British-born entrepreneur William Duer is considered to be the first inside trader in US history.
Appointed by Alexander Hamilton in 1789 as the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, he quit his job in 1790, but not before getting enough inside information to make bets on bank stocks.
Duer tipped off his friends and traded his own portfolio before leaking information that would drive up prices, which he then intended to sell for profit.
His investments didn't pay off, however, and in 1792, Duer was stuck with bad investments and huge debts.
His bankruptcy ended up taking down much of the New York Stock Exchange, and he died in 1799 in debtors' prison.
Friday, 14 October 2011
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