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The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust (Inglese) Copertina flessibile – 1 mar 2017

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Amazon.com: 4.5 su 5 stelle 166 recensioni
81 di 83 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle I love a great story 28 aprile 2011
Di NYBookClubber - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato: Copertina rigida Acquisto verificato
I haven't read many books about finance or financial crimes, so I was a bit concerned that parts of this book might be over my head. This was not the case with The Wizard of Lies. Instead, what I got was a suspenseful, thrilling story that I couldn't put down. I got it all from this book: a comprehensive overview of when and how this crime started, the smallest details about how it ended, and everything in between AND after. We also learn how it's affected--and continues to affect--individuals and organizations.

Finally, what I found very interesting is how the author looks at what Madoff's crime--and how he fooled so many--can teach us about ourselves. This was something that made me reflect and think about the stories I tell myself. Highly recommended to those who are looking for a compelling, informative and thoughtful non-fiction book.
4 di 4 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Like millions of people 29 gennaio 2016
Di Bostonmama - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato: Formato Kindle Acquisto verificato
Like millions of people, I found myself morbidly intrigued by what this man did to so many people. This is an excellent book. The auther did a good job of laying out all the facts, but spun them together in a way that made the book highly readable. Questions are still to be answered. Did Ruth Madoff know what was really happening? Not sure. After reading this, I felt sure that her sons did not, but I still have questions about what Mrs. Madoff knew and when she knew it. This man who ruined so many lives in order to live like a king is a monster. He took not only from wealthy people could withstand their losses, but from many who could not, people like police officers and teachers. He deserved that prison sentence he got. There should be more in there with him.
2 di 2 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle We know who dunnit -- But still this is an amazing detective thriller 22 maggio 2017
Di Sidney - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
Almost finished -- Just started reading it yesterday. All the facts and figures just boggles my mind at times (being 70-years-old that's not hard to do). How Ms. Henriques ever made sense of this is a major accomplishment.

Her writing is almost poetic at times: "... the individual fraud victims, who had believed for too long in this wizard of lies, were on a quest to find the most elusive prize of all: justice."

"Most of them began their trek with only the vaguest idea of the terrain ahead. They did not know that some bridges had been washed out. Most tragically, they could not see the crossroads around the bend where at least half of them would be detoured into a labyrinth of bitter fury and frustration."

Am very curious as to how the movie portrays this.
2 di 2 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
4.0 su 5 stelle A Morality Play As Ancient As Human Greed 5 giugno 2011
Di prisrob - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato: Copertina rigida Acquisto verificato
By 1992, and maybe even earlier, Bernard Madoff had started the largest Ponzi scheme in history. The existence was revealed in December 2008 when the devastation of the global financial crisis occurred. Mr. Madoff ran out of money, confessed to his sons, who, in turn, turned him over to the law. Madoff's collapse revealed losses of 80 billion dollars, and 'The Wizard of Wall Street', lay in ruins.

Diana Henriques has given us a unique perspective into the life of Bernie Madoff. She explores his business acumen, and the start of his world wide Ponzi scheme. She also explores his personal life and that of his family and those who worked for him. We are given a glance into the world of the wealthy and powerful and ultimately Madoff's world built on lies. How this world has come to destroy many lives and, in particular, those of his family is fully explored. I am not a denizen of Wall Street, nor someone who fully understands the intricacies of this life and business. Diana Henriques writes in terms that are easily understandble. The glimpse of the secret world of business is fascinating, and the personal side of Bernie Madoff is exquisitley told.

Diana Henriques was the first journalist allowed to visit and interview Bernie Madoff. She is not sure why, but suspects from one of Madoff's conversations, that he respected her as the senior business journalist of the New York Times. He felt her inerviews were fair and well balanced. She visited Bernie Madoff in his prison in North Carolina. It was a stark and common room in which she held her interview. Bernie Madoff was dressed in prison clothes with a sharp crease the first time she met him, and she was allowed to ask most any question. Madoff's lawyer was present at all times.
The second time she met Madoff, was a few months after his son's suicide, and she could see an abrupt difference in the man. He was very thin, his face haggard, and his clothes unkempt. It was obvious he had no idea what his fraud had cost his family, and what it continues to cost the thousands of people whose money he stole. But, his son's suicide gave him an idea of the devastating cost his actions caused.

In the book, Madoff says, "Somehow [at first], I assumed it would work out," returning to his explanation of why he started to steal from his big institutional clients. "That's when I started taking money in from all of those hedge funds. And I said, `Well, I'll just get myself out of a hole.'" But he couldn't. "I got trapped in this hole. I never set out to just steal money," he says. But he was stealing money; he was running an enormous inescapable Ponzi scheme. If he didn't plan to kill himself or go into hiding, how did he think it would end? "It was almost like--it sounds horrible to say it now, but I just wanted the world to come to an end." He pauses, glances at his lawyer, and shrugs. It does sound horrible to say it, but he continues, struggling to explain. "When 9/11 happened," he went on, "I thought that would be the only way out--the world would come to an end, and I'd be dead and everyone would be gone." The man was deluding himself, with no introspective measures to keep himself in check.

"No doubt that is how Bernie Madoff lived with his crime every day. He did not see any "victims" he saw only "beneficiaries." It's easy to see how seductive that would be. Who has not fantasized about winning the lottery and playing God by giving vast sums away--the delicious rush, the sense of joyful power that this would produce? Until the end, there was only the possibility that, someday, others would be hurt.", says Diana Henriques. She is very reluctant to believe all of Madoff's assertions that his Ponzi scheme did not start until 1992, and she does not believe that many people on Wall Street and beyond did not know or suspect what Madoff was up to. The SEC investigated Madoff several times, and each time they questioned Madoff and seemed to believe him, and not the data in front of them. Bernie Madoff used to express this opinion about anyone. "I told everyone, `Don't put more than half of your money with me--you don't know, I could go crazy.'" But he took their money anyway, and thousands of them were ignoring his sage advice and betting their entire family's future on their faith in him. As Diana Henriques says, "It became a bitter joke on Wall Street that the Madoff case proved there was no such thing as a "sophisticated investor."

Charles Ferguson tells us "We now know that during the years of Madoff's fraud, Congress and successive administrations had eviscerated the S.E.C., whose annual budget equals barely 5 per cent of Madoff's losses. Regulation of most derivatives was banned, a move that resulted in an opaque market that helped Mr. Madoff lie, enabled banks to profit from Mr. Madoff's funds without needing to invest in them, and set the stage for the financial crisis." Yes, we know this and what is being done? We are still awaiting an analysis that could right the wrong.

There are many more lawsuits to come, before we fully understand the damage and the yield of Madoff's Ponzi Scheme. Diana Henriques has given us an entry to the world of Bernie Madoff, and many reasonable explanations of the causes, and maybe a glimpse of two of the cures.

Highly Recommended. prisrob 06-05-11

The White Sharks of Wall Street: Thomas Mellon Evans and the Original Corporate Raiders (Lisa Drew Books)

Fidelity's World: The Secret Life and Public Power of the Mutual Fund Giant
9 di 9 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Read This Book 30 dicembre 2011
Di Pat Huddleston, II - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato: Copertina rigida Acquisto verificato
Because I hunt investment fraudsters for a living and give speeches on how to spot them, Diana Henriques had me at "Bernie." I intended to read The Wizard of Lies the way you read trade journals, to remain professionally competent. In relegating it to my Must Read for Work list, I was selling it, and her, so short that I feel like I owe her an apology. I take a break from our usual coverage of breaking investment scams to recommend this book because otherwise I'd owe all of you an apology.

You've heard of Bernie Madoff, of course. His name carries with it so much infamy that as I type that word I hear it in FDR's voice. Henriques introduces us to the entire Madoff clan; the wife, the sons and their families, the brother, the in-laws. Many people still wonder whether they knew of the scam before December 2008 when Bernie confessed to his family, and his sons blew the whistle on the biggest Ponzi scheme in U.S. history. Henriques lays out the available evidence with an evenhandedness appropriate to her profession. But those facts left me convinced that Bernie's family are unmourned victims of the patriarch's fall. One of them committed suicide. Another changed her name.

Henriques introduces us to Irving Picard and David Sheehan, the attorneys responsible for retrieving assets and proposing a plan for distribution to defrauded investors. Even to most attorneys that kind of work seems like an obscure corner of the profession, and it would have been easy for Henriques to make a misstep here and there in those passages. I've served in that role in three SEC fraud cases so far, and I found her description of the duties and challenges of the role to be spot on. Henriques deftly leads us through the decisions that preserved assets for certain classes of investors, but doomed others to recover nothing.

In a story that involves so many different players, it's natural for readers to enjoy certain aspects of the story more than others, to look forward to passages that address their favorites and to earn the next such passage by suffering through what they find less intriguing. At least that's my experience as a reader. But not with this book. I found the entire story compelling and so well written that I believe I'd sit down with a 200-page variable annuity prospectus if the cover read "by Diane B. Henriques."

As hard as it is to single out one part of this book for special mention, the epilogue stands out for me. In it, Henriques hits the bullseye in explaining why Ponzi schemes begin and thrive. Her explanation is a word to the wise. It doesn't take a heart of utter darkness to become a Ponzi scamster, and the feedback a scamster receives before the ultimate collapse makes it hard to stop before continuing is no longer possible. There is wisdom in this epilogue. I expect to mention it often in my travels.

I don't have a star or thumb scale for rating books. So, let me say it this way: this book will help you on your path to becoming the kind of vigilant investor who can survive the tsunami of investment fraud that has begun to break over the investing public, and you'll enjoy the education.