Madoff with the Money is a deeply disturbing portrait of Bernie Madoff, based on dozens of exclusive, news-making interviews. From the values Madoff was taught growing up in the working-class town of Laurelton, Queens, to his high-life on Wall Street and the super-rich enclaves of Palm Beach and the French Riviera, best-selling author Jerry Oppenheimer follows the disgraced money manager's trail as he works his way up the social and economic ladder, and eventually scams his trusting clients in a $50-billion Ponzi scheme.
Through Oppenheimer's in-depth reporting, you'll discover new revelations in this startling case, and become familiar with the trusting victims - ranging from non-profit Jewish charities to the likes of seemingly sophisticated individuals, such as actress Jane Fonda, who would "like to shake Madoff until his teeth fall out"; the scion of the Baskin-Robbins ice cream empire, who lost a bundle and was forced to rent out rooms in his house; and New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg. There's even Madoff's own sister-in-law, and talk show host Larry King, who apparently didn't ask the right questions when he invested. All lost their much-needed life savings, while others saw fortunes small and large evaporate in the greedy financial operations of one of history's all-time charlatans.
©2009 Jerry Oppenheimer; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
I enjoyed this book. Before I listened to the book I really didn't know much about the Madoff's. Now I know as much as I ever wanted to know and I thought the book did a good job explaining the past, present, and future. I also thought the book was well read.
Fascinating story. I enjoyed it so much I read it twice. I would like the book to have continued and told us more about the investors, how Madoff is doing in prison and why did he do this terrible crime.
An interesting biography of Bernie Madoff and his fraud along with and sketches of some of his associates and victims. One point that Oppenheimer drives is how many of his associates became victims of the fraud.
The story is generally well-written and I liked Oliver Wyman's narration (although his "New Yawk" accent when quoting directly from NYC & New Jersey individuals got old). My biggest complaint is that many of the chapters followed a similar pattern: "XYZ met Madoff. XYZ was convinced to invest with Madoff. XYZ got ripped off with the following consequences."
Despite this oft-repeated pattern, the stories are compelling individually. One does feel a definite sympathy for the fraud's victims, and definite puzzlement at how Madoff could steal, not just from faceless dupes, but close associates, long-time friends, family members, even charities that he supported (albeit with stolen funds). Oppenheimer also conveys puzzlement at how those around him could have missed the obvious signs that there was something wrong---he doesn't seem to buy Madoff's claim that he is the "lone fraudster."
Slow and tedious, this book is difficult to listen to. The author uses too many flowery words to say very little.
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