The Moneychangers


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(1908)



Dedicated To

Jack London.



The Moneychangers by Upton Sinclair is a tale of a family of players in the back door-deal, double crossing, and insider trading business in the crooked stock market game. The criminal charm these players had was enough to con wealthy into investing into ventures that the various hustlers that ran the business as well as win the hearts of the readers. The story is told through the eyes of someone close to Alan Montague and begins with his desire to flip a profit for newly widowed young cousin Lucy Dupree; a girl a personality to rival any Disney princess. Lucy Dupree the enchanting and beautiful girl captivates her audience, those she scams in the novel as well as the readers. Alan even admitted to have fallen in love with the dark beauty a half dozen times in his life. Lucy was bestowed with the talent of a natural born actress and a spirited allure. Chapter one accounts that “When she was no more than four, she would lie in bed when she should have been asleep, and tell herself tragic stories to make her weep.” At the tender age of seventeen Lucy was married and ran off to New Orleans with a man who stole her heart, with the type of romance that changes the entire world. Tragically her husband died in a car accident and she was left alone in New Orleans to mourn the death of her love. All of the love lusting women with vivid imaginations can appreciate this type of earth-shattering heartbreak and we immediately empathize with her pain. Poor Lucy suffered loss after loss in her life, as soon she learned that her father also passed away, but each one only gave her a stronger heart and more brilliant essence. Lucy wrote to her family whom lived in New York and had them make arrangements to put her into a hotel room in the city. Her late husband was flagrant with money she decided to team up with her family to turn a profit quickly find the “money lying about.” (Reggie Mann chapter one) She proved to be the perfect addition to the group of keen players whom ran the stock market game. She had the experience that came with living as woman in the high class society where she to sharpen her intrigue and striking personality. The twenty-two year old diva hopped into the socialite life with her powerful family and came up with a master plan for making money. They decided they would rob the top power players in the game by causing a stock market crash and a bank run on Gotham Trust. With the promise of chaos Sinclair proposes the perfect heist to spark the interest of even the least enthused reader. Throughout the novel there are many times the team con capitalists into unknowingly making terminal investments into “companies.” The novel proves to be enthralling and depicts the fine subtleties necessary for talking enough confident game to entice the fat-cat players into investing more money in the company stock. The value of the so called companies was, in reality, nothing more than the very convincing lines and well played bluffs of the egotistical businessmen. Government funding as well as public investments in the fraudulent businesses, who claimed to produce popular merchandise, were doomed as the slick thieves merely tricked investors into putting money into a pit to parallel a black hole. Bankruptcy is inevitable as they did not actually put any money to work. Naturally with his outstanding talents Alan Montague, New York City hot-shot lawyer along with his partner in crime-cousin Lucy, flipped the switch and exploited the veteran power players using their own games with a twist. More crime and excitement with every line make the story addictive. Interactions with backdoor criminals who hid behind white collar fronts and had tight associations with the high society lifestyle, lawyers and old-money types alike sucked the reader into a thrilling world full of glamour and capital gain. When the narrators dazzling young cousin came to town he was more than delighted to introduce her to the affluent new circle of friends and bachelors. Lucy hypnotized the (nonexistent) businessmen and gained their trust by pretending to be interested in working on their scam to dupe further unsuspecting victims. The story unfolds like the adventure of a lifetime, but is a compelling reminder of the way crooked business affects not only those who control it. Sinclair creates an illustration of a horrifically possible situation which could, with minor variable details, realistically be pulled off. This example is a scary reminder of the fluidity of power held within a system based on fraud and deals between those who hold the most money. The audience is given a world where criminal activity and manipulation is both attractive and scary. The passing of money between hands in criminal minds is a one way street, and Sinclair shows the excitement of being in the highlife on the right side of the road. With trick after trick the main characters hypothetically pull the wool over the eyes of the money train conductors who had were under the impression that they could control of the market. The rising action climaxes when the protagonists expose the deceit of the con men who had ruled the market by preying on the unsuspecting public. This whirlwind leads to a storm of investors in a frenzy running into the banks trying to attain what money they could. The team double crossed the naïve criminals and robbed the thieves. The story is someone of a cautionary tale to warn of the volatile market which entices those who desire a life of high society and quick profit. Eventually the schemes pan out and may possibly be favorable but many people innocent people could end up suffering. Sinclair warns readers of the infinite ways in which too much money and power can do harm and cause turmoil to throw of the harmony in a fluid and delicate financial market. The Moneychangers is an informative and thought provoking novel that shows how easily a bubble can be manipulated and how messy it could be when the smoke and mirrors of fraudulent transactions are exposed.--Submitted by Anonymous


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