Ep. 021: The Wizard of Lies with Diana Henriques
Bernie Madoff is perhaps the most notorious name in the history of Wall Street. By now we all know the story. Madoff conducted a Ponzi…
Bernie Madoff is perhaps the most notorious name in the history of Wall Street.
By now we all know the story. Madoff conducted a Ponzi scheme that is considered to be the largest in U.S. history. Over the course of decades, Madoff stole billions of dollars from his clients and finally, amid the financial crisis of 2008, the crime came to a screeching halt.
How on earth was he able to pull it off for so long, when there were plenty of warning signs and whistleblowers who tried to alert regulators that something was amiss?
One of the journalists covering the scandal was Diana Henriques, then a staff reporter at The New York Times, who specialized in investigative reporting on white-collar crime, market regulation and corporate governance. Diana used her countless hours of work as the lead reporter on the story as a catalyst to write the bestselling book, “The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust.”
Diana had incredible access, including the first interview with an imprisoned Madoff. I was fortunate enough to interview her in 2011, just as the book was becoming a bestseller. I remember thinking at the time that the tale of Bernie Madoff was not just a financial story, but a Shakespearean tragedy.
Robert De Niro was so drawn to the character of Bernie Madoff as Henriques depicted him, that he bought the film rights to “The Wizard of Lies.” Six years later, HBO films released the movie version of “The Wizard of Lies” – it debuted this past Sunday.
If you’ve yet to see “The Wizard of Lies,” go watch it. DVR it, stream it, whatever the method, just watch it. It’s incredibly well done and stars Robert De Niro as Bernie Madoff and Michelle Pfeiffer as Ruth Madoff.
Diana is an amazing storyteller, from her dogged pursuit of the Madoff prison interview to her describing the phone call she got from Robert De Niro saying he wanted to play Madoff…just an incredible story. We wanted to give you as much of Diana as possible, so for this week only, we’re skipping the caller of the week…don’t freak out, it’ll return next week.
“Better Off” is sponsored by Betterment.
Always sharing good stories and always working on a book, Diana is someone worth connecting with on Twitter.
The opinions stated on the Better Off podcast are those of the host, Jill Schlesinger, and her guests, and not those of Betterment or its employees. Any third party links provided are offered as a matter of convenience and are not intended to imply that Betterment endorses, or is affiliated with the owners of or any information contained on those sites, unless expressly stated otherwise. Listen to a preview and subscribe to “Better Off” here.
“Better Off” is sponsored by Betterment.
This article was originally published on Jill Schlesinger’s LinkedIn.
The opinions stated on the Better Off podcast are those of the host, Jill Schlesinger, and her guests, and not those of Betterment or its employees. Any third party links provided are offered as a matter of convenience and are not intended to imply that Betterment endorses, or is affiliated with the owners of or any information contained on those sites unless expressly stated otherwise. Listen to a preview and subscribe to “Better Off” here.
Our Team of Experts
Our executive investing committee includes experts from a range of backgrounds. We make strategic decisions based on a systematic, evidence-based approach.
How to Optimize Your 529 Contributions
We know that you want to help set up your loved ones for success. One way to invest in their education while saving on taxes is to contribute to a 529 education savings plan.
How to Prioritize Your Financial Goals
If you identify all your financial goals for investing, you’ll likely find you can’t fund them all at once. Get our expert view on how to start prioritizing them.
Explore your first goal
This is a great place to start—an emergency fund for life's unplanned hiccups. A safety net is a conservative portfolio.
Whether it's a long way off or just around the corner, we'll help you save for the retirement you deserve.
If you want to invest and build wealth over time, then this is the goal for you. This is an excellent goal type for unknown future needs or money you plan to pass to future generations.