The Billionaire’s Apprentice: The Rise of the Indian-American Elite and the Fall of the Galleon Hedge Fund

Anita Raghavan, Author
Anita Raghavan. Hachette/BusinessPlus, $29 (512p) ISBN 978-1-4555-0402-2
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4555-0403-9
Hardcover - 369 pages - 978-1-4555-1846-3
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Enron, Lehman Brothers, Bernie Madoff—it’s clear that corruption and venality are de rigueur at the highest ranks of the financial services industry. Financial journalist Raghavan knows this as well as anyone, making her exhaustive account of the self-destruction of Raj Rajaratnam and Rajat Gupta all the more confusing. Though the narrative is fast-paced, the point of the book is uncertain. The utter ubiquity of Gupta’s misbehavior at the Galleon Group, spectacularly expensive to the company as it was, does not make his story particularly remarkable. Ostensibly about the integration of Indian immigrants into the upper echelons of American society, the book barely mentions that topic, and the nationality of Rajaratnam (Sri Lankan, not Indian), Gupta, and their associates seems an extraneous detail. By focusing on the unsurprising chummy backscratching, avaricious dealing, and boundless sense of entitlement in this world, Raghavan barrels past promising side roads. For example, the fact that “a previous insider trading accusation into Rajaratnam… was squashed because a criminal probe into his possible involvement with a Tamil insurgent group had taken precedence” is treated as an unfortunate distraction. Agent: Shawn Coyne, Genre Management. (June)
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