Bad Blood

In October, I dove deep into theme reading on scandals. Spent the cold nights binge-reading three wonderful books on the major frauds in three different industries. The biggest Ponzie scheme ever, the biggest medical fraud in Silicon Valley, and the collapse of Enron.

Bad Blood

This is one of the best-written books. Finished the 300-page book in a two-day reading marathon. It is an impeccably researched account of the Theranos saga. John Carreyrou is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter at the WSJ, and after reading the book, now I know why. Loved his writing style. He does the difficult job of explaining complex medical jargon to laypeople extremely well, and you never lose the central plot throughout the book. The book shows the insidious effects of ambition and growth gone horribly wrong.

The Wizard of Lies

Had to slog through this one, but I am glad I read it. Reveals deep insights into human nature. Adjusted for inflation, Madoff was already making millions of dollars from the legitimate sources of his business, and was already rich beyond belief. This book also shows how so many financial experts, hedge-fund managers, and wall-street analysts can be just as ignorant when it comes to investments, falling prey to social influences, biases and human irrationality. An interesting case study on perverse systems and wrong incentives.

The Smartest Guys in the Room

Skimmed this one, which chronicles the collapse of Enron, one of the most admired companies of the 1990. The book is very long, and I didn’t read most of it. Ended up reading the executive summaries. It can be a good read for business students, just to know what to avoid.