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The Believers: How America Fell For Bernard Madoff's $65 Billion Investment Scam by [LeBor, Adam]
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The Believers: How America Fell For Bernard Madoff's $65 Billion Investment Scam Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Length: 312 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

Adam LeBor explains the Madoff phenomenon brilliantly...a very good analysis. (William Leith LONDON EVENING STANDARD)

his intelligent study offers disquieting glimpses into the fin-de-siecle lifestyle of America's financial elite (SUNDAY TELEGRAPH)

Book Description

How America fell for financier Bernie Madoff's $65 billion investment scam.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 621 KB
  • Print Length: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; Reprint edition (8 Oct. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0054ZBXRU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #121,630 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"We are never deceived : we deceive ourselves " Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

The Madoff story seems to have got lost in the general demise of the banks but it is a great story.

I am always fascinated by the ways of con artists particularly if they start out without any obvious skills.

I picked up this book after reading some extracts in the Sunday times. I read it in a day and some of that day I was at work.

He was a very smart operator as he exuded success and this attracted people to him As a result they did not look into how he made his money.

He used his Jewishness to ingratiate himself with people who thought he was their friend. he involved himself in philanthropy which lulled people into thinking he was kosher.

The author introduced me to the world of yekkes and shtarkers. It appears the yekkes were sophisticated jews from Germany who had good manners and ambition. as result they wanted to get on with American society and not make waves or create any antisemitism. The shtarkers were poor eastern European jews who had rough manners and as a result the yekkes didn't like to them. It appears Madoff was a shtarker and ingratiated himself with the yekkes who had all the money and the social standing.

The suggestion is that Madoff was getting his own back on these people but I am not sure because he conned all his friends and family so the theory doesn't hold water.

He didn't do particularly well at university or go to the right schools but got himself a reputation as a financial wizard.

He created as network through the country clubs that the Americans have created to socialise with people like themselves. They were lulled by the fact that he looked and sounded respectable .
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By DOPPLEGANGER TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 16 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Harry Markopolos's "No One Would Listen" was not trying to tell The Madoff story. His crusade was to expose the abject non-performance of the Regulatory Authorities and this was achieved brilliantly. However, Erin Arvedlund's "The Man Who Stole...." and this work by Adam Lebor both fall short of the mark because they fail to answer several fundamental questions that I am sure have a wide audience awaiting in expectation of hearing the complete story of The Madoff rip-off.

OK we now know that he was a scoundrel and that there were lots of rich people whose brains went into reverse as a consequence of greed and foolishness. We are, however, non the wiser as to any substantive details of how Madoff ran this massive deception for so long. What was the full truth of the involvement, co-operation and connivance (unless they were blind, deaf and stupid) of his wife, brother, family, and staff, and finally how much did Madoff and family pocket and where did it go?

The Believers author gives a great deal of the background of the methods of fleecing the investors and tales of the hardships this scam has caused those who were parted with their money rather too easily. I, like another reviewer writing here under the title "the victims" started getting a bit bored with this line of approach and found myself 'skipping' through the pages ahead in search of a fuller picture.

Mr Madoff, got away with hijacking the full truth for decades. It seems that this entrapment still persists.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a hugely interesting and well-written book from a highly experienced and versatile author (I'd also strongly recommend his recent debut novel, The Budapest Protocol).

Why did Madoff get away with his pyramid scheme for so long, especially when US regulators and a handful of financial professionals smelt something fishy back in the early 90s?

Yes, Madoff was a smooth talker with an answer for everything. But what about his investors? Most were innocent victims. But when the returns were so good, few were inclined to look too closely at what was going on. It's not a surprise that the most sophisticated financial fraud in history was committed during an era of greed, easy money and colossal wealth.

I liked this book because it kept the financial stuff simple and focused instead on the human element of the fraud: Madoff's background and motivation, as well as the thinking of his associates and his many victims. I strongly recommend it!

Could this sort of fraud happen again? Of course, and it probably will.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have had a life-long interest in finacial and business fraud since the 1970's, when I was briefly involved with a business called 'Golden Chemicals' ( I just got out with my skin intact!!) and I have a comprehensive library on the subject. Books on such frauds tend to fall into two types, detail overload or racy skim. This book manages to combine all of the important detail of a complex fraud with in-depth character portraits of the main players, their social backgrounds, and how those backgrounds were key in facilitated the fraud. Not an easy read, but a very satisfiying one, and well worth the effort. A first rate demonstration that if something looks too good to be true, it probably is, and that there will always be a multitude of eager dreamers who fail to realise this.
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