Bethany McLean

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Bethany McLean
Born (1970-12-12) December 12, 1970 (age 46)
Hibbing, Minnesota
Nationality American
Occupation Journalist
Known for "Is Enron Overpriced?"
Spouse(s) Chris Wilford
Sean Berkowitz
Children 2

Bethany McLean (born December 12, 1970 in Hibbing, Minnesota) is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair magazine, and known for her work on the Enron scandal and the 2008 financial crisis. She had been an editor at large and columnist for Fortune and a contributor to Slate.


McLean grew up in Hibbing, Minnesota and received her BA in English and mathematics at Williams College in 1992. After college and prior to joining Fortune, she worked as an investment banking analyst for Goldman Sachs.[1]

McLean joined Vanity Fair as a contributing editor in 2008. She joined Slate as a contributor to the Moneybox column in 2010.

McLean married Chris Wilford in 2000. They divorced in 2006. In May 2008, McLean married Sean Berkowitz, a partner with the law firm, Latham & Watkins. Berkowitz is the former Director of the Enron Task Force; they met through their mutual connection to that case. They currently reside in Chicago with their two young children.[2]


Her column, "The Bulldog", appeared regularly in Fortune.

McLean is the co-author, with Fortune colleague Peter Elkind, of The Smartest Guys in the Room, exposing the corrupt business practices of Enron officials. The book was the result of her reporting on Enron for the magazine and she first wrote about Enron with her article in the March 5, 2001 issue of Fortune entitled, "Is Enron Overpriced?".[3] The book was later made into the Academy Award nominated documentary Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.

She co-authored a book with New York Times columnist Joe Nocera on the 2008 financial crisis titled All the Devils Are Here. It details what happened and concludes it was not an accident, that banks understood the big picture before the crisis happened but continued with bad practices.

In September 2015, she published Shaky Ground: The Strange Saga of the U.S. Mortgage Giants which examines the governance and financial situation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac seven years after the 2008 financial crisis.[4][5]



Essays and reporting[edit]


  1. ^ "What Working At Goldman Sachs Taught Legendary Business Journalist Bethany McLean". Business Insider. Retrieved 2015-10-19. 
  2. ^ "Enron tale author Bethany McLean has a new book she wrote from her Chicago home". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved 2016-03-11. 
  3. ^ "Is Enron Overpriced?". CNN. 2006-01-19. 
  4. ^ Columbia Global Reports, "Financial System's Top Risk, Hiding in Plain Sight" (Press Release, September 14, 2015), Accessed September 16, 2015
  5. ^ "U.S. mortgage giants under the microscope |". Retrieved 2015-10-19. So they are part of the mysterious machinery that is an important component of most Americans lives, but you actually never think about it until things go wrong. 

External links[edit]

External video
C-SPAN Q&A interview with McLean, June 19, 2005
C-SPAN Q&A interview with McLean on All the Devils are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis, November 14, 2010