By David Denby
During this Bracingly sincere, Page-Turning Memoir, what starts as a manic cash chase-desperate to hold directly to his domestic after his marriage breaks up. David Denby realizes he should buy out his wife's proportion provided that he can first make a killing within the inventory market-ultimately turns into an unforgettable stumble upon with such everlasting concerns as envy, love, dying, sanity, and happiness. American Sucker is a singularly compelling story of the high-tech bubble comparable now not by means of a marketplace guru or an funding expert yet by way of a witty, perceptive, and eloquent outsider.
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Additional resources for American Sucker
Interest21 4132 American Sucker 11/6/03 11:23 AM Page 22 rate hikes were in the offing from Federal Reserve Board chairman Alan Greenspan; the hikes would likely drive the market down, and I wondered, Will individual investors buy into this dip, as they have so nobly and resolutely in other dips throughout the recent years of the bull market? Or were we just possibly at the end of the bull, the beginning of a panic? Entering the subway at 72nd Street, I shook my head. A panic? Couldn’t be. I had just joined the tech boom in full force and wanted to get in even further.
In a minor act of defiance, during the first week of 2000 I liquidated our holdings in two bond funds and put the money in stocks; and I canceled part of my life insurance. We had other insurance, anyway, and since we had accumulated some money since we took on this policy in 1992, we didn’t seem to need it as much. As it happens, we were $11,000 in arrears on the premiums. I hated the idea of insurance so much that I unconsciously rebelled and “forgot” to pay the premiums. The policy had built up some dividends, which I could invest, and that was part of the attraction of canceling the thing.
I was safe inside the quiet, windowless little office. Idly, I turned through stacked-up copies of The Industry Standard and Red Herring and Fast Company. The mags were three, four, even five hundred pages an issue, and spread through their effulgent leaves were all the current mantras: Technology spending by corporations had been increasing at a rate of 30 percent a year; the use of the Internet doubled every ninety days; the computer box was fading, but wireless was taking off like a rocket. The value 27 4132 American Sucker 11/6/03 11:23 AM Page 28 of a given network — computers, servers, Web sites, etc.
American Sucker by David Denby