The Fortune Tellers

The Fortune Tellers

Inside Wall Street's Game of Money, Media, and Manipulation

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From the author of the New York Times bestseller Spin Cycle comes this engrossing, entertaining exposé of how the media -- from television to newspapers to the Internet -- drive the financial markets today.
The booming economy and mass investing have produced an insatiable demand for financial news and given rise to a group of "fortune tellers" eager to scoop and spread the latest intelligence. In this riveting, unsettling book, Howard Kurtz introduces the powerful journalists, commentators, and analysts whose reports -- too often based on rumor, speculation, and misinformation -- have a real-time impact on the rise and fall of stocks and on the financial health of millions of investors.
Focusing on such well-known figures as cable TV's Ron Insana, Maria Bartiromo, and Lou Dobbs; Christopher Byron and other print reporters who specialize in exclusives; and superstar analysts Ralph Acampora and Henry Blodget, The Fortune Tellers is an incisive, often amusing, and sometimes terrifying report by a journalist well known for his sharp-eyed observations and behind-the-scenes access. In a time of head-spinning volatility, The Fortune Tellers is essential reading for all of us who gamble with our savings in today's overheated stock market.
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  • Free Press | 
  • 352 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780684868806 | 
  • June 2001
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One: The King of all Media

It was the worst day of Jim Cramer's life.

For fourteen long years, the flamboyant Wall Street trader had worked insane hours, getting to the office by 5:00 each morning, shouting orders, playing each hiccup in the market to make money for himself and his small coterie of investors. He had become fabulously wealthy, grabbed a bit of fame as a magazine writer and television commentator, even launched a thriving Internet news service. He had also gotten into a couple of ethical scrapes, juggling his roles as both media hotshot and market guru, but there was no question he was at the top of his... see more

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