I spent the last 1/2 hour unsuccessfully looking for the title of a long forgotten book.

Oh Enron!
I spent the last 1/2 hour unsuccessfully looking for the title of a long forgotten book.
I worked for a pharmaceutical company for a few years once upon a time.
During that time, I actively invested. It was between 1999-2001.
I chose what turned out to be Contrarian Investing, although I didn’t know that’s what it was called at the time. I did what was called DRIP – basically buy and hold, wholly opposite of “day-trading” strategies.
Somewhere in the year 2000, I got a new boss’ boss.
When he found out I invested, he got all excited and he gave me as a gift three books on investing.
One was Dow at 36,000 and the other two I can’t remember.
But one of those three was a book of corporate profiles, all hailed as BUSINESSES OF THE FUTURE
It was like a who’s who list of businesses that were going to crash HARD.
But at that time, they were the darlings of traders living on the edge. Infinite growth was possible – libertarian dreams. Alternate markets had emerged – oil futures I think it was called.
Whole thing smelled fishy to me.
I hated that one book from the moment he gave it to me.
EVERYTHING it extolled as a virtue, I saw as a vice.
I wish I could remember the names of the companies – Enron was one among about 8 or 12 or so.
The whole premise seemed illogical and irrational and it was all hype+hype+hype in the book and my boss’ boss couldn’t get enough of it.
He’s ask if I’d invested anything in Enron yet, etc.
Well, I hadn’t. Not a single penny. The whole thing was based on volume and hype and excitement and speed and I was a turtle; slow and methodical, and careful and stability rather than cancerous growth oriented.
So, everything crashed at some point, either before or after 9/11 – don’t remember.
I’d stopped investing by then and was simply “holding” my choices.
There was a period of a few years I think was called the dot com crash and all those companies folded one after another into scandal. A guy named Kenneth Lay comes to mind because he had my name. I think the pressure killed him eventually but he was getting rich by institutionally lying bringing lots of people down with him.
By 2003, I was already in Florida with a house that contrarian investing helped me pay towards a down payment towards (we moved in in mid 2001 I think or 2002? which is the year the Smartest Man In The Room was published.
I was glad I didn’t listen to my boss’ boss. I think some of the other companies were worldcom and I forget the others. Lost to the dustbin of history I think.

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