7/18/09

Adam Lebor will explain how Bernie Madoff scammed America

At the height of the Madoff - Merkin scandal, Andrew Sole wrote a letter to the Board of Yeshiva University demanding trustee resignations. We deemed this important (see here and here).

He wrote us now to give us this update.
I just wanted to alert you that a journalist contacted me and informed me that he is publishing a detailed book (UK and USA distribution) that examines the Madoff scandal and his connections into the Jewish community and YU. He asked to inteview me because he had read about my letter ... on the web. I granted the request . The book is publishing this fall.
The book - The Believers: How America Fell For Bernard Madoff's $65 Billion Investment Scam by Adam LeBor - looks like it will be a must read for the Yeshiva University board and for lots of us who want to know how this disaster took shape and what we can do to be more vigilant in the future. The book summary says,
It was luxurious Palm Beach, by the manicured lawns and Olympic-sized swimming pool, that financier Bernard Madoff ravaged the world of philanthropy and high society he had strived so hard to join, vaporising the assets of charities, foundations and individuals that had trusted him with their funds. It seems nothing was sacrosanct to Madoff, possibly the greatest con-man in history. Even Elie Wiesel's foundation has lost tens of millions. How could Madoff, a pillar of the Jewish community, do this to a Nobel Laureate and Auschwitz survivor? But Wiesel was hardly alone in trusting the rogue financier. How could some of the most sophisticated and worldly people in America fall victim to a collective delusion for year after year? THE BELIEVERS answers these unsettling questions. It opens up the clubbish world where Madoff operated, tracing the links from Palm Beach and The Hamptons to the salons and clubs of Manhattan society. It details the network of relationships across which flows hundreds of millions of dollars. 'The Believers' shows how despite material success and acclaim, some human impulses remain eternal. It reveals how an underlying sense of insecurity still shapes some of the richest and most successful individuals in America, making them crave ever more status and peer acclaim. By focusing on Madoff's connection to, and catastrophic impact on, the American Jewish community, THE BELIEVERS dramatically humanises a story that is part financial scandal and part Greek tragedy.

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