For those who fancy tales of corporate fraud, dodgy accounting, international permutations of same, PR manipulators, foibles of regulators, weird judges, and such, this one goes to the top of the stack. The author, though an attorney, has a light nimble step of intelligence, great nimbleness and ease with words, ready humor, and is a great explainer of fairly complex things in plain English with relentless puckishness. I found myself smiling incessantly, and repeatedly laughing out loud. The reader was well-cast, matching his effervescently amused tone with the content. Being in legal and teaching fields, I admire this presentation and content.
I wouldn't call this a page-turner. Often it read like a series of newspaper articles. But, I have a fascination for fraud tales, and a legal background, and I really clicked with its thoroughness in describing the schemes, and also the procedural details of the "crime and punishment" side of the stories. I like the combo of enough story and enough technical detail to be satisfying on both fronts. The stories are not an exhaustive review of frauds from tulip days to Madoffs'. The narrative skips across big stretches of history and quickly lands in modern times. But there is no lack of lurid fraud schemes in recent years -- the most famous are here. The Madoff aftermath story was not completed as of this publication -- "The Wizard of Lies" audiobook goes deeper in detail and gives a more updated story of that. All in all, though, I am very satisfied with this book.
I have read many books that weave in and out of this topic, but it is nice to hear a decade-by-decade walk-through. It is detail-rich (for a fast overview from 30,000 feet, as the saying goes), with good meaningful stats blended in, all delivered in a fast cadence by the professor. Note, Glass-Steagal was still in effect when this was produced, making it between 10 and 15 years old. Thus, the kinds of reflections and additional insights that might have appeared based on lessons we have learned since then is not there. But, that wasn't my goal here anyway.
I am SO happy audible acquired this series! My wish list is stuffed with them.