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Review: No One Would Listen

January 02, 2011 | Comments: 0 | Views: 201

Author: Harry Markopolos

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Inc.

ISBN: 978-0-470-55373-2

After reading Harry Markopolos's No One Would Listen, I had to shake my head in disbelief and mutter the old adage. "there's none so blind as those who will not see." Markopolos is a Chartered Financial Analyst and Certified Fraud Examiner and No One Would Listen is the complete story of how the SEC would not listen to him and his team. As result and unfortunately, they failed to stop the greatest financial crime in history, the Bernard Madoff catastrophe.

Over a nine year period Markopolos and three colleagues tried to get the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) to investigate Madoff, the mastermind behind this unbelievable Ponzi scheme. Unfortunately, due to incompetency, stupidity, and laziness, and even after Markopolos presented five separate submissions to the SEC with dozens of pages of incriminating evidence showing Madoff to be a fraud, nothing was done. You are probably asking how is this possible where a government agency is set up to protect investors and it turns out to be a complete sham and joke, costing thousands of investors their life savings to the tune of approximately five-five billion dollars? Moreover, what about the feeder funds that fed Madoff`s Ponzi scheme? Why didn't they conduct due diligence? Did they know it was a fraud and swept it under the rug in exchange for the huge commissions they were earning from Madoff as well as from their clients?

Markopolos first encountered Bernie Madoff when he and his team tried to emulate Madoff's phenomenal rate of return- a product that was producing one percent per month. After taking apart and analyzing Madoff's strategy, they concluded that it was impossible and that in reality it had to be a fraud. As he states: "We weren't looking for a crime; we simply wanted to see how he made his numbers dance." When Markopolos investigated further with interviews he conducted with various fund managers and others, his initial assessment and feeling was confirmed.

A startling and unbelievable discovery was when investment manager, Thierry de la Villehuchet, (who had later committed suicide), told Markopolos that Madoff could never be a fraud and to prove his point he alluded that he used a handwriting analyst as part of his company's due diligence procedures. We are not quite sure if in fact he did analyze Madoff's signature. However, the underlying theme was the common consensus among all of these mavens that after all Madoff was among the most powerful and respected men on Wall Street. He was the founder and operator of an extremely successful broker-dealer firm. How could it be possible that he was perpetuating such a blatant scam involving billions of dollars he took in from investors living all over the world? What is really amazing is that everyone wanted to do business with Madoff but nobody would own up that they were doing business with him. As Markopolos states: "It was as if he had walked through Times Square naked in the middle of a summer afternoon and no one admitted seeing him." Even more disturbing was that Markopolos and his team were not the only ones who discovered the fraud but they and perhaps one or two others were the only ones who reported it to the SEC. Even after articles about Madoff appeared in some reputable financial publications, nothing was done.

The subtitle of No One Would Listen is appropriately called A True Financial Thriller, and as you can see from the above, it certainly is, only it is a very sad story when you consider the billions of dollars that were not only lost by individuals that trusted their financial advisers to perform due diligence and the SEC to protect them, but also the dozens of charitable organizations, where millions of dollars vanished. However, one positive outcome of the Madoff debacle was that Markopolos was influential in having legislators listen to his advice concerning a complete overhauling of the SEC and we only hope that they will adopt many of his ideas that he lists at the end of the book.

No One Would Listen should be required reading for anyone who is directly or indirectly connected to the financial industry and this includes individual investors that invest in all kinds of financial products without really understanding what they are all about. This is not to say that every financial adviser is corrupt or doesn't care about his or her clients, however, to keep them on their toes, there is no harm in thoroughly questioning them when they try to sell you a particular financial product. And if you don't understand the product, don't invest in it.

To read Norm's Interview with Harry Markopolos click the following link:

Norm Goldman is the Publisher & Editor of and a top 500 Amazon reviewer. Bookpleasures has been in existence since 2002 and has posted over 5000 reviews and over 650 author interviews. In addition to the complimentary reviews offered by bookpleasures' reviewers, Norm also offers his own personalized Priority, Fast Track Quick Review that you can find out more about by clicking on:

Source: EzineArticles
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