No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller
  • No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller
  • No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller

No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller

3.4 79
by Harry Markopolos
     
 

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Bernie Madoff was a king of the financial world. He'd helped create NASDAQ and founded one of the most successful broker-dealers in the industry. He was also a beloved philanthropist. But very few people knew about his side business: he was quietly running the largest hedge fund in the world, a fund that eventually spread to over forty nations and handled tens

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Overview

Bernie Madoff was a king of the financial world. He'd helped create NASDAQ and founded one of the most successful broker-dealers in the industry. He was also a beloved philanthropist. But very few people knew about his side business: he was quietly running the largest hedge fund in the world, a fund that eventually spread to over forty nations and handled tens of billions of dollars.

Harry Markopolos was a quant, a little-known number cruncher sitting at a desk at a Boston equity derivatives firm analyzing investment products. When a marketer for that firm, Frank Casey, handed Harry a prospectus outlining Madoff's strategy and asked him to create a similar product, he sat down and looked at the numbers. Literally within minutes Harry knew it was impossible to do. The numbers didn't add up.

For the next ten years, Harry Markopolos and the investigative team he recruited tried desperately to warn the government, the industry, and the financial press that the largest and most successful hedge fund in the industry was a total fraud and that the respected and admired Bernie Madoff was a crook. But No One Would Listen.

This is the thrilling, complete story of the pursuit of the greatest financial criminal in history—a chase that put Markopolos's life in jeopardy, led to international notoriety from his appearance on 60 Minutes, and once again opened the door to questions regarding the true effectiveness of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Markopolos's incredible investigation takes readers inside the financial industry, revealing the never-before-told stories behind the headlines. As he shows, Madoff was a creation of the anything-for-profit culture that has devastated our economy and that perhaps led thousands of industry professionals, who knew about the fraud, to adhere to the industry's code of silence.

No One Would Listen is the frighteningly true story of massive fraud, governmental incompetence, and criminal collusion that has changed thousands of lives forever—as well as the world's financial system.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Library Journal
Starred Review.

Markopolos, the whistleblower who filed five unheeded complaints against Ponzi king Bernie Madoff over nine years, has produced an astonishing true-life whodunit set amidst the personalities, plots, and international intrigue of Wall Street. Having collected damning information on money manager Madoff-the respected co-founder of NASDAQ who ran the largest financial scam in history-since 1999, Markopolos's work as a chartered financial analyst and certified fraud examiner, aided by an industry journalist and two colleagues from his days as a derivatives portfolio manager, lays bare the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a tragically inept regulating agency that "didn't give a rat's ass about protecting investors," and seemed to consider Madoff "just another guy cutting some corners." Realizing he had not one but two powerful opponents-"Madoff and this nonfunctioning agency"-Markopolos refused to give up, despite fearing for his life and his family; accordingly, he transmits his team's determination and fascination in contagious detail. The hows and whys of Madoff's eventual arrest, Markopolos's subsequent appearances before Congress, and the carnival of press coverage makes a satisfying conclusion to this strange epic; Markopolos also includes complete documentation of his formal submissions to the SEC, plus his recommendations for much-needed reform at the agency.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From the Publisher
[STARRED REVIEW] Markopolos, the whistleblower who filed five unheeded complaints against Ponzi king Bernie Madoff over nine years, has produced an astonishing true-life whodunit set amidst the personalities, plots, and international intrigue of Wall Street. Having collected damning information on money manager Madoff-the respected co-founder of NASDAQ who ran the largest financial scam in history-since 1999, Markopolos's work as a chartered financial analyst and certified fraud examiner, aided by an industry journalist and two colleagues from his days as a derivatives portfolio manager, lays bare the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a tragically inept regulating agency that "didn't give a rat's ass about protecting investors," and seemed to consider Madoff "just another guy cutting some corners." Realizing he had not one but two powerful opponents-"Madoff and this nonfunctioning agency"-Markopolos refused to give up, despite fearing for his life and his family; accordingly, he transmits his team's determination and fascination in contagious detail. The hows and whys of Madoff's eventual arrest, Markopolos's subsequent appearances before Congress, and the carnival of press coverage makes a satisfying conclusion to this strange epic; Markopolos also includes complete documentation of his formal submissions to the SEC, plus his recommendations for much-needed reform at the agency. (Mar.) (PublishersWeekly.com, March 29, 2010)

"…a salutary tale and the detailed regulatory lessons offered in the epilogue deserve attention." (Financial Times, March 2010)

Library Journal
Financial analyst Markopolos chanced upon one of the biggest financial frauds in history in late 1999 when his firm asked him to duplicate the returns of a wildly successful hedge fund run by esteemed Wall Street financier Bernard Madoff. After trying to reverse engineer Madoff's investment strategy, Markopolos concluded that the fund must be a fraud. Markopolos's book is about his decade-long obsession with Madoff's fraud and his frustrations as he tried to get the authorities to intervene in what turned out to be a $50 billion Ponzi scheme. He reserves his harshest criticism for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which he says appeared to be nonfunctional. He recounts his celebrity after Madoff's exposure and includes recommendations for strengthening the expertise and capabilities of the SEC. One of his most astute observations is that the venality of those profiting from Madoff as investors or agents was a major factor in blinding them to the likelihood of something being amiss. VERDICT Likely to be in high demand, this angry account will please readers specifically interested in Markopolos' s role as a Madoff whistleblower. However, it falls short of being a full explanation of the Madoff fraud. A good book on a similar theme is Cliff Stoll's popular 1990 title, The Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage.—Lawrence Maxted, Gannon Univ. Lib., Erie, PA

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780470553732
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
03/02/2010
Pages:
354
Sales rank:
173,346
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

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Meet the Author

HARRY MARKOPOLOS, a former securities industry executive turned independent financial fraud investigator, was the whistleblower who provided credible and detailed evidence several times from 2000–2008 that should have prompted an immediate investigation by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission into Bernie Madoff’s $65 billion Ponzi scheme. Markopolos’s investigation was assisted by his investigative team, including Frank Casey, Neil Chelo, and Michael Ocrant.

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No One Would Listen 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 78 reviews.
Fred_T More than 1 year ago
I'm afraid I was terribly disappointed by No One Would Listen. Markopolos clearly has an important story to tell and was at the center of team that uncovered Madoff nearly a decade before anyone else. There is no doubt Markopolos exposed not only Madoff but critical, systemic failures of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). But the writing was thick with Markopolos' arrogance and condescension, and it is clear he remains bitter his arguments were not taken seriously years earlier. That is certainly understandable. But I found his credibility somewhat diminished by vengeance to bring the SEC to its knees--which he did in spades. Someone who prides himself in honesty and the fairness of markets needn't have resorted to the self-serving tactics he resorted to--before his Congressional testimony, gratuitously speaking loudly enough for SEC staffers to hear how he had had "raw meat for breakfast" when asking whether he had any blood on his lips. Perhaps so accustomed to being ignored and poorly treated by the industry, media, and SEC itself, perhaps Markopolos felt the need to punish the idiots directly himself. I found it a turn-off and reminiscent of school-yard score-settling. So too was the overuse of excessively repetitive metaphors, especially near the end: "Couldn't find their behind with two hands," "Couldn't hit the ocean if they were standing in it," etc. The epilogue felt thrown together at the last minute. Worst of all was his persistent misspelling of "principal" as "principle". As a genius quant who no doubt considers himself principled, as a finance man who must periodically refer to interest and principal, it was terribly grating to find him consistently using 'principle' when he meant 'principal' and further tarnished his credibility. He, his proofreaders, his editor, his publisher couldn't at least catch that? Markopolos castigates the SEC (deservedly) for incompetence and failure to investigate Madoff, even when offered multiple opportunities. But I wonder, perhaps, did the people at the SEC find Markopolos arrogant and condescending when reading his submissions, or meeting him in person? Did Markopolos insult others as he did throughout his book? Was his quantitative genius perhaps overshadowed by a frustrated demeanor making him seem less credible? Would Meaghan Cheung of the SEC have even tried to check out Markopolos' arguments or asked superiors for help if she herself weren't made to feel foolish? I didn't really learn a whole lot new from the book, except about SEC incompetence drilled into the reader over and over and over, than from the excellent coverage by the Wall Street Journal.
marian59 More than 1 year ago
I learned a lot from this book. It really did read like a real-life thriller, which was surprising since readers already know the ending. The author is to be commended for the clarity with which he explains the inside world of the "quants" how he came to his conclusions. I found it particularly disturbing that so many experts understood the Madoff operation was a sham but did not come forward. This book should be required reading for anyone who argues that any industry will self-regulate. The lack of oversight by the SEC was villainous.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Markopolis is amazing. When i first watched him in congressional hearings I was cheering the way to made the SEC look like a bunch of morons. This is must read if you are interested in the Madoff ponzi scheme, whistleblowers, and right beats might. I would strongly recommend that you first listen to Harry's testimony on capital hill. Certain essential passages are really brought home when you can impose his voice and mannerisms. The passage on the congressional hearings is classic, as well as when the SEC is forced to listen to him in their offices. Harry Markpolis had the most detailed external inside view of anyone. This book must accompnay any readings on Madoff, and probably should be the first to read. One more thing I would recommnd you do while reading this book is read some of the hundreds of victims statements. Thye are heartbreaking in light of the crime that was unfolding that Markopolis depaerately tried to reveal. Good work Harry!!
UBUIBME More than 1 year ago
Common sense took a distant last, far behind greed, due diligence, herd mentally, etc. for those who invested with Bernie Madoff. Markopolos knew early on that the black box theory when combined with too good to be true returns was simply not reality. If you don't understand what is taking place, and the person performing this mystical and miraculous feat doesn't tell you, then be nervous, doubtful, distrustful, and suspect a fraud of some type. It was not all that long ago that Long Term Capital Management, a super large hedge fund that failed, had lured greedy and so called intelligent investors into their fund using the black box theory. We are smarter than you, we aren't going to tell you how we do it, but invest with us. Markopolos writing style in informative, somewhat humorous and a good read as he details his investigation of Madoff's amazing Ponzi scheme years before Madoff was finally "officially" uncovered. I would have suggested the title to be; "They Listened, But Did Nothing".
TheReadingWriter More than 1 year ago
This is an outstanding piece of work. Bernie Madoff was investigated by Markopolos and his team over a period of ten years, and yet this book reads with all the urgency and thrills of a case unfolding now and in a short window. Markopolos admits he is not politically correct, and he holds back no punches for agencies that obstructed, obscured, and ignored information that could have led to the detention of Madoff years before his scheme became widely known. And Markopolos is funny. The language in the book reads as though he were speaking--it has an immediacy, and an irreverence that most of us wouldn't dare commit to paper but which gives the book a refreshing and unstudied artlessness. It is so not lawyerspeak. This is a book we all need to read. I am here to say it is no burden to put this on your reading list. It is another example of how a good democracy can work. Citizens must take notice of fraud, and speak of it, lest it overtake us. Incompetence in the regulatory agencies we hire to protect us is unacceptable. We might even recognize unfettered greed as the social ill it is. Sometimes I think Americans get confused about this--they might even admire it.
RolfDobelli More than 1 year ago
When Harry Markopolos began his career in the securities industry, he applied his mathematical skills to the design of investment products. In particular, his bosses wanted him to create investment instruments that competed with those offered by financier Bernie Madoff. When Markopolos found that Madoff's results were impossible to match, he suspected that Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme - not investing money, but paying each investor with cash from other investors. His suspicion led to an investigative odyssey. Markopolos and his team uncovered not only the largest financial fraud in history, but also a dangerously dysfunctional U.S. regulatory system. In this book, Markopolos recounts his frustrating, thwarted efforts to warn the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) about the threat Madoff posed to unwary investors. The SEC failed to respond to his detailed written evidence, though Markopolos submitted it five times, starting in 2000, long before Madoff finally confessed in 2008 (he is now serving 150 years in jail). getAbstract recommends this engrossing book to readers who want to learn more about this epic scandal and its implications for financial industry regulation. Read more about this book in the online summary: http://www.getabstract.com/summary/13893/no-one-would-listen.html
goldenwater More than 1 year ago
This book could have been a difficult read, but author Harry Marcopolos' style sweeps the reader along like a mystery novel. The reader may not understand some of the terms used, but it is never difficult to understanding the concepts. How did one man - Bernie Madoff - destroy the financial lives of so many citizens with his illegal Ponzi scheme without being found out? Marcopolos tells us in chilling detail, that it never should have happened as he relates an unbelievable chain of events. Those responsible for policing investments (the Securities and Exchange Commission) WERE alerted repeatedly about the Madoff scheme but would not believe or respond to what they were told. Why? Weakness, negligence indifference, lack of training and knowledge and a degree of arrogance in their ignorance abounded. Whistle blowers were treated badly or ignored instead of accorded respect. The author recommends a complete turnaround of this attitude to encourage and reward those who report wrong doing. This book not only exposes weakenesses and failures in the Securities and Exchange Commission but gives ideas on how to solve these problems and recommendations for the future. Large groups of people lost vast amounts of money that will never be recovered. A crime like this should never be be repeated, and this book gives concrete and ideas to ensure that it never does.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very very poorly written. Repeats phrases literally 5 pages apart. " eventually I would file". Pgs 135,140.. lol by far the lowlight of this book was the whole bounty program within whistleblowing. He makes it beyond clear he desires the bounty, then will turn about face and say he has given up hope for a reward. The read became unbearable around the 120 pg mark.
harleydad More than 1 year ago
This is an extremely thoughtful and precise accounting of the Madoff scandal. Although a bit too analytical at times, Markopolos uncovers this Ponzi scheme at at early stage. Unfortunately, the authorities to whom he presents his findings turn a blind eye. When Markopolos and his team are proven correct many years later, the ineptitude of many of our government agencies are clearly recognized.
Editor101 More than 1 year ago
If a Pulitzer Prize were awarded to whistleblowers, Harry Markopolos would be the 2010 recipient. In "No One Would Listen," Markopolos provides a detailed, insider's look at his 10-year investigation of Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme and blows the whistle on the ineptness of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Markopolos' expose should be required reading for every federal financial regulator, and every Wall Street investor.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fabulous book!
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nancehv More than 1 year ago
I loved this book!! I think everyone should read it, and it would make an excellent book for colleges to have freshman read, or at the very least, business/finance majors as part of the ethics requirements. This book only touched on one incident within the financial world, and as Mr. Markopolos mentioned several times that there are others out there taking advantage of the investors. After the last year, we are all aware how broken the federal government is but this shed a whole new light on exactly how broken things really are in Washington, DC. I found myself getting more and more angry when reading how the SEC responded to the issues raised by Mr. Markopolos and his team so I can only imagine how they felt when nothing was ever done to stop Madoff. Read this book!!
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