Bethany McLean (born December 12, 1970) is an American journalist and contributing editor for Vanity Fair magazine. She is known for her writing on the Enron scandal and the 2008 financial crisis. Previous assignments include editor-at-large, columnist for Fortune and a contributor to Slate..
McLean started her career as an investment banking analyst for Goldman Sachs and joined Vanity Fair as a contributing editor in 2008. She began as a contributor to “Slate’s” Moneybox column, in 2010 and “The Bulldog” column in “Fortune”.
She authored an article on Enron for the March 5, 2001, issue of Fortune entitled, “Is Enron Overpriced?” The article noted some irregularities in Enron’s financial documents that were available to the public, suggesting the company’s then-record high stock price was unjustified but she did not at that point suspect fraud at Enron. After Enron’s rapid collapse later in 2001, McLean co-authored the book The Smartest Guys in the Room (2003) which detailed the corrupt business practices of Enron officials. The book was later made into the Academy Award-nominated documentary Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.