The Dreier Ponzi

October 5, 2009

A dissatisfying feature of the Madoff Ponzi, for those of us looking at it from afar, is how little we know about what Bernie did, how he did it, who he did it with and what was going through his mind.

In the case of Marc Dreier we know what happened and, thanks to Vanity Fair and 60 Minutes, we now have a view inside the man’s head.

The 60 Minutes piece is fine, but doesn’t really capture the audacity of Dreier’s scheme. Personally I enjoyed Bryan Burrough’s article much more. It concludes with the perp offering a bit of advice to young folks entering finance:

“Many people,” he observed, “are caught up in the notion that success in life is measured in professional and financial achievements and material acquisitions, and it’s hard to step back from that and see the fallacy. You have to try and measure your life by the moments in your day. I see people my children’s age first coming into finance, the working world, as having to make basic choices about how to define happiness and success. Obviously, I made the wrong choices.

“But they don’t have to.”

And here’s the 60 Minutes piece….

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