Stoic Podcast Episode 15: Bethany McLean – “The 60 Billion Dollar Question”

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 2008 financial crises.



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

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

let’s listen in…



Podcast Notes:


[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




Also Streaming on (click on below images to redirect to Stoic Podcast channels),






Bethany’s Article on Enron Accounting Scandal:

Is Enron Overpriced? (2001)



Books Authored & Suggested by Bethany McLean:

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