"Confidence Game" is a tale about the dangerous delusions that humbled America's largest financial institutions and plunged the country into recession. At its heart is the story of how hedge fund manager Bill Ackman warned that MBIA Inc., a little-known insurance company, had guaranteed nearly a trillion dollars of debt. Branded a fraud in the financial press, Ackman, a short seller who stood to gain billions from the bankruptcy of the company, was investigated by Eliot Spitzer and by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Today, Ackman's warning looks remarkably prescient. The invincible bond insurance business has all but evaporated and so has confidence in the markets. This book tells the inside story of an incident that has even more relevance in today's troubled markets - told to the only reporter who had full access to Bill Ackman.
christine richard is a debt markets reporter with bloomberg news who has covered financial markets in new york, hong kong and singapore. her coverage of the bond insurers received awards from organizations including the new york press club and the society of american business editors and writers.