Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Proving that fate has a strange sense of humor... SeattlePI.com reports that an unpublished autobiography written by William H. McMasters has been found relating the events leading up to the day that he dropped the dime on Alfred Ponzi. You may recall Ponzi's bio from the endless B-roll related to the recent Bernie Madoff (aka "Ponzi Redux"). McMasters was Ponzi's publicist and (apparently) was ignorant of Ponzi's scam until he decided that the dividends his boss was promising investors were too good to be true and went to the authorities. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? The article in the New York Times fills in the details and draws all the parallels for you. Speaking of scams, I'm reading Frank Partnoy's The Match King and it is on my list of must-reads for anyone curious about the origins of the financial products at the root of our current crisis. I admit that I lack the financial expertise to fully and completely appraise this book on any level other than the storytelling and that can be summed-up as "Wow, that's a helluva story". This even-handed review by the folks with the chops to really evaluate Partnoy's book over at The Economist magazine will get you started, though.

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Pages to Type is a blog about books, writing and literary culture (with the occasional digression into coffee and the care and feeding of giant robots).