Madoff: The Man Who Stole $65 Billion, By Erin Arvedlund

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The Independent Culture

This is an admirably restrained and clarifying account of the worst financial scandal ever: Arvedlund's palpable disbelief that none of Madoff''s extensive family and circle of friends and associates have faced prosecution as well never jeopardises the professionalism of her investigation, nor do her heart-breaking accounts of those descendants of Holocaust survivors whose parents trusted Madoff with their hard-earned cash simply because he was Jewish and they couldn't bring themselves to trust anyone who wasn't. They have lost everything, but they do not drown her account in pity, as they easily could have.

There is much to question here – financial authorities' refusal to investigate Madoff; why he didn't stop at the legitimate invention that made him a fortune; how he could look his neighbours in the eye while defrauding them. Part of the reason he got away with it for so long seems to have been that he looked the part – but he was also an outsider, never quite part of the Wasp set that ran around Wall Street.

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