O’Neil Lecture: “Legends and Lies on Wall Street”

Presented by best-selling author and financial journalist Diana Henriques

Award-winning financial journalist and New York Times best-selling author Diana Henriques will deliver the 2018 William J. O’Neil Lecture in Business Journalism at SMU at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17. Henriques’ talk, “From Black Monday to Bernie Madoff: Legends and Lies on Wall Street,” examines the finance world’s hubris, romantic delusions, willful blindness and regulatory deficiencies. The lecture takes place in O’Donnell Hall, Room 2130 of the Owen Arts Center, 6101 Bishop Blvd. on the SMU campus. Admission is free, and tickets are not required. For further information call 214-768-3695. The O’Neil Lecture Series is presented by the Division of Journalism at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts.

Henriques is the author of A First-Class Catastrophe: The Road to Black Monday, the Worst Day in Wall Street History, a major new book about the 1987 stock market crash released in September 2017. She also wrote the New York Times bestseller The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust, and starred as herself opposite Robert De Niro in the hit HBO movie based on the book. An avid reader and reviewer of financial histories, Henriques is also the author of The White Sharks of Wall Street: Thomas Mellon Evans and The Original Corporate Raiders (2000), Fidelity’s World: The Secret Life and Public Power of the Mutual Fund Giant (1995) and The Machinery of Greed: Public Authority Abuse and What To Do About It (1986). As a staff writer for The New York Times from 1989 to 2012 and as a contributing writer since then, she has largely specialized in investigative reporting on white-collar crime, market regulation and corporate governance.

Henriques was a member of a reporting team that was named a Pulitzer finalist in 2003 for its coverage of the aftermath of the Enron scandals. She was also a member of a team that won a 1999 Gerald Loeb Award for covering the near-collapse of Long Term Capital Management, a hedge fund whose troubles rocked the financial markets in September 1998. She was one of four reporters honored in 1996 by the Deadline Club, the New York City chapter of the Sigma Delta Chi professional journalism society, for a series on how wealthy Americans legally sidestep taxes. She has explored the expansion of tax breaks, regulatory exemptions and Congressional earmarks for religious nonprofits, and helped monitor commodity markets and money market funds in the financial turmoil of late 2008.

After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, Henriques widened her focus to work with her colleague at The New York Times, David Barstow, in covering the management of billions of dollars in charity and victim assistance as part of the paper’s award-winning section, “A Nation Challenged.” She also chronicled the fate of Cantor Fitzgerald, the Wall Street firm that suffered the largest death toll in the World Trade Center attacks.

She says she is proudest of her 2004 series exposing the exploitation of American military personnel by financial service companies. Her work prompted legislative reform and cash reimbursements for tens of thousands of defrauded service members, drawing recognition and thanks from military lawyers and families across the country. For that series, she was a Pulitzer finalist in 2005 and received Long Island University’s George Polk Award; Harvard’s Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting; and the Nieman Foundation’s Worth Bingham Prize.

A native of Texas, Henriques is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of what is now the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She has been a trustee of the university since 2011. She was awarded a Ferris professorship in writing at Princeton University for the 2012-13 academic year, and is a frequent guest lecturer for business journalism classes and workshops elsewhere. From 2003 to 2016, she served on the board of governors of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW). She and her husband live in Hoboken, N.J.

About the William J. O’Neil Lecture Series in Business Journalism

The William J. O’Neil Lecture Series in Business Journalism brings outstanding business journalism professionals to the SMU campus each semester. It is part of a cooperative program in financial reporting developed in 2007 by the Meadows School Division of Journalism and the Cox School of Business at SMU, through funding from William J. O’Neil, an SMU alumnus and chairman and CEO of Investor’s Business Daily.

The Division of Journalism, under Belo Distinguished Chair Tony Pederson, offers concentrations in all media – broadcast, print and internet – through its convergence journalism program. With the help of a gift from The Belo Foundation, the Division has become one of the few journalism schools in the country that provides hands-on experience through a high-definition television studio, digital newsroom and website.