Cover image for Scam dogs and mo-mo Mamas : inside the wild and woolly world of Internet stock trading
Scam dogs and mo-mo Mamas : inside the wild and woolly world of Internet stock trading
Emshwiller, John R., 1950-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperBusiness, [2000]

Physical Description:
xxiv, 295 pages ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HG4515.95 .E47 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Meet the new leaders of the twenty-first-century stock market-each an Internet stock-trading legend. Each a cyber-guru in the vanguard of the millions of people trading and talking about stocks on the Internet. Each with legions of eager followers and determined foes, and the ability to make stock prices leap-or plummet-at the click of a mouse. Colorful, charismatic, and often outrageous, they are reshaping the way we invest and how Wall Street works.

Scam Dogs and Mo-Mo Mamas is their story the first journalistic look at these market wizards and their brave new world. Veteran Wall Street Journal reporter John Emshwiller has entered that world and brought back a lively, entertaining tale, documenting their rise, the culture they've created, their intertwined lives, and their power, influence, and turf battles.

Pitted against the cyber-gurus, and a major part of this story, are the self-appointed truthsayers who seek to expose their excesses, Web officials who try to keep order in cyberspace, and enforcement officials from the SEC, who are beginning a government crackdown.

Though these Internet voyagers rarely meet or even share a spoken word, their lives and passions have all met in cyberspace. There, they befriend or battle each other in pursuit of fame and fortune. They operate in a realm without substance that can be powerfully, even frighteningly, real. There, it is as easy to be entertained as it is to be fleeced. Of course, if you are very good and very lucky, you just might strike it rich.

Welcome to the wild and woolly world of Internet stock trading-where the rules are still being written, nothing is as it seems, and everything is up for grabs.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Just as Tom Wolfe captured the 1960s with The Pump House Gang and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and his overpunctuated, overcapitalized onomatopoeic prose, Emshwiller sums up the turn of the century with similar flair. While Wolfe chose surfers and hippies as symbols, Emshwiller picks online stock traders. He has an eye for the vivid exchanges that take place among investment-chat-room denizens and their flamboyant computer bulletin-board postings. His main character is Tokyo Mex, a Korean who started a Mexican burrito restaurant in Manhattan but now runs a stock-trading Web site and bulletin board called SocieteAnonyme. Tokyo Mex's real name (he goes by many) may or may not be Yun Soo Oh Park IV; regardless, he has the ability to send the stock prices soaring or crashing. Emshwiller follows Tokyo Mex around the country as he meets with legions of faithful followers. Along the way, Emshwiller encounters a colorful cast of hucksters, scam artists, ill-equipped law-enforcement officials, and average guys just trying to make a buck. --David Rouse

Publisher's Weekly Review

This rogues' gallery of Internet stock investors, scam artists and tipsters sheds fascinating light on an unseemly universe powered by caffeine, nicotine and the sweet scent of profits. Emshwiller, who covers Internet trading for the Wall Street Journal, trails a cast of often bizarre characters, such as Joe Park, the legendary trading guru who launched the popular stock-discussion site Tokyo Joe's Caf‚, who submits to an interview sitting lotus-like in front of his computer screens while steadily ingesting Marlboros and orange juice. Then there's Park's arch-enemy, Big Dog, who is actually 41-year-old, 400-pound Mike Nichols, a former textile-coatings salesman turned rabid Internet junkie. And don't forget Cairo-born Anthony Elgindy, the one-time Chevy dealer who finds a new life and a tidy profit as a visionary corporate scam-buster, who conveniently short-sells the stocks he helps take down, profiting from their falling share price. They're all chasing after "mo-mo mamas," those momentum-generating stocks that shoot up suddenly and make spectacular money for savvy traders. Emshwiller's reportorial instincts make for an engaging narrative, but his lengthy quotations of inane e-mail chatter ("the stock is so cheap!") edge out more essential discussion of the rising power of stock discussions on the Internet. For all their interest, these scam dogs end up snarled in endless e-mail squabbles, revealing a petty and not particularly edifying counterculture. Agent, Geri Thoma, Elaine Markson Literary Agency. 15-city radio tour. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The author, a senior writer for the Wall Street Journal, based this study of the often turbulent world of Internet stock trading on research and interviews with key participants. According to Emshwiller, "More than any other communications advance in history, [the Internet] allows the individual directly into the world of stock trading. The computer with modem can serve as your broker, your financial advisor, your source of news and your seer." This book is filled with the colorful characters of Internet stock trading, e.g., Tokyo Mex, who, among other accomplishments, started a Silicon Investor chat, "Tokyo Joe's Caf;" and Big Dog, a major player and rival of Tokyo Mex. Numerous case studies of transactions, trades, discussions on bulletin boards, and investigations are provided throughout, as is a glossary of terms for the uninitiated (including bagger, LOL, touting, and SPOOS). The risks "to finances and psyches" are also underlined. Those considering entering the world of Internet stock trading would be well advised to read Emshwiller's informative, fast-paced, and important work before taking the plunge. Recommended to public and academic library business collections.DLucy Heckman, St. John's Univ. Libs., Jamaica, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.