Ex-Goldman analyst writes white collar crime tale

Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:45pm EST
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By Andrea Burzynski

NEW YORK (Reuters) - "The Darlings" tells a fictional tale about the downfall of a hedge fund and the wealthy family that owns it during Wall Street's 2008 meltdown, but many aspects of the novel are drawn straight from author Cristina Alger's reality.

As a former Goldman Sachs analyst and bankruptcy attorney at a white-shoe law firm in New York, Alger knew that the twists and turns that led to many a Wall Street fiasco could make for a fascinating story.

"It's easy to see finance as something that happens in a conference room, but white-collar crime is fascinating," Alger told Reuters. "No one's dying or no cars are blowing up, but it's incredibly fast-paced and interesting and complex."

"The Darlings", which is released on Monday in the United States, is one of the first works of fiction centered on the events of the 2008 financial crisis.

The book begins with an apparent suicide, which sets off a series of investigations and cover-ups by a web of characters that includes lawyers, financiers, government officials and journalists.

The dynamics and loyalties of the blue-blooded Darling family that runs the hedge fund, founded by patriarch and billionaire Carter Darling, are also thrown into tumult as the foundation of the family's wealth and status is threatened.


Alger, 31, knows a thing or two about family businesses: her family founded prominent New York investment firm Fred Alger Management. In addition to her professional experience, she said that she also drew on her family background to write the book.   Continued...

A Goldman Sachs sign is seen on at the company's post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, January 18, 2012. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid