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Diana Henriques

  • Wizard of Lies
  • Black Monday financial author and journalist


An award-winning journalist and author unearthing Wall Street's scandals and breaking news, Diana Henriques brings thoughtful analysis and sharp wit to the American financial landscape. In her formidable role at the New York Times, Diana investigates investment and securities regulation, white-collar crime, corporate governance, market volatility and more, setting her work apart for more than 30 years as detective, historian and modern-day narrator.

Diana's reach expanded across multimedia with her unmatched investigation into financier Bernie Madoff, perpetrator of history's biggest Ponzi scheme. Starting with her New York Times bestseller The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust, the book became the basis for the HBO film by the same name and the docuseries Madoff: The Monster of Wall Street. Detailing Madoff's rise and fall during his decades-long $65 billion investment scam, the Netflix series jumped to top ten most watched TV shows upon release in January 2023.

From Diana's observations concluding the series:

The more I studied the story, the more I began to see it as this parable of betrayed trust. It’s the monster in everybody's closet. It's the terror under the bed. It's what everyone knows could happen to anyone. The only people who can deceive you completely are people who you trust completely. And the price of trusting anyone is that they can betray you like that.

In 2023 Diana will release her highly-anticipated book, Taming the Street: The Old Guard, the New Deal, and the Fight for the Soul of the American Market. Diana digs into the unregulated Wall Street of the 1920's and 1930's, the Crash of 1929 followed by the Great Depression, leading to President Franklin D Roosevelt's fight to curb industry excess exacerbated by concentrated wealth. A follow-up to her book A First-Class Catastrophe: The Road to Black Monday, the Worst Day in Wall Street History, Diana presents parallels between financial drama one century ago and those affecting politics today.

Her legacy includes multiple Pulitzer Prize nominations as well as top awards for business and finance journalism. An authority in historical precedents and investment behavior, Diana is regarded as the go-to expert on the effects of September 11, 2001 on the financial community, the 2008 bank crisis and resulting Great Recession, and more recent headlines centered on US wealth markets including cryptocurrency.

Renowned for intelligent investigation and piercing insight, Diana distinguished her career as a trailblazer, breaking the glass ceiling when few women gained roles on Wall Street. She engages audiences with her singular perspective, putting lessons from complex financial history into everyday simplicity. Passionate for rectifying wrongs and holding lawbreakers accountable, Diana shares the mistakes of the past as cautionary tales for today's economy in hopes of preventing future calamity.



  • The Limits of Trust. The Bernie Madoff scandal in 2008 cast new light on an age-old challenge for investors, financial professionals, and regulators. Too often, our psychological and procedural defenses are set up to detect threats from the outside—burglars, hackers, corporate espionage attacks, fraudulent robo-callers, strangers in our midst. But how do we defend ourselves from the trusted criminal—the admired and respected high-achiever who wins our trust, and then betrays us? A better understanding of how Madoff's fraud worked can inform a smarter approach to this hazard for all investors and for everyone trying to keep investors safe from such predators.
  • The “Black Monday” Market of Today. The 1987 stock market crash, still the worst single day in Wall Street history, exposed the extraordinary changes that permanently reshaped the financial landscape in the early 1980s. These were a) the birth of financial derivatives in Chicago, b) the burgeoning size and herd-like instincts of pension funds and other new arrivals in the equity and derivative markets, c) the escalating use of high-speed computers to both deliver market orders and design market strategies, and d) the growing fragmentation of the formal market regulatory machinery. But despite the near-death experiences of Black Monday, when the Dow fell a paralyzing 22.6 percent in one day, little was learned and little was done to address those new elements of risk—as subsequent crises, including the 2008 meltdown, have shown. As a result, we are just as vulnerable today to the dangers we faced in 1987.
  • The Criminal With a Thousand Faces. Ponzi schemes, which exploit our deeply human (and profoundly essential!) instinct to trust one another, are a perennial threat to investors. One data website estimates that, since 2002, a new Ponzi scheme has surfaced every five days! A review of the colorful history of this crime shows that much of what we think we know about Ponzi schemes is obsolete in the post-Madoff era. Diana cuts through the swashbuckling fables and movie-plot cultural baggage that surrounds these con men, and provide some practical ways to deter the Ponzi schemers in our midst.
  • Why Financial History Matters. Even among fans of popular history, far too little attention is paid to the financial side of history. And yet there is no way to fully understand our political history without “following the money.” And “the money” was in the marketplace! As an amateur financial historian, she introduces general audiences to the colorful characters, hair-raising adventures, and eternal relevance of America's financial history. In doing so, she makes the case for making it a bigger part of our national conversation. This draws on research for all her books, including “Fidelity's World,” a history of the American mutual fund industry, and “The White Sharks of Wall Street,” an account of the “original corporate raiders” of the 1950s.

Keywords: Wall Street, financial bubble, investigate financial journalist, stock market, global economy, future trends

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