It seems it is easy to con a con man. For the first part of the book, Octopus shows the reader a fairly normal portrait of a young man who gradually works his way to the top of a trading company. But the action really heats up during the second part. The first part is fairly straightforward show Israel going from legitimate trades to covering his losses with Ponzi-style schemes.
The second part comes off like the TV show Leverage, in which you see the con and then are shown how it all takes place. In order to cover his losses, Israel believes an ever increasing series of cons which could not have been more obvious if the villain had been twirling a handlebar mustache and had a maniacal laugh. The best part is reading about all of the scams from a secret government trading program, to a secret stash of U.S. bonds and gold, to the Kennedy assassination. This acts like a thriller with an incredulously true story.