business.

For those who don't quite grasp what Jordan did, here is a little primer:

Stratton would seek to a company public; lets call it ABC. Stratton would look to raise 6 million dollars by selling 1 million shares at 6. (a lot of these deals were units with warrants attatched, but for the sake of simplicity I'm going to just call them shares. The concept is the same). Three to six months before going public, Stratton would structure a bridge loan to ABC for say $500,000. ABC might need this money to pay legal and accounting expenses. An investor (generally a friend of Jordan's) would put up the money in return for one million shares at $.50.
Six months later, ABC goes public. Stratton's brokers are selling it like crazy, promising investors that the stock is the next Microsoft and ready to go "TO DA MOON!" Lets say instead of selling clients one million shares, they sell them 2 million. Where did the extra million shares come from? Simple. Remember the bridge loan at fifty cents? Well Jordan would pay him two dollars for his stock. The investor makes a quick $1.50/share, or $1.5 million on a $500,000 investment. Not bad. Frequently, the investor would kick back some of these proceeds to Jordan.
Okay, lets go back to the first day of trading. Stratton has virtual total control over the float of the stock by not allowing a broker to sell unless he had a corresponding buy order. Thus, no stock would ever hit the rest of Wall Street. Because Stratton controls the market, they might open the stock up at say, 15. Jordan then goes out to his sales force with a great deal: He will let them but one million shares at 11, and sell them to their clients at 15. The brokers will make $4/share, or over 25%! Why would Jordan offer them stock at 11? Because he took it from the bridge loan investor at 2. So Stratton makes $9/share on one million shares in it's trading acct, plus all the investment banking fees and any kickbacks as well. Remember, they only raised six million (minus fees) for the company. So, Jordan makes over 150% on the money he raised! Sooner or later, the stock collapses, and the investors are left holding stock worth pennies. Needless to say, this is all totally illegal.
45 internautes sur 51 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
One Book Too Many 24 mars 2009
Par D. Wagner - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Who would write a book boasting about snitching on all their friends? And it's unclear to me why he needs to describe every detail of his sex life with his wife. Classy. What he needs to do is learn to write a sentence that doesn't have a cliche in it; and if I ever see the word "alas" again I'm going to shoot myself in the head. His first book was amusing, due to the drug and spending sprees, unfortunately this book takes place after those ended.
25 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
You're not Bernie 2 mars 2009
Par Larry Brown - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I'm confused by Jordan's delusion of grandeur whereby he assumes `everyone' knew who he was and what he was doing both during his `hey day' and afterwards. If, during the time of his Stratton days, you'd asked 1000 Wall street people if they'd ever heard of Belfort or Stratton Oakmont, I guarantee you 997 of them would say no. If you'd asked 1000 non-Wall street people, 1000 would never had heard of him or Stratton...assuming they weren't clients. The only reason I ever heard of Stratton was that my firm cleared his trades.
By the way, Jordan (early in the book) states that his clients "...could have sold their shares anytime they wanted to..." Not quite. If I had a dime for every Stratton customer who called my firm complaining about their inability to sell, I'd be living in Old Brookville.
45 internautes sur 55 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Unrepentant 6 juillet 2009
Par Marcos - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
It is hard to review this book because we get so upset about the main character that our feelings spread to the book itself. The book is fun and interesting, not because it is well written (it is not) but because the situation itself is original and adventurous. Therefore, the only merit Belfort has as an author is that "he has been there".

In this book, Belfort tells us about the events after getting caught by the FBI, how he ratted his friends, and his relationship with women. He sounds like he was very sorry about being caught, but not at all about the people he screwed. In fact, the first thing he does after his money runs dry is to start selling mortgage based loans to poor people (knowing well that they will lose their houses).

Belfort suffers from a pathological inability to put himself in other people's shoes, he is unable to relate to feelings and to have anything more than a childish relationship with anyone. This goes for his victims and his women. My bet is that he is a psychopath in some degree. He refers to his second wife as a Duchess, and basically has a marriage based on sex. Everybody tells him she is a gold-digging whore, but he is the only one who can't see it (she is). Then he goes on to live with a dysfunctional super-model who can't even have a conversation with him. Women are trophies for his vanity.

The only truth we read in the whole book is when the judge says that he is not super-talented as he thinks, that many people as talented as him didn't get as much money just because they refrained from crossing the criminal line. That's the bottom line: Belfort is not super smart, he is a super liar, one who lies even to himself.
12 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Very Arrogant Man 26 septembre 2010
Par Karen Force - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
The author did a good job of capturing himself as he was: an arrogant, short sighted, drug induced, alcoholic financier of Wall St. True, he was a genius when it came to making money by ripping people off with schemes. As with everyone who spends a lot of hours working his trade, he became over confident and greedy then it all collapsed around him. He is the epitome of what is wrong with Wall St. and our country in general at this time in our history. It saddens me to know there are so many of them that exist and don't get caught. And when they do get caught, they usually get a slap on the wrist for cooperating by turning their fellow cohorts into the feds then get let back out onto the streets to screw the little guy again. Yes, he did prison time but not near enough time. Up until the day he went to prison he really felt he wouldn't go there. He felt the feds would look the other way while he was screwing his mistresses in his gold plated home. Has he really changed as he says since getting out and losing everything that was near and dear to him? Doubtful. I gave this book to an acquaintenace to read because he too considers himself to be a genius. He too is arrogant about who he is. He felt the author was over the top with his actions and language and the author actually embarrassed him! What's interesting is their excesses and language are exact mirrors of one another. What does this have to say about people who consider themselves geniuses? I guess I would recommend this book to anyone who thinks they are better than anyone else, uses drugs and alcohol to escape and even though they have a high IQ, speaks as though they live in the ghetto. Or I would recommend you buy this book to give as a gift for that certain someone who thinks they're a genius and see if they can see themselves in the mirror.
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