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Before There Was Madoff, There Was Jordan

The Wolf of Wall Street
The Wolf of Wall Street

I'm a terrible judge of character.

Case in point: About two years ago, I was pitched a book about a real con man. He stole hundreds of millions of dollars from his clients, lied to his wife and family, got his elderly aunt to be his “mule” to help him hide money away in a secret offshore bank account – and oh yeah, flew a helicopter while loaded.

A real catch, right?

But no one lied to me - I was warned by his publicist and by the conman himself not to fall for him, but I did - just like his clients and his faithful family.

I fell hook, line and sinker!

Lucky for me I just fell for his story in his book, “THE WOLF OF WALL STREET.”

“The Wolf” is author, Jordan Belfort who ran the investment firm Stratton Oakmont. In “Wolf” he takes his readers on a real life journey into “jerk world” where real life jerks gloat over those poor schmucks they lied to and those they robbed.

What an eye-opener – but a fun read. (The book has caught the attention of Hollywood – Scorsese and DiCaprio reportedly want to turn it into a movie for Warner Brothers.)

Catching The Wolf of Wall Street
Catching The Wolf of Wall Street

Well now Belfort’s out with his second book, “CATCHING THE WOLF OF WALL STREET”explaining how a one-time Wall Street high-flyer deals with losing it all: fame, fortune, family.

In today’s environment (uh, Bernie Madoff and all the mini-Madoffs) it’s hard to pity someone like Belfort – but you don’t need to pity him.

He details his greed, the unbridled debauchery and his fall from grace – AND – in this book, he gives credit where credit is due – to the good guys – those who brought him down.

And boy do we need a lot of good guys! ‘Cause even though they caught Belfort, there are many others just like him.

Let “The Wolf’s” own words be your guide, “On Wall Street we weren’t actually thieves, were we? We simply talked people out of their money; we didn’t actually steal it from them…it wasn’t blatant thievery. Or was it?”

Questions, comments? bullishonbooks@cnbc.com