Madoff Talks
Book

Madoff Talks

Uncovering the Untold Story Behind the Most Notorious Ponzi Scheme in History

McGraw-Hill, 2021 more...

Editorial Rating

8

Qualities

  • Comprehensive
  • Eye Opening
  • Insider's Take

Recommendation

As the stock market has climbed in recent years, the public’s recall of scammer Bernie Madoff has largely faded. In this study years after the fact, radio host Jim Campbell relies on his conversations with Madoff and his wife Ruth to shed some new light on the $65 billion fraud. Campbell’s book is well-timed – Madoff died in prison shortly before the work was published. With the benefit of perspective, Campbell unearths some gems, including new insights into Madoff’s skill as a manipulator. Perhaps most important, this postmortem serves as a reminder that greed and deceit remain powerful forces. 

Summary

After decades of duplicity, the biggest fraud in Wall Street history imploded.

In December 2008, the fraud masterminded by Bernie Madoff collapsed. Madoff’s clients thought they had investments totaling $64.8 billion in their accounts. In fact, the investments were fake; Madoff had barely $287 million in the bank. Madoff had kept the illusion alive for decades, but he knew the scam couldn’t last forever. “I was so desperate and delusional at the end, I was hoping there was a nuclear attack on Wall Street or some world catastrophe that wiped out all financial records so I could get out of the Ponzi scheme,” Madoff told author Jim Campbell.

Madoff’s scam relied in large part on two completely different operations: one legitimate, the other bogus. The public-facing “front of the restaurant” was squeaky clean. Madoff’s sons, Mark and Andrew, worked on that side of the business, as did Eleanor Squillari, who served as Madoff’s personal secretary for 25 years. Squillari revered Madoff. He made her feel respected and loved, and she looked past his occasional romantic affairs. Over time, Madoff built a broker-dealer business that became one of Wall Street...

About the Author

Jim Campbell is the host of the nationally syndicated radio show Business Talk with Jim Campbell. He is founder and president of JC Ventures, a management consultancy.


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