Fraud : an American history from Barnum to Madoff / Edward J. Balleisen.

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  • Additional Information
    • Abstract:
      Summary: "The United States has always proved an inviting home for boosters, sharp dealers, and outright swindlers. Worship of entrepreneurial freedom has complicated the task of distinguishing aggressive salesmanship from unacceptable deceit, especially on the frontiers of innovation. At the same time, competitive pressures have often nudged respectable firms to embrace deception. As a result, fraud has been a key feature of American business since its beginnings. In this sweeping narrative, Edward Balleisen traces the history of fraud in America--and the evolving efforts to combat it--from the age of P.T. Barnum through the eras of Charles Ponzi and Bernie Madoff. Starting with an early nineteenth-century American legal world of "buyer beware," this unprecedented account describes the slow, piecemeal construction of modern regulatory institutions to protect consumers and investors, from the Gilded Age through the New Deal and the Great Society. It concludes with the more recent era of deregulation, which has brought with it a spate of costly frauds, including the savings and loan crisis, corporate accounting scandals, and the recent mortgage-marketing debacle. By tracing how Americans have struggled to foster a vibrant economy without enabling a corrosive level of fraud, this book reminds us that American capitalism rests on an uneasy foundation of social trust"--Jacket.
    • Content Notes:
      Duplicity and the evolution of American capitalism. The enduring dilemmas of antifraud regulation ; The shape-shifting, never-changing world of fraud -- A nineteenth-century world of caveat emptor (1810s to 1880s). The porousness of the law ; Channels of exposure -- Professionalism, moralism, and the elite assault on deception (1860s to 1930s). The beginnings of a modern administrative state ; Innovation, moral economy, and the Postmaster General's peace ; The businessmen's war to end all fraud ; Quandaries of procedural justice -- The call for investor and consumer protection (1930s to 1970s). Moving toward Caveat venditor ; Consumerism and the reorientation of antifraud policy ; The promise and limits of the antifraud state -- The market strikes back (1970s to 2010s). Neoliberalism and the rediscovery of business fraud.
    • Notes:
      Includes bibliographical references (pages 387-470) and index.
      2
    • ISBN:
      9780691164557
      069116455X
    • Accession Number:
      2016935601
    • Accession Number:
      948559822
    • Accession Number:
      lcc.181060
  • Citations
    • ABNT:
      BALLEISEN, E. J. Fraud : an American history from Barnum to Madoff. [s. l.]: Princeton University Press, 2017. ISBN 9780691164557. Disponível em: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=cat05560a&AN=lcc.181060&custid=s6224580. Acesso em: 11 dez. 2019.
    • AMA:
      Balleisen EJ. Fraud : An American History from Barnum to Madoff. Princeton University Press; 2017. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=cat05560a&AN=lcc.181060&custid=s6224580. Accessed December 11, 2019.
    • APA:
      Balleisen, E. J. (2017). Fraud : an American history from Barnum to Madoff. Princeton University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=cat05560a&AN=lcc.181060&custid=s6224580
    • Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date:
      Balleisen, Edward J. 2017. Fraud : An American History from Barnum to Madoff. Princeton University Press. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=cat05560a&AN=lcc.181060&custid=s6224580.
    • Harvard:
      Balleisen, E. J. (2017) Fraud : an American history from Barnum to Madoff. Princeton University Press. Available at: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=cat05560a&AN=lcc.181060&custid=s6224580 (Accessed: 11 December 2019).
    • Harvard: Australian:
      Balleisen, EJ 2017, Fraud : an American history from Barnum to Madoff, Princeton University Press, viewed 11 December 2019, .
    • MLA:
      Balleisen, Edward J. Fraud : An American History from Barnum to Madoff. Princeton University Press, 2017. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=cat05560a&AN=lcc.181060&custid=s6224580.
    • Chicago/Turabian: Humanities:
      Balleisen, Edward J. Fraud : An American History from Barnum to Madoff. Princeton University Press, 2017. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=cat05560a&AN=lcc.181060&custid=s6224580.
    • Vancouver/ICMJE:
      Balleisen EJ. Fraud : an American history from Barnum to Madoff [Internet]. Princeton University Press; 2017 [cited 2019 Dec 11]. Available from: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=cat05560a&AN=lcc.181060&custid=s6224580

Reviews

PW Reviews 2016 December #3

Balleisen (Navigating Failure), associate professor of history at Duke University, explores America's ambivalent attitude toward con-artistry in this colorful survey history of business fraud and the fitful attempts to suppress it. In American fraud's 19th-century golden age, adulterated commodities, shoddy manufactures, counterfeit bank-notes, inflated stocks, Barnum-esque hoaxes, predatory sales contracts, and Ponzi schemes galore were mainstays of commerce. More recently, Balleisen reveals that the methods have kept pace with sociopolitical changes, as evidenced by Medicare fraud, credit default swaps, and more Ponzi schemes. He counterpoints the nature of the swindles with the growing formal—and informal—"anti-fraud state" of postal inspectors, government financial and trade regulators, criminal prosecutors, class-action lawyers, and muckraking reporters (who sometimes colluded with stock scams instead of exposing them). Balleisen shows how anti-fraud regulations were perennially weakened by Americans' grudging admiration for clever con-men, industry lobbying, the doctrine of caveat emptor (the notion that buyers are responsible for avoiding scams), and fears that cracking down too harshly on fraudulent promises might dampen the investor enthusiasm powering the economy. Balleisen's lucid, engagingly written mix of institutional and legal history, behavioral economics, and entertaining anecdotes illuminates this land of bilk and money. Illus. (Feb.)

Copyright 2016 Publisher Weekly.