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Influencers with Andy Serwer: Patrick Radden Keefe

In this episode of Influencers, Andy is joined by 'Rogues' author, Patrick Radden Keefe.

Video Transcript

ANDY SERWER: In this episode of "Influencers," "Rogues" author and staff writer at "The New Yorker," Patrick Radden Keefe.

PATRICK RADDEN KEEFE: There are all kinds of ways in which, if you are a bad actor but a powerful and resourceful bad actor, you can mitigate any real-world impact in your life for your own horrendous decisions. I mean, the level of sneakiness around very wealthy American clients hiding their money abroad is kind of staggering. From the first sentence, I want to just grab you by the lapels and pull you into the story, and I don't want any friction.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

ANDY SERWER: Hello, everyone. And welcome to "Influencers." I'm Andy Serwer. And welcome to our guest, Patrick Radden Keefe, author of a number of award-winning books, including most recently "Rogues-- True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels, and Crooks," a collection of his stories from "The New Yorker" where he is a staff writer. Patrick, great to see you.

PATRICK RADDEN KEEFE: It's great to be with you.

ANDY SERWER: So I want to ask you about a tweet that you put out just a few days ago, where you wrote one of the small but cruel ironies of the pandemic, is that the best businesses are often the ones that perish, while the worst survive and thrive. I think you were talking about a popular Filipino restaurant, Bad Saint in Washington, DC. Can you give us a little context about that? And is this a writ large situation or just one restaurant?

PATRICK RADDEN KEEFE: Well, it's a thing that I noticed was that the-- you know, I live in Westchester County in New York. And it's something my family noticed is that a lot of the places that we love the most, little restaurants, little bookstores were the ones that didn't make it through for one reason or another.

And then at a at a local level, you had other places that you're kind of mystified. You know, maybe they have a sweet deal with the rent. Or maybe they're just the kind of equivalent of cockroaches surviving a terrible event.

But even on a broader level, I mean, I feel as though there are certain economic trends that affect the way we live as consumers that were just exacerbated by the pandemic. So if you were somebody who liked brick and mortar stores, going to see a movie in a theater, buying a book at an independent bookstore, all of that feels increasingly in jeopardy to me.

ANDY SERWER: And what are your thoughts? I mean, I know you're not an economist, obviously, but just sort of taking that a step further on the current economic situation in America as we perhaps emerge from the pandemic.

PATRICK RADDEN KEEFE: Oh, I wouldn't even be equipped to say. I mean, I feel as though it's a nervous moment. Certainly, for me, for my family, for most people, I think it's a-- and the question of to what extent we are really breaking free of the pandemic, I think is also-- it's very much an open question. I mean, I think it's-- I get the feeling that this is going to be a cyclical reality that we will all come to live with in the coming years.

ANDY SERWER: Let me ask you about your new book, "Rogues," which, as I noted, is a collection of stories. There's a common thread there. They're rogues. They vary widely, though, from Tony Bourdain to, you know, El Chapo. So what really is the common denominator here, Patrick?

PATRICK RADDEN KEEFE: So these are 12 stories that I've written over the course of about a dozen years at "The New Yorker." And it's a funny thing. I don't have a beat at "The New Yorker."

Part of what I like about the job is that I get to kind of plunge into a new world and a new story every four to six months. And I really immerse myself and then turn around a big piece of writing and then move on. And I don't have a particular subject that I keep coming back to.

But in retrospect, when I was putting the collection together, I did realize that there are these certain themes that I keep returning to almost unconsciously. And in this case, it was these individuals who have very forceful personalities, these strong personalities, people with a lot of charisma, a lot of creativity and dynamism, who often are perceiving weaknesses in the legal system or in the way in which we categorize legal and illegal activity and kind of shaping the world in small and large ways.

And so you have, you know, loveable examples of this, like Anthony Bourdain, who I traveled with and got to know. And in his case, it was really just somebody who kind of designed a fantasy life. He designed a job that didn't exist.

He was a former chef. He'd struggled with addiction. He wrote a memoir and then had this incredible job where he got to travel around the world as kind of know, you know, a well-heeled beatnik and eat great food and meet fascinating people. And I wanted to just ride along with him and see what it was like to be somebody who invented a fantasy profession and then thrived in it to the degree that he did.

And then on the other hand, you have people like Chapo Guzman, who I think we normally think of as just a criminal and a murderous criminal. And he certainly was those things. But I was interested in him as a businessman, as a guy who was effectively the CEO of a multibillion dollar transnational commodities enterprise and managed to run this big, clandestine illegal global smuggling business for decades until he was caught.

ANDY SERWER: Yeah, have you ever thought about how closely related or not successful business people are to successful criminals?

PATRICK RADDEN KEEFE: I think about it all the time. And it's actually a theme that sort of runs through this book is that a lot of these people are, yeah, they're sort of the underworld equivalent of successful business people. There are people who approach what they do as a business.

You know, one of the big stories that kind of set me off on this path-- and it's not in this collection-- there is a story about the hunt for Chapo Guzman in this collection. But the first time I wrote about the Sinaloa cartel was actually a cover story for "The New York Times Magazine" 10 years ago. And my pitch to them was I want to write a Harvard Business School case study of a Mexican drug cartel.

You know, we think of them primarily as a criminal gang. They think of themselves as this big commodities business. And how do they use violence? How do they use corruption? You know, how do they account for bribery?

How do they invest their proceeds? How do they move them? What do you do when you can't resort to the courts in order to resolve disputes with business rivals or partners? And all of those questions have always been really intriguing to me.

ANDY SERWER: And sort of on the flip side of that, Patrick, though, what about rogue behavior from business people? And I'm thinking, of course, about Elon Musk. And I wonder what you think about him and if you considered writing about him.

Obviously, a lot of people have. That's to the downside. But he is singular in some ways that some of your characters have been, right?

PATRICK RADDEN KEEFE: Yeah, well, as I said earlier, I mean, for me, it's about these forceful personalities, people who often have real insights into where the world is going. They can kind of see around the corner at at least one point in their career and maybe multiple points in their career. And then they're able to, to some degree, shape the world to their whims.

So I mean, yeah, Elon Musk, I mean, I haven't written about him. I'm a little sick of him, to be honest with you, because I feel as though we're all living inside his head to a degree that may not necessarily be welcome. But, listen, you're right. I mean, those types of people, I'm really intrigued by as well, so people who are not necessarily what we would think of as criminals but are engaging in behavior that, I think, is often suspect.

So in my case, you know, I wrote a book about the Sackler family, "Empire of Pain." But, also, in this collection, there's a big piece about Steven Cohen, who ran a hedge fund that was awash in insider trading. All kinds of people beneath Cohen were busted for insider trading.

And there was a big effort by Preet Bharara, who, at the time, was the US attorney in the Southern District of New York to get Cohen. He fails. But what my story is about is the one guy who they thought would flip on Cohen, and he doesn't.

And so there are other figures like that. I mean, there's a story in the collection about Swiss banking at HSBC and the ways in which the Swiss bank of HSBC in Geneva was used by the wealthy all around the world to evade taxes.

ANDY SERWER: Right. You also write about Mark Burnett, you know, the reality TV show producer, and write about how he may or may not be-- or I think my takeaway from your take is, in part, responsible for Donald Trump's success, rebirth, and even presidency. And so was that a way of getting at Donald Trump and writing about Donald Trump sort of in a tertiary way? Or were you just interested in Burnett?

PATRICK RADDEN KEEFE: No, I was interested in both of them. I mean, I think that Burnett was kind of the guy behind the guy in a way that I'm often interested in. And, yeah, I would put a sharper point on the characterization you just made. My contention would be that without Mark Burnett, there is no Trump presidency.

I think at the point where Mark Burnett, who, at the time, was a very successful reality TV producer and had done "Survivor," at the point where he dreams up "The Apprentice" and casts Trump, Trump was washed up. He's kind of a punch line in the New York tabloids. Nobody takes him seriously. He'd been through-- I don't know-- how many bankruptcies. He kind of has cameos in movies, but he's a punch line.

And Burnett kind of reinvents him as this titan of industry this guy, who, you know, everything he touches turns to gold. And I interviewed all these producers on the show, who said, oh, we knew at the time that this was kind of a con. Like, some of them say they actually thought of it as humorous, that there was, like, a wink with the show, and that the consumer would get it.

But, of course, that's not what happened. And so there's a line in the show. One of the producers in "The Apprentice" said, you know, it was like we took the court jester and made him the king.

ANDY SERWER: I think in an interview recently, you said you were going to write about Jared Kushner but then decided not to. Why was that, Patrick?

PATRICK RADDEN KEEFE: So I had written a number of pieces about the Trump administration. I wrote a big story about Carl Icahn and his relationship with Trump. And, actually, that story ended up-- just as that was getting published, Icahn was kind of ousted from his role as an advisor to the administration. I wrote a story about Trump's National Security Council and HR McMaster, his tenure as Trump's national security advisor.

But as I started working on that Kushner piece, I came to feel that there was something a little unholy going on with the press in the sense that Trump was great for business, right? One of the points in the Mark Burnett article that's in the book is that Burnett had this intuition, which I think is kind of terrible but also brilliant in its way, which is that politics in the end is just entertainment by other means, right? For him, it's all entertainment. And I think we're all kind of living with the consequences of that decision now, you know, of that view of the world.

What I worried about myself was just that there had been a lot of Trump coverage in "The New Yorker" and elsewhere. It was a great way to get eyeballs, get people reading. A lot of people, whether they like Trump or they hate him, there was a kind of obsessive tendency to just consume material about the guy.

And I just wasn't sure that I could get the proportion of light and heat, right? I didn't know how much value I would be adding. I thought that if I wrote a big piece about the corruption of the Kushners, I would probably explain, you know, a great deal that should be shocking and should upset people. I wasn't sure that I would actually change anything.

And then it just becomes outrage porn, right? Then there's a danger, I think, that you're just kind of feeding the outrage that people already read or already feel. And I just wasn't sure that I would be adding enough value.

ANDY SERWER: It's sort of adjacent to the ethical questions that journalists face and say in a war zone, where someone points a gun at someone's head and said, if you don't write about this, I'm going to shoot this person or something, right? I mean, it's like at some point, we're not just-- you have to consider the publicity or the exposure aspects of what you do. Correct? Is that sort of along those lines?

PATRICK RADDEN KEEFE: I think that's right. But I also think that, you know, traditionally, part of the role of journalism was that there was a sort of, you know, that there was a kind of accountability that came with-- you put a spotlight on somebody who has done bad things. And society sees it and is properly outraged. And, ideally, something comes of it.

So, you know, you could draw a direct line from Woodward and Bernstein to Watergate and the unraveling of the Nixon presidency. And there's a kind of causality there. And that brought down at a certain point, I think, in that you had a huge amount of coverage of pretty flagrant corruption in the Trump administration that didn't necessarily lead to change.

I think, frankly, for me, we're seeing it right now with the January 6 hearings. If you have eyes in your head and you are watching those hearings, it's pretty shocking what's coming out. And in a normal moment in this country's history, that would, as night follows day, lead to real legal repercussions. It's an open question in my mind about whether it will.

And so I think that's the challenge for journalism, right, is that, normally, what happens is you go out you expose wrongdoing. And then your job is kind of done. And society takes it from there, whether it's the criminal justice system or the political system or what have you. Now, we can do our part of the equation. But I think, often, you know, you feel like you're howling in the wind.

ANDY SERWER: Of course, the follow-up question then is, why is that the case, Patrick?

PATRICK RADDEN KEEFE: I mean, I think there's been a general breakdown in accountability across the board. I think this was true prior to the Trump administration. I think as you get a greater and greater consolidation of power and wealth by the super elite in this country, there are all kinds of ways in which, if you are a bad actor but a powerful and resourceful bad actor, you can mitigate any real-world impact in your life for your own horrendous decisions.

I mean, I wrote a book about the Sackler family. And I would say that's a pretty good illustration of that. I think we see that inside the political system as well.

ANDY SERWER: Yeah, I want to ask you about "Empire of Pain" because that's just a tremendous book. But before I do that, you're staring at infinity, in a way, Patrick, in terms of subject matter. And so, you know, there's Carl Icahn. There's Mark Burnett. There's, you know, drug dealers both legal and illegal. How do you pick your subjects? And how do you decide what to write about?

PATRICK RADDEN KEEFE: You know, I don't have a great answer for this because I think a lot of the time, I just sort of follow my interest. I will say that I'm interested in stories that you can tell as stories. I tend not to pick an issue that I want to look at from 30,000 feet. I pick a story about characters.

I think for most of us, we're hardwired, I think, from, you know, our earliest memories of lying with a parent, you know, having them read us a story as we fall asleep. I think we're hardwired to process complex information better when it is presented to us in the form of a narrative.

And so for me, what that means is whether it's Swiss banking or the hedge fund-- you know, insider trading at hedge funds or the ins and outs of drug dealing by Mexican cartels or arms trafficking, I want to find a frame, a kind of narrative frame that I can use to tell that story. And so I'm often looking for outsized characters and kind of twists and turns in the story so that you feel it has the same narrative satisfactions that reading a novel would.

Of course, everything is entirely factual. It's scrupulously fact-checked at "The New Yorker." But I do think that there are ways of relating this kind of information that, hopefully, can kind of seduce the reader to engage with complex and thorny issues that they might be disinclined to if it was a story on, you know, the front page of the business section.

ANDY SERWER: So turning our attention to "Empire of Pain" and the Sackler family, which, of course, to this day controls Purdue Pharmaceutical, which is the company that no longer--

PATRICK RADDEN KEEFE: No, what happened was that in the bankruptcy, Purdue Pharma got wound down, and the family gave up their interest in the pharmaceutical.

ANDY SERWER: Well, thank you for that clarification-- correction, I should say. For years, this is the company they founded. It was a family-run business for decades and produced OxyContin and oxycodone.

And, you know, the extent to which they were able to compromise America's greatest institutions from the Justice Department, the FDA, the great museums to this country, the great institutions of higher learning, "The New York Times," perhaps, one could argue even, it's just stunning. And I was thinking about the Sackler family for three generations. And has there been any family or even individuals that kind of approach this level of, gosh, you know, just relentless-- I don't know if it's wrongdoing but just working the system to their advantage?

PATRICK RADDEN KEEFE: Oh, I'm sure there have. Yeah, I mean, I think part of what was intriguing to me about this story is it's Americanness, that on some level, it's a story of the American dream and where it can go. And in this case, you had the accumulation of tremendous wealth over three generations and the sort of refinement of the tools of influence over generations.

But, really, it starts-- you know, as you say, it starts with these three brothers-- Arthur, Mortimer, and Raymond. And I should say, I mean, when the US Senate was investigating Arthur Sackler, he gets Clark Clifford to be his lawyer. You know, he's got the best firms. He's got the best people working for him.

He's got connections all over the place. He's friends with the mayor of New York City. He, you know, has a wing at the Met named after him.

So even in the first generation, I think they had gotten very, very good at figuring out ways to leverage their own money and social standing to, again, kind of shape the world in the way in which they wanted it to be shaped, to allow themselves to do the things they wanted to do, and to insulate themselves from scrutiny and, certainly, from accountability.

ANDY SERWER: Are the bad guys just getting worse? I mean, I'm thinking about the Sacklers. I think about Bernie Madoff. I think about Jeffrey Epstein. So a two-part question, are they getting worse? And, secondly, wow, Jeffrey Epstein, isn't that the great untold story of our time still?

PATRICK RADDEN KEEFE: Yeah, there's so much about the Epstein story that's still not known. Absolutely. And I think as to whether or not they're getting worse, I think that they have better and better resources that they can rely on and I think, increasingly, particularly, if they're white-collar bad guys.

I think that there's just-- I think we, as a society, have given a pass to elite bad actors, people who went to the right schools and made the right connections and are, you know, photographed with notable political and business figures. I think there's a sense whether it's Jeffrey Epstein or Harvey Weinstein or the Sacklers that if you surround yourself with the right people and the right blue chip institutional affiliations over the decades, it's possible to do a great deal of wrong without it catching up with you.

For me, what I really struggle with is that I trained as a lawyer. I never practiced, but I went to law school, took the New York bar. My wife is a lawyer. A lot of my friends are lawyers.

And I think that in any of those instances, if you're trying to reconstruct, I think particularly with Epstein and Weinstein, people say in retrospect, well, how did they get away with it for so long, how could they have gotten away with it, the answer is they're surrounded by high-end, extremely capable, mercenary white shoe service providers who should really know better. And that could be law firms. It could be McKinsey as was the case with the opioid crisis.

You have these players, who, in some ways, they sort of avoid the moral taint themselves because there's a sense that they're just these kind of neutral service providers that you would bring in. But to me, they are entirely morally culpable if, over decades, they abet and protect this kind of behavior.

ANDY SERWER: Have you ever thought about writing about that layer writ large, the enablers just generally speaking?

PATRICK RADDEN KEEFE: Yeah, I have. I mean, it's interesting. I want to find the right one. But, certainly, in my Sackler book, I mean, the first person you meet is Mary Jo White, from Debevoise & Plimpton, who has been right there with the Sacklers and Purdue Pharma, going back to the first time their company pled guilty to federal criminal charges back in 2006, 2007 and still standing by the family and doing everything she can to help them.

So, yeah, I mean, I've tried to put a spotlight on those people. There's a big book coming out in the fall, not by me, about McKinsey, a terrific investigative book by two reporters at "The New York Times." I think that there should be more of this kind of work.

ANDY SERWER: It's complicated, though. I mean, to take Debevoise & Plympton just for an example, I mean, it's not like the whole thing is rotten to the core necessarily. But on the other hand, parts of it-- or people, they are engaged in behavior that sort of becomes, you know, gradually or suddenly not so ethical, right? But here they are recruiting at the best law firms, donating to all the great NGOs and charities, you know, just intertwined in our society at the highest levels, right?

PATRICK RADDEN KEEFE: Yeah, that's right. And I should say just in the interests of giving them their say, there are some people whose point of view is essentially, listen, if you sign up to be a lawyer, it's an adversarial profession. The nature of the business is that everybody deserves a lawyer. And so we are not going to make any judgments about your own ethics just because you take a client who might be a scoundrel.

And I think there's certainly an argument to be made for that. But there's a quote that I have in the book from somebody who's a lawyer, who says-- you know, one of her law firm-- or her law school professors told her. You know, everybody deserves a lawyer, but that doesn't mean it has to be you.

And for a firm like Debevoise, I think you get into this kind of interesting situation where it has long been the case that there are all kinds of law firms that said at a certain point, you know, we won't take tobacco work. And part of the reason they did it is that they were going to go to the campuses of elite law schools and try and recruit the best people to come in and work as associates. And some of those associates said, I don't want to be associated with a firm that does that kind of work.

So there are areas which could be perfectly good viable business that some of the big law firms say, you know what? We're Just not going to touch it. McKinsey now recently has come out and said, we're done with the opioid business.

You know, after all of the wreckage that's been done and all of the billing that they've done, they said, oh, you know what? We're finished with the opioid business. We're going to wash our hands of that. And I would imagine part of that is because they're mindful of the fact that they're going out to campuses trying to recruit the best new talent. And people may have issues with that kind of legacy.

So I think these should be fraught issues for the big firms. And I hope that the younger people at these big firms pressed this question of, in a world in which-- you know, if you're Debevoise & Plimpton, you can get any business you-- you've got a lot of business going for you. You don't have to take on clients like that, and yet they do.

ANDY SERWER: Yeah, that's an excellent point. And that's why we need people like yourself out there telling these stories to hold these people and these companies and firms accountable. You know, one area that I think might be really rich for you to explore, Patrick-- and I'm sure you've thought of this a million times, and you've touched on it-- is all the hidden money overseas by wealthy Americans. I mean, that seems to be this huge, untapped, very difficult subject. Isn't that just out there?

PATRICK RADDEN KEEFE: Yeah, it's so fascinating. I mean, you know, there's this big story about Swiss banking in "Rogues." And then more recently, I wrote a piece for "The New Yorker" about the Russian oligarchs in London and the kind of sophistication of the whole industry of financial dissimulation, basically. Whether it's, you know, tax avoidance or the way in which things are structured such that nobody can put their hands on the money is really interesting. And it is sort of a theme that keeps coming up in my work because in the case of the Sacklers.

You know, prior to Purdue Pharma declaring bankruptcy, the Sacklers had taken $10 billion out of the company. And there's all kinds of interesting court papers where they basically acknowledged that that money is kind of beyond our reach at this point. We don't know where it is. We don't even know how to find it. And it would be very difficult to develop an accurate picture of how much money there is and where it's hiding.

And in the Swiss bank story that I have, which is actually about a guy who worked at HSBC in Geneva, who stole a huge amount of private client data and started sharing it with governments in Europe and saying, hey, look, here's all the info on the wealthy people in France or Spain or Greece, who've been hiding their money in Switzerland and not paying taxes.

You get these crazy stories in that about the way in which you'd have these Swiss bankers come to places like New York City or Miami. And there was never any mail, never any paper trail. They would meet in person with their clients. They'd sit on park benches. They wouldn't do phone calls. I mean, the level of sneakiness around very wealthy American clients hiding their money abroad is kind of staggering.

ANDY SERWER: And speaking of stealing data, your most recent story in "The New Yorker" is about a CIA leaker who was just found guilty, convicted in a New York court, Joshua Schulte. And it sort of struck me that looking at those collection of "Rogues"-- and I read a lot of those stories before in "The New Yorker"-- that they have these in great italicized post scripts, which are almost as good as the stories themselves.

In other words, you wrote the story a few years ago. And then, of course, it keeps going. Talk to it's about that a little bit.

PATRICK RADDEN KEEFE: Yeah, it's I mean, it is one of the frustrating things for me is that the-- well, listen, I'm very lucky to write for "The New Yorker." And they give me the time and the resources to take a big swing and a story. So, often, these stories will take six, eight, nine months for me to do.

But, of course, if I'm going to spend the better part of a year working on a magazine article and you're going to spend the better part of an hour reading it, I want it to be the definitive, be-all and end-all version of the story. And the trick there is, you know, life keeps happening, right, that you finish a story, and it continues to unfold, often, in really confounding ways.

And so you're quite right. I mean, I wrote this story about Joshua Schulte, this guy who, until today, I would have said allegedly leaked. But let's say leaked because he's now been convicted. The biggest-- it was basically the biggest data theft in CIA history. And he did it not out of some principled objection to CIA policy or what the US was doing abroad, but because he was angry with his colleagues.

It's basically kind of a workplace comedy, where he had fought with his colleagues, and he was so angry. He had a nickname in the office. They called him the "nuclear option" because he tended to overreact. And this was, like, the ultimate overreaction.

He was retried for that and just convicted yesterday. And there are a series of these post scripts in the book where the story ended where it ended and then, often, took these kind of interesting twists and turns. I mean, most dramatically, I spent a year hanging out with Anthony Bourdain and published this big piece about him. And a year after it came out, he killed himself.

ANDY SERWER: Yeah. "Say Nothing," which we haven't even talked about, an amazing book about Northern Ireland, the Troubles, some of this great narrative, you're working on turning that into a TV series. Is that right?

PATRICK RADDEN KEEFE: Yeah, with FX, a 10-part dramatic series. And it's in the works. But I'm working with great people. And I'm involved as a producer on it, and I have very high hopes.

ANDY SERWER: You told me a little while ago that when you were working on this book about the smuggling Chinese citizens in the United States, you took a look back at that book and wished you had made it a little bit shorter. Do you-- as you evolved as a writer, is that an issue that you go back and you go, oh, I wish I've done this with the story?

PATRICK RADDEN KEEFE: A little bit, yeah. I mean, I think the-- I generally look back at that book and feel pretty good about it. I think I would have shortened it here and there. I definitely would have shortened the chapters in it.

As I get older, you know, I think a lot about the attention span of the reader. And I think that I don't ever take the reader's attention for granted. And so for me, the idea is from the first sentence, I want to just grab you by the lapels and pull you into the story, and I don't want any friction. You know, I don't want the moment where you're kind of drumming your fingers on the table and flipping ahead to get to the good part.

And so that is something that I obsess about in writing these stories. And there probably are ways in which, if I could go back and revisit work I did 10 or 15 years ago, I might tweak it here and there to that end.

ANDY SERWER: Finally, Patrick, what do you look to do going forward? Are you just going to continue what you're doing? Do you have a master plan for the next three decades? How are you looking out ahead in terms of your work?

PATRICK RADDEN KEEFE: I don't have much of a master plan. I mean, you know, my real governing emotion is a fear of boredom. And I've tried to design a life in which I'm always engaged and interested in and love what I'm doing every hour, every day. And so to the degree that I can continue to do the work that I love and do it in a way that's serious and rigorous and that finds an audience, that's what I want to keep doing.

So I will-- I'm going to continue writing for "The New Yorker." I'm back at the magazine now, having done a book leave. And we'll keep doing books. And I did a podcast in there somewhere called "Wind of Change" and had a blast doing that. And that was-- it was a big podcast all around the world and found a really big audience.

And that was satisfying because it's a different kind of person, and they're relating to it in a different sort of way than with the books and the magazine articles. So I'd want to do another podcast. So more of the same, I think, is the short answer.

ANDY SERWER: And I bet we'll be better for it. Patrick Radden Keefe, New Yorker, writer, and author of the new book "Rogues-- True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels, and Crooks," thank you so much for your time.

PATRICK RADDEN KEEFE: It was great to be with you. Thank you.

ANDY SERWER: This is "Influencers." I'm Andy Serwer. We'll see you next time.