Chapter and verse on plan that reads like a best-seller

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The Independent Online
THE PLAN was simple: obtain the inside information, buy the shares, wait for the price to rise, cash in. The seed of the idea made Jeffrey Archer millions. Seventeen years after the publication of his best-seller, Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less, Lord Archer has had an experience as dramatic as the character in his novel who set out to 'learn how to master the Stock


On page 11 of the novel that has sold close to 2 million copies, the narrator says: 'Making a million legally has always been difficult. Making a million illegally has always been a little easier.'

What follows on the next seven pages of the international best- seller is an insider's guide to insider trading. The shady protagonist, Henryk Metelski, sets about making his first illegal big bucks.

The scene is the New York Stock Exchange, not the London Stock Exchange. Metelski, son of Polish immigrants, is a messenger. Mastering the business, he 'listened to private conversations, opened sealed messages, and found out which closed company reports to study'. His route to the big time opens up when he buys shares on the strength of an intercepted message about an oil pipeline.

One City dealer, a long-time fan of Lord Archer's, said the sequence at the beginning of Not a Penny More was 'text-book'. He added: 'The key to such deals, in fact the only real law, is never get caught doing it. Henryk doesn't get caught, does he?'