Entrepreneurs: The Investment Showman

In the beginning, there was total darkness. Then charts blinked blindingly on and off five screens as an electronic-music sound track filled the New York Hilton ballroom with Tarzanlike cries, boos and whistles. Next, harp music played while the screens flashed images of the sybaritic life—money, an island sunset, girls. Finally, a slender, gold-shirted young man with flowing sideburns mounted the podium. To belt out a rock paean to hedonism? No, to denounce the Securities and Exchange Commission for not sufficiently analyzing the economic impact of its regulatory decisions.

The audience was not disappointed. It consisted of more than...

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