Authors Claim Criminal Environment is Created by U.S. Government

January 12, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Entertainment News
In Pump and Dump: The Rancid Rules of the New Economy (Rutgers University Press), Robert H. Tillman and Michael L. Indergaard argue that the new economy is structured in such a way that corporate crime is inevitable. They offer a comprehensive history of both high- and low-profile scandals, pinpointing the 1990s as the period when corporate America became “a two-bit securities scam.”

“In the 1990s, both the denizens of boiler rooms and the well-healed occupants of mahogany-paneled corporate board rooms arrived at the same conclusion: during a period of ever-rising stock values, there are millions, indeed billions, of dollars to be made, not in developing a better product or in providing a more efficient service, but in convincing investors that they too can be winners in the giant casino known as the American stock market,” writes the authors, both sociologists at St. John’s University in New York City.

Tillman and Indergaard contend that, in recent years, the two sides of Wall Street merged – the one inhabited by big bankers, and the shady side defined by the “pump and dump,” the practice of promoting stocks just long enough to profit from them.
The authors insist that as Congress gutted industry regulations and investor protections over a period of 25 years, the seamy side became the norm. The power brokers behind WorldCom, Enron, and dotcom IPOs all embraced the pump and dump idea: Get rich by shifting risk to someone else.

At a time when there is growing debate about proposals to privatize programs like Social Security, Pump and Dump offers a path-breaking analysis of America’s most urgent economic problems: a system that relies on self-regulation, and the rancid practices that continue to support the short-term interests of financial elites over the long-term interests of most Americans.

Robert H. Tillman is a professor of sociology and the coordinator of the graduate program in criminology and justice at St. John’s University in New York City. He is the author and coauthor of a number of recent books on white-collar crime, including Big Money Crime: Fraud and Politics in the Savings and Loan Crisis, which received the Albert J. Reiss Award for Distinguished Scholarship from the American Sociological Association in 2001.

Michael L. Indergaard is an associate professor of sociology at St. John’s University in New York City and the author of Silicon Valley: The Rise and Fall of a New Media District. He has published articles in Urban Studies, Urban Affairs Review, Social Problems, and Economic Development Quarterly.

“Pump and Dump is a great achievement. It is well-written and lucid…”
- Kitty Calavita, professor of criminology, law, and society, University of California, Irvine

The Rancid Rules of the New Economy
By Robert H. Tillman and Michael L. Indergaard
337 pages, 5 figures; 5 tables, 6 x 9
Cloth, $25.95. ISBN: 0-8135-3680-4
Publication Date: February 2006

For more information or to arrange an interview with the authors, please contact Kenya Henderson at 732.445.7762, ext. 626 or