It is fitting that Broken Bonds begins with a word of warning: Those of you who are unarmed and those of who just don’t wish to be hurt may do well to set this book aside for these are the words of a Black man, not an African-American. In Broken Bonds, Joseph Jett picks up the fallen standard of Black pride and holds it once again aloft as both a beacon and a challenge to the so-called African-American. In this prequel to summer 2004’s, The Art of War: New Strategies for Black America, Jett throws down the gauntlet to the failed leadership of Negro priest-kings who have promoted a culture of dependency that has effectively reenslaved the Black race. In what must be the most blunt and controversial assessment of Black culture, Jett pulls no punches.
Racism remains the greatest challenge. Few other men have stood alone against odds as great as those Jett faced and still emerged triumphant. In 1994, famed bond trader Joseph Jett was pronounced “Man of the Year” at General Electric’s investment banking subsidiary, Kidder Peabody. A two-time graduate of MIT and a Harvard MBA, Jett traded a $37 Billion portfolio, an amount that totaled roughly 10% of the entire assets of General Electric, the largest corporation on earth. Jett generated profits of over $270 million, more than a quarter of the subsidiary’s earnings.
Racism, though rampant on Wall Street, did not stop Jett. The bond and stock markets are colorblind and care nothing for race, color, sex or creed; they give no quarter and yield only to the smart and the quick. Jett’s profit numbers, which later withstood questioning by the FBI, U.S. Attorney’s Securities Fraud Division and the NASD, could not be denied and he became the most highly ranked and highly paid Black professional on Wall Street.
Then, now discredited GE CEO Jack Welch accused Jett of masterminding a $357 million fraud and launched a multimillion dollar media blitz of character assassination. The Wall Street Journal filled two pages with astounding revelations about Jett’s private life. In towering headlines, it reported his disdain for affirmative action, revealed his penchant for beautiful women and accused him of the atrocity of being a young Black man.
In Broken Bonds, Jett reveals for the first time his made for Hollywood personal life. That Black intellectual achievement and the sacrifice that goes with it will payoff in the end is best demonstrated by the unvarnished telling of a life lived at full throttle—a life lived so fully that the major business story of the 1990’s was nearly background noise. This tale of Black pride, this tale of overcoming racism through strength, this tale of overcoming even a Kobe Bryant moment will leave you on the edge of your seat. Rest assured that you have never heard this revenge of the Black MIT nerd tale.
Jett reveals how to thrive professionally despite an atmosphere of racism and sexism. He shows that progress must be made, not through handouts, but through discipline and pride. Jett chronicles his battle to clear his name standing alone against the General Electric behemoth and its once celebrated CEO and now confessed fraudster, Jack Welch. Using Welch’s own words, Jett asks exactly who was cooking General Electric’s books. The greatest irony of the GE corporate culture where “Black Male Sexuality” was feared is that Welch is ultimately brought down by his inability to control his desires.
Broken Bonds is a story of the triumph of one Black man facing the might of the largest corporation on earth. Its message is that Black men must succeed based on ability rather than handouts. Black men must rise up from dependency, for dependency is slavery. Jett advocates an end to the commitment to nonviolence and exhorts Black Americans to commit the most violent act known to man: hoisting a book in our hands and learning. Let us be warriors.
Joseph Jett holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Chemical Engineering from MIT and MBA from Harvard Business School. Jett is investment advisor to several commodities and fixed income hedge funds. Before founding Jett Capital Management LLC., he worked for Kidder Peabody, First Boston and Morgan Stanley.