The Curious Autodidact

November 17, 2014

Madoff: Too Big to Fail?

Filed under: book related,media related — Honilima @ 11:26 am


The inside story of Bernie Madoff and his $65 billion Ponzi scheme, with surprising and shocking new details from Madoff himself.

Perhaps the cooling off period has passed long enough ago you can read about Bernie Madoff without throwing down the periodical in utter disgust. I sought out a book to read about this after all the media coverage had died down, hoping enough time had passed that there would be a definitive look at this scandal.

My curiosity was again peeked when I read of Ruth and Bernie Madoff’s second son’s recent death from cancer. Their other son took his life. You no doubt know the outlines of this story of a $65M Ponzi scheme but not all the details nor how many people put all their eggs in  the Madoff basket and lost it all, wealthy people, not so wealthy people, charities, endowments, names your know many you do not. It is certainly a cautionary tale of how essential diversification is and how easy it is for people to fall under the spell of someone who seems so successful and sought after. I have since heard similar local stories including one from a fellow I met when trying to buy a dresser off Craig’s List, his parents and siblings had lost over 250K of their life savings investing with a guy he lead them too who was also running a shell game. It is everywhere.

I chose this book Wizard of Lies as it was well-lauded and written by NYT writer Diana Henriques. One thing that always fascinates me is the fall out on the family and friends when someone goes so off course when following their moral compass. What Ruth’s life is like now, with both of her offspring dead and her husband in jail? This is something most cannot feel empathy for but it must be a lonely life having fallen so far and viewed as a pariah by so many. How does one rebuild being in she shade of such lies and deception? What is Bernie’s life like knowing he will breath his last breath behind bars. Food for thought indeed.


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