Metal Men: Marc Rich and the 10-billion-dollar Scam Summary & Study Guide

A. Craig Copetas
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Metal Men: Marc Rich and the 10-billion-dollar Scam Summary & Study Guide Description

Metal Men: Marc Rich and the 10-billion-dollar Scam Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

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"Metal Men" by A. Craig Copetas is, as described in the work's sub-title, "the stunning true story of big money gone berserk." And, no money was bigger than that of Marc Rich. The book follows Rich from his humble beginnings as the son of a low-level Jewish merchant in Antwerp, Belgium, through his rise to never-before-seen power and wealth in the world of metal trading.

Metal traders were a different breed among the commodities traders of the world. There was very little regulation in metal trading and the operations of the traders and the secretive deals they made never made the front pages of Business Weekly. What actually occurred during metal transactions was mysterious and if asked, some traders themselves would have a difficult time explaining exactly all the intricacies involved in metal trading.

Rich's family moved from Europe just before World War II broke out and settled in Kansas City, Missouri. Rich's high school classmates and teachers—those who can remember him—describe him as shy and remote. He did not do well in school and was socially inept. His father opened a business in New York City and Rich began to take school more seriously at his new school there. He did much better in scholastics and showed the flashes of brilliance that were certainly there all along. However, he did not participate in extracurricular activities and made few friends.

Rich's father was highly successful in his new business and paid Rich's tuition for his freshman year at the prestigious New York University. Rich found college boring and a waste of time and when tempted by an executive at a metals company to come on board as a trader, Rich jumped at the chance and dropped out of school. Rich had joined the most influential and successful metals trading company in the world, Philipp Brothers. He soon made a good impression on the executives with his boldness and willingness to do whatever it took to make deals. Rich was considered the most promising young trader who was a quick learner and had an amazing memory.

As time went by, Rich began to resent the relatively small salary he was receiving in comparison to the millions he was making for the company. He left the company after being refused the huge bonus he demanded. Rich carried a grudge against his former company and boss and vowed to ruin them. Although Rich did not quite destroy the company, he certainly left a mark on them that stung for years.

Rich established his own company with his partner, Pincus (Pinky) Green, who was the only business associate in his entire life with whom he developed a close relationship. Rich and Pinky stole a number of key traders from Philipp Brothers and the new company went on to become a key competitor of his former company. Rich elevated himself to dizzying heights when he decided to enter the oil trade industry. By the time Rich's risky and illegal business practices caught up with him, his company was pulling in billions a year.

Rich operated outside rules and regulations and laws his entire career. But when two con-men with whom he had dealings were caught on other charges, they revealed to the feds some of the corrupt practices in which Rich was involved. A bright and tenacious federal prosecutor, Sandy Weinberg, was soon on his trail and though it took him years, he was able to indict Rich and Pinky on multiple charges of tax evasion, fraud and conducting business with an enemy of America. Rich stayed hidden in a safe haven in Switzerland and was never brought to trial. However, Weinberg was satisfied by the huge fines that Rich paid and the fact that the charges against Rich had no statute of limitation. Rich could never return to the United States without being apprehended.

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