Eugene Soltes is an author and finance professor at Harvard Business School.
Over the past eight years, give or take, he’s spent a lot of time with many big-time executives and titans of industry who have been convicted of major financial crimes; insider trading, Ponzi schemes, financial fraud, embezzlement etc.
What initially began as nothing other than self-interest has materialized into a 464-page hardcover book, which was released in October this year (2016). The book is titled, Why They Do It: Inside the Mind of the White-Collar Criminal.
Intrigued by the subject matter, I invited Eugene onto the podcast and we got talking about; how Bernie Madoff became the mastermind behind the biggest fraudulent scheme in US history—sucking billions of dollars from unsuspecting investors, some of the notorious insider trading cases, and ultimately, why they do it.
Topics of discussion:
- The origin of Eugene’s curiosity with white-collar crime, how he unintentionally became an author, and how he formed relationships with those behind bars.
- How Bernie Madoff came to be the mastermind behind the largest Ponzi scheme in history, and what Eugene observed about his character from many conversations.
- What is insider trading? Eugene explains what the courts deem to be illicit insider trading, whether or not there are real victims, and some interesting case studies.
- Eugene gives his thoughts about why the ultra wealthy commit financial crimes, and why he thinks most people would act similarly—if in the same situation.
Links and resources mentioned:
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