Stoic Talks

Stoic Talks

S01E15: “The 60 Million Dollar Question” with Bethany McLean

In our 15th Episode, we present to you, Ms Bethany Mclean.

All of you must have seen that famous and enchanting documentary, “Smartest guys in the room”. She is the author of the book with the same name behind that documentary.

That is not the only claim to fame for Bethany. She has also written “All the devils are here” unearthing the nuances of the 2008 financial crisis.

In this freewheeling interview, we touch on some sensitive topics pertaining to facts, accounting and psychology behind the biggest fraud and financial crisis of our times.   And also what it takes to be a whistle-blower. Fasten your seat belts and enjoy the ride.

Let’s listen in…


Also streaming on:


Bethany McLean is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and also a columnist at Reuters.


[1:42] How did she spot the fraud in the first place?

[6:15] Transition from Analyst to journalist?

[9:20] “I am an OUTSIDER”

[9:25] Jim Chanos!!! The short seller

[13:14] Role of Luck

[15:40] A cage rattler (Is there any Life risk?)

[17:45] Easier said than done “Corporate Governance – Code of Conduct”

[21:54] Ever considered short selling as a career?

[23:25] Freedom comes with Responsibility.

[25:18] Life moves on!!! But were any lessons learnt!!

[29:21] Where to look for discrepancy?

[35:48] Accounting is the presentation of reality

[36:07] Too big to fail Crony capitalism!!

[37:34] Line between right & wrong is drawn after the result (hindsight)

[38:16] How to keep “successful” fraudsters in check?

[44:10] Bethany McLean’s course

[49:30] Facts are Slippery

Books / Recommendations:

The Smartest Guys In The Room By Bethany McLean
All The Devils Are Here By Bethany McLean & Joe Nocera
Shaky Ground By Bethany McLean
Financial Shenanigans by Howard M. Schilit

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