American Sucker by David Denby

By David Denby

During this Bracingly sincere, Page-Turning Memoir, what starts off as a manic cash chase-desperate to hold directly to his domestic after his marriage breaks up. David Denby realizes he should purchase out his wife's percentage provided that he can first make a killing within the inventory market-ultimately turns into an unforgettable stumble upon with such everlasting concerns as envy, love, loss of life, sanity, and happiness. American Sucker is a singularly compelling story of the high-tech bubble similar no longer via a marketplace guru or an funding expert yet by means of a witty, perceptive, and eloquent outsider.

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As I learned from the rubble of magazines on the floor, the point for the Internet companies and the new technologies was to get there first, build up share, and dominate their sector, putting other contenders out of business, the way Compaq, Dell, and Microsoft had done in the past. Then, in the future? There may be factors, markets, means, ways of reaching the consumer, the supplier, and the vendor that we weren’t aware of yet. Advertising? Fee-based use? There were tech companies whose high price was geared not to earnings but to revenues — Cisco, say.

In this period, the speculation spreads to different kinds of assets. New companies spring up and are floated in the market, and investors leverage their rising assets. You know the rest: overextended credit, swindles and frauds, and eventual collapse. But how much of that described the current moment, February 2000? We had certainly gone through “displacement” in the form of the Internet and fiber optics and other new or newly developed inventions in information technology. ” And we were nothing if not “euphoric” at the moment.

Exposure? Are you kidding? We were naked. I had become that journalistic cliché, the momentum investor who loads up on a hot market sector. But pile on! Pile on! and farewell to diversification. I wanted to keep my apartment. I wanted to build that pile not just for the sweetness of life but to hold on to what I already possessed. As Thomas Hobbes said in Leviathan, men expand their domain as a way of preventing the loss of what they already have. Anyway, the lure of big gains was too strong, and since the Nasdaq had been going through the roof since October 1999, we had done very well, our portfolio going up over 30 percent in just those few months.

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