Stitch and Bear

A long-running Irish blog with reviews of the best restaurants in Dublin and throughout Ireland. Some wine and cocktails thrown in for good measure!

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Wolf of Wall Street - Jordan Belfort

Jordan Belfort was living proof of the American dream in the heady days of Wall Street. Nicknamed the "Wolf of Wall Street", he lived in a fabulous mansion, with his beautiful wife and child, flew his helicopter, indulged in copious amounts of drugs, all while running a busy brokerage firm, Stratton Oakmount, which he had founded.

Stratton Oakmount found fame as one of the biggest "boiler room" brokerage firms. Belfort was eventually convicted of selling purpotedly profitable stocks at inflated prices and spent two years in jail. This book attempts to tell the tale of his high life and how it all fell apart around him as his drug addiction spiralled out of control.

There is no doubting what this man, and his company did, was odious. But as you read the book, what really comes across are Belfort's superb skills as a salesman and motivator. This is evident in every description of his motivational sessions at Stratton Oakmount, and even later when he was in rehab. You can only imagine what he was like to listen to in real life.

Also apparent from the book is the scale of Jordan's intelligence. He comes across as quite a clever person, who however, devoted a significant part of his life to circumventing stock trading laws. His descrption of how he bugged the SEC personnel who were investigating his books is quite amusing and novel.

His descriptions of his drug taking make you realise how easy it can be for an intelligent person to persuade themselves that their drug problem is under control not a problem at all.

This book is quite a quick-paced, interesting and amusing read. Granted, the subject matter is unpleasant to some, but it is entertaining and quite an interesting insight into the mind of Jordan Belfort.

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