Cristina Alger has a new book out this week about a wealthy family and a hedge fund that blows up during the 2008 financial crisis. Sound familiar? The book is inspired by the events of Bernie Madoff and the Ponzi scheme he was involved in. But the book, titled The Darlings, is fiction.
Alger is a former Goldman Sachs analyst and a member of the family that owns fund management firm Fred Alger Management, so she knows Wall Street well. According to a review by NPR, this is what Alger has got going for her:
But Christina Alger uses to great advantage her insider's knowledge of the financial industry and her awareness of the hard knocks the heart takes during a calamity, such as present day investing sometimes produces. Invest your time in this one and it will pay you back.
And if there's anything Alger knows, it's how family businesses operate on Wall Street. "I grew up going to my dad's office, and family dinners were filled with chatter about work life," she told the Daily Mail online. "One of the things I tried to draw from in The Darlings was the sense that the whole family was involved in the business, and the demise of the business in their case was really like the demise of the family as a whole."
While I haven't read the book myself, it would be interesting to read how the Madoff scandal might have played out, even if it is a fictional account. It might also provide all of us a cautious look at how greed and money can ruin lives and family, and perhaps even how to recognize investment fraud when we see it next time...