Despite all the headlines about Bernard Madoff, who pleaded guilty to running a $65 billion Ponzi scheme, he is still shrouded in mystery. Why (and when) did he turn his legitimate business into a massive fraud? How did he fool so many smart investors for so long? Who among his family and employees knew the truth? The best person to answer these questions - and tell the full story of Madoff's rise and fall - is Erin Arvedlund. In early 2001, she was suspicious of the amazing returns of Madoff's hedge fund, which no one could explain. Her article in Barron's, based on more than one hundred interviews, could have prevented a lot of misery, had the SEC followed up. But almost no one was willing to believe anything bad about "Uncle Bernie" - so nice, so humble, so generous to charities. As Arvedlund shows, Madoff was no ordinary liar, but a master of the type of lies people really wanted to believe. He kept his clients at a distance and allowed handsomely paid friends to solicit new ones for him; playing hard to get created an irresistible mystique. Now, Arvedlund tackles the tough questions that are still unanswered in the wake of Madoff's collapse.
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