Steve Fishman's, "The Monster Mensch" is an amazing account of the Bernie Madoff and Ezra Merkin tragedy accompanied by some striking art by Riccardo Vecchio.
He asks, "What made Bernie Madoff, a man who helped revolutionize Wall Street and built a completely legal billion-dollar business, perpetrate the greatest fraud in history? And what led Ezra Merkin, born to immense privilege, to enable him?"
Fishman will be roundly criticized for making the story all too human and allowing the tragic personalities to speak for themselves without intruding his judgment into the narrative. Hey, that's just what a good journalist does.
And after all, it is a tragic drama when people act badly on such a grand scale. In fact after reading the Fishman piece I can almost visualize an opera called, "The Monster Mensch" someday opening at the Met.
We hope to come back on the blog here and look at passages from the article later with more analysis.
I managed to read through it with the TV on and while cradling my 3 year old grandson who we are babysitting and who just refused to go to sleep tonight. No I didn't read the essay to him. He finally dozed off while watching the Academy Awards about the time I finished reading the lengthy article.