Ponzi Supernova is my latest obsession. As many of you know I am a huge evangelist for the content I listen to on Audible. As an avid reader, with a limited amount of free time where I can sit and read, Audible is often the only way I can enjoy books and other great audio content. That said, I won’t listen to just anything. I when I want to be entertained and informed, I crave high-quality storytelling with compelling production. This weekend I have been completely consumed by Ponzi Supernova. I started listening on Friday evening and actually woke up excited to do some pretty painful chores because I knew I would be listening to the amazing reporting in this series.
Ponzi Supernova is a serial audio show that does a deep dive into the Bernie Madoff scandal, one of the biggest con jobs in U.S. history. Presented as a six-part series, the show is long-form journalism at its best, featuring fascinating phone interviews with Madoff, his victims, lawyers, regulators, and agents from the FBI. Rather than finding a dry overview of the scandal, the show made me feel like I was sitting right next to the reporters as interviews were occurring. I was simultaneously fascinated and appalled as I learned why Madoff and his accomplices would occasionally put faked financial reports in the office refrigerator and what the view looks like from the window in Madoff’s prison cell.
The series runs like the best radio shows and podcast productions. I raced through the first five episodes this weekend and am eagerly awaiting the series conclusion which arrives on Audible Channels this Thursday. Unlike radio, though when I had those “Wait, did I really just hear that?” moments I could back up and listen to them again. I’ve always wondered how so many people were taken in by Madoff and what kind of guilt he experiences now. Listening to the calls with Madoff from prison, I had a much better feel for how his friends and acquaintances had gotten sucked into his scam. He is convivial, chatty and sounds imminently reasonable as he does verbal gymnastics to shrug off responsibility for the financial ruin of his former investors. Vivid details also helped me understand how so many investors were duped and how some (surprisingly) have actually gotten some of their investments back while others have been left with nothing.
Audible has been an almost daily companion of mine for years as I commute, do dishes, and workout. I only recently discovered Audible Channels. Launched last year, Channels includes access on-demand access to audio series and professionally recorded, audio versions of articles from major magazines and newspapers, courses, and comedy shows. Since I’m not always ready to commit to a 20-hour book, I love having an option to find high-quality shorter form content on Audible too. I’m already looking forward to following up my Ponzi Supernova binge-listen with Genius Dialogues, interviews with the host of innovators who have been awarded the MacArthur Fellowship, ‘Genius Grant’. What should I listen to next? I’m always looking for great recommendations. Please leave yours in the comments section.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Audible. The opinions and text are all mine.