Excerpt from Black Fridays by Michael Sears, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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Black Fridays

By Michael Sears

Black Fridays
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  • Hardcover: Sep 2012,
    352 pages.
    Paperback: Sep 2013,
    432 pages.

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Print Excerpt

He stood up. The meeting was over.

"Everything we have discussed here is deniable, of course. I really am sorry, Jason. I enjoyed working with you."

I shook the proffered hand without thinking about it. I was shattered. I knew the poker warning: if you look around the table and can't identify the mark, then you're it.

The Feds knew. They offered me a six-month sentence at a low-security country club with views of the Allegheny foothills if I agreed to give up all I knew about the "conspiracy." I had nothing to give them. I went to Ray Brook for two years instead.

The press figured it out. Floyd Norris at the Times kept hammering away that upper management had to have known what was going on. The Journal and the Financial Times followed suit. The pressure built.

David was allowed to retire. They vested all of his deferred compensation and gave him a twenty-million-dollar check—in return for signing a stack of documents that prevented him from being able to testify about his years of working there. He and his second wife moved to the south of France. Last I heard, he was learning to windsurf.

Just before they transferred me from Ray Brook to the downstate facility, I saw an item on the news that the chairman of Case Securities was stepping down to spend more time with his family. In a surprise move, the board elected not to name the CEO to take his place. His resignation was expected as soon as a new chairman was announced. Each of their severance packages was rumored to be enough to buy a small country.

Excerpted from Black Fridays by Michael Sears. Copyright © 2012 by Michael Sears. Excerpted by permission of Putnam Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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