Wall Street Veteran Says Cowardice Caused Great Recession 

By Lisa Tibbitts for Hillside Advisors LLC 

Dated: Sep 28, 2009 

The first book by trader, investment banker, and hedge fund veteran Bill Feingold provides a frank look at the way the very culture of Wall Street caused the Great Recession. "The Undoing of Cowardice" details his experiences behind the scenes. 

Wall Street Veteran Says Cowardice Caused Great Recession 

NEW YORK, Sept. 28, 2009 – The first book by trader, investment banker, and hedge fund veteran Bill Feingold provides a frank look at the way the very culture of Wall Street caused the Great Recession. In blunt language, "The Undoing of Cowardice" details Feingold’s experiences behind the scenes at prestigious financial services companies as decisions were being made throughout the boom times. 

Feingold, the co-founder and managing principal of Hillside Advisors LLC, assesses the market’s missteps, from leveraged exchange traded funds (ETFs) to credit default swaps (CDS) to clandestine portfolio indexing. Written throughout late 2008 and early 2009 as Lehman Brothers was failing and the U.S. government was sanctioning ill-advised mergers among some companies while bailing out AIG, he explains that the interrelated moral hazard and agency problem of banking has grown, not diminished. 

Feingold also has comments for hedge fund investors who chase trends rather than committing to a strategy, and the credit rating agencies (Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, and Fitch) that gave AAA ratings to ultimately unstable structured finance securities. 

Now, frustrated by the cowardly attitudes that led to this disastrous situation, Feingold is helping individual investors profit from Wall Street’s follies by revealing the tricks of the investment banker’s trade. (See below for his biography.) 

Humorous and helpful, the book reassures people that they can wrestle control of their investing decisions from professional money managers—and use common sense to manage their own financial decisions. To ease the process, he demystifies complex topics that Wall Street would rather obfuscate in order to keep its fees flowing. 

To read an excerpt from the book, please visit 

To follow Bill Feingold on Twitter, go to 



Wall Street success, academic excellence, and the ability to explain it all to a wide variety of audiences. That’s what Bill Feingold is all about. 

Bill has spent more than 20 years on Wall Street as a trader, portfolio manager, and analyst specializing in convertible securities, options, and other derivatives. He has lectured about his experiences at schools including his alma mater, Yale University. He is also an online columnist for financial Web site and a featured guest on CNBC and Fox Business News. 

Today, he is Managing Principal of Hillside Advisors LLC, based in Westchester County, N.Y.; it helps investors, brokers, and other professionals understand and use convertible bonds. He is also contemplating the second career he’d long planned, which will combine his financial expertise and insights with his love of teaching. 

Most recently, Bill was Vice President of Proprietary Convertible Trading at Goldman Sachs. 

Before joining Goldman Sachs, Bill served as a consultant to Schaeffer’s Investment Research from 2006 to 2007. Founded in 1981, the firm is dedicated to the financial education of the individual investor, with a focus on option-based strategies. Bill created Schaeffer’s Advanced Trading Center, which was designed for clients looking to expand their investment toolkits with advanced option strategies, convertible bonds, and other techniques. Bill also wrote a blog and a regular column for Schaeffer’s. The media, including The New York Times, Bloomberg, and, regularly quoted Bill’s commentaries. 

From 2003 to 2005, Bill was a Partner and Portfolio Manager at FrontPoint Partners, where he co-managed a convertible arbitrage hedge fund. 

From 2000 to 2003, Bill co-managed the Clinton Group’s Riverside Convertible Fund. During his time there, the firm’s convertible assets increased by a factor of 40, and the fund was one of the top performers in its strategy. 

Teaching has long been an important part of Bill’s professional life. During the 1999-2000 academic term, he served as a visiting lecturer at Yale University. Together with Sky Lucas, he taught a seminar titled “Market Psychology and the Truth About Derivatives.” The course was designed to prepare future policy makers to think critically about complex financial topics. Sky is one of the founding partners of Vicis Capital, a multi-billion dollar New York hedge fund; he previously ran the convertible bond trading desks at Morgan Stanley, PaineWebber, and Lehman Brothers. 

Before leaving the investment banking world to join the hedge fund community, Bill was Head of U.S. Convertibles Research at Lehman Brothers; a Convertibles Trader at Credit Suisse First Boston; and a Convertibles and Equity Derivatives Trader at PaineWebber. 

Bill joined PaineWebber in 1991 after earning his MBA with distinction in finance from the University of Pennsylvania – The Wharton School. While there, he served as a Teaching Assistant to Finance Department Prof. Ananth Madhavan, who is now Managing Director at Barclays Global Investors. Bill also acted as advisor to a team of Wharton undergraduate seniors who wrote a prize-winning term paper. Bill began his Wall Street career in 1985 as a corporate finance analyst with Dillon Read. 

Upon graduating from Yale University summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in economics, Bill received the school’s Hadley Prize as the top graduating social sciences major. While in college, he taught math and English to 6th-8th grade students from New Haven, CT’s disadvantaged neighborhoods as part of a program designed for scholastic enrichment that was funded by the Ulysses S. Grant Foundation. 

He is a graduate of Berkeley High School in Berkeley, CA. 


Bill Feingold is Managing Principal of Hillside Advisors LLC, based in Westchester County, N.Y.; it helps investors, brokers, and other professionals understand and use convertible bonds.