London, 13 February 2009
Joel Rickett at Viking (an imprint of Penguin) has acquired the definitive account of Bernard Madoff, the alleged $50bn hedge fund fraudster.
The book is by Erin Arvedlund, the financial journalist who in 2001 wrote the first major expose of Madoff's practices. After a four-month investigation involving hundreds of interviews, her critical Barron's article was headlined "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". But it wasn't until last year that the regulators finally started asking those same questions, just as Madoff's suspected global Ponzi scheme unravelled. In December 2008 the FBI finally caught up with Madoff and he reportedly admitted to his family that it was "all just one big lie". The victims of his firm's collapse stretch from Steven Spielberg to the New York Mets to Yale University; one Spanish bank lost $3bn.
Arvedlund has been a reporter and writer for the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and TheStreet.com. Her approach will combine narrative and analysis to answer the question of why Madoff did it, and how so many of the world's wealthiest people were taken in. She'll draw on her extensive sources to tell Madoff's story, expose how the hedge fund business really works, and examine the implications for the financial world.
Viking Editorial Director Joel Rickett said: "The Madoff scandal is an amazing story with a genuine villain - this was fraud on an epic scale. There are dozens of hasty Madoff book proposals flying around, but Erin Arvedlund is the best writer to nail it: she was asking the tough questions long before her rivals dared to believe Madoff was anything less than a Wall Street demi-God. She will get right to the characters and issues at the heart of the con, and through them she'll tell a much wider story of greed, arrogance and stupidity."
Viking bought UK & Commonwealth rights from Adrian Zackheim, President and Publisher of Portfolio - the business imprint of Penguin Group Inc. The book is scheduled for publication in Spring 2010.
For further information please contact:
Joanna Prior on 020 7010 3250