Ponzi Lit

First Madoff Book Published Online

Madoff got rich off of his investors. And now, dozens of authors will get rich off of Madoff. Since news of his alleged Ponzi scheme broke, the race has been on to publish the first Madoff book. But financial journalist Peter Sander has finally won. His book, Madoff: Corruption, Deceit and the Making of the World’s Most Nortorious Ponzi Scheme, will be available in print in late March, and free samples of the text are now up online (on second thought, maybe that doesn’t count as first-published.) Here’s an excerpt from the free introduction: “And who’s the “perp” that pulled this one off? Bernie Madoff. That’s “made-off.” Like, made off with all your dough.” Sander seems to be rehashing much of the information we've read about for weeks, but his more tangential chapters might lend the now too-familiar-tale the context it lacks. In his second chapter, "Queens Kid Makes Good," it sounds like Madoff was just a kid from the block who struck gold, but his ensuing sections -- "Building the Madoff Brand," and "One Step Ahead of the Regulators" -- explain how he crafted his intricate financial web. And Sander tries to do it all: he even delves into the investor's head in Chapter 9, "The Psycology of Trust," which may offer insight into why so many people followed Madoff. This book may be first on the shelves (and on our bookmark bars) but that doesn’t mean it’s first in our hearts. Sometimes, slow and steady wins the race. The tortoise this time around might be Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, by Erin Arvedlund (the journo who was on the Madoff scent in 2001) which will be released in the Spring of 2010.