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Hirudo Street (Volume 1)

Hirudo Street (Volume 1)

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In the summer of 2011, Julius Genachowski, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, held a press conference to warn consumers about cell phone carriers that the FCC had found to be systemically adding obscure, bogus charges to the monthly bills of their customers. The titans of the investment industry must have chuckled, for among American businesses, they alone enjoy an unbeatable advantage: They already possess their customers’ money, and by corrupting the people’s representatives with lobbyist conveyed bribes, commonly and more politely referred to as “campaign contributions”, and the promise of lucrative future employment, have engendered the current system that allows them to just skip right past the process of sending out a monthly bill for services rendered. Instead, every month they simply help themselves to their customers’ cash, while disclosing this appropriation in ways that even forensic accountants would find challenging to decipher. It's the greatest consumer fraud in history. Hirudo Street is the story of a stockbroker named Walter Brennan, a Vice President at an eminent brokerage firm in Boston. Impelled by the 2000 thru 2002 market collapse, during which the S&P 501 lost half its value and the NASDAQ a catastrophic 80%, Brennan begins a cynical analysis of the tenet that his industry bases its very existence on; that astute portfolio managers and stockbrokers can, more often than not, outperform the market indexes. It is a tenet that he would no more have questioned prior to the spectacular crash than the law of gravity. Discovering how preposterous this notion actually is, he begins rebuilding his business antithetically from the customary, beat the market method, instead advising his clients to adhere to investing principles that sought, through broad diversification across every possible asset class, slightly lower annual returns, but with far less volatility. He also aggressively discounts his firm’s annual fees, thereby violating the obligatory task of all stockbrokers; generating as much revenue per client as possible. Over the next several years Brennan becomes a fierce advocate of this investment strategy and an increasingly vocal critic of his firm’s mode of operations, denouncing it to his clients and haranguing his colleagues. A loose cannon on their otherwise orderly deck, his managers take harsh measures of reprisal until the tumultuous situation culminates in a dramatic showdown