No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller

No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller

Audio CD(Unabridged)

$14.99 View All Available Formats & Editions


Harry Markopolos and his team of financial sleuths discuss first-hand how they cracked the Madoff Ponzi scheme

No One Would Listen is the thrilling story of how the Harry Markopolos, a little-known number cruncher from a Boston equity derivatives firm, and his investigative team uncovered Bernie Madoff's scam years before it made headlines, and how they desperately tried to warn the government, the industry, and the financial press.

Page by page, Markopolos details his pursuit of the greatest financial criminal in history, and reveals the massive fraud, governmental incompetence, and criminal collusion that has changed thousands of lives forever-as well as the world's financial system.

  • The only book to tell the story of Madoff's scam and the SEC's failings by those who saw both first hand
  • Describes how Madoff was enabled by investors and fiduciaries alike
  • Discusses how the SEC missed the red flags raised by Markopolos

Despite repeated written and verbal warnings to the SEC by Harry Markopolos, Bernie Madoff was allowed to continue his operations. No One Would Listen paints a vivid portrait of Markopolos and his determined team of financial sleuths, and what impact Madoff's scam will have on financial markets and regulation for decades to come.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781455819119
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Publication date: 02/08/2011
Edition description: Unabridged
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.00(h) x 1.20(d)

About 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. The retelling of their true story was assisted by David Fisher.

Read an Excerpt

Click to read or download

Table of Contents


Who’s Who.


Chapter 1. A Red Wagon in a Field of Snow.

Chapter 2. The Slot Machine That Kept Coming Up Cherries.

Chapter 3. Falling Down the Rabbit Hole.

Chapter 4. Finding More Peters (to Pay Paul).

Chapter 5. The Goddess of Justice Wears a Blindfold.

Chapter 6. Didn’t Anyone Want a Pulitzer?

Chapter 7. More Red Flags Than the Soviet Union.

Chapter 8. Closing the Biggest Barn Door in Wall Street History.

Chapter 9. Soaring Like an Eagle Surrounded by Turkeys.

Epilogue. Mr. Pinkslip Goes to Washington.

Appendix A. Madoff Tops Charts; Skeptics As How.

Appendix B. The World’s Largest Hedge Fund Is a Fraud.

Appendix C. Online Resource Guide for the Classroom and Beyond.

A Note on Sources.

About the Author.



Customer Reviews

No One Would Listen 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 85 reviews.
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:
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.
Urquhart on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An engrossing read by the guy who discovered Madoff back in 1999 and for whom he became a ten year obsession.
jcvogan1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Guy is nuts, but his diagnosis is not that far off base.
ElectricRay on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Cassandra was a beautiful Trojan princess who Apollo blessed with powers of clairvoyance but, when she rebuffed him, he cursed her by ensuring no-one would believe anything she said. Thus, her admonitions about the fall of Troy (it may have been she who warned "beware of Greeks bearing gifts") fell on deaf ears and, as Wikipedia beautifully puts it, her "combination of deep understanding and powerlessness exemplify the tragic condition of humankind". I dare say Harry Markopolos, the Boston quant who repeatedly alerted authorities to Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme for almost a decade before it finally fire-balled, knows how Cassandra felt. This is his recounting of his whole grisly story. At that level, this is a fascinating account of a genuinely Greek tragedy - irony intended - which contains exactly the elements of Cassandra's tale (except, perhaps, the unbearable beauty: the author's publicity photos capture an ungainly, if not altogether unlikely, figure doing his best to look resolute and loyal in front of the Stars and Stripes). Harry Markopolos was possessed not just of vague discomforts that, after the event, a know-it-all windbag might use to claim fore-knowledge: quite to the contrary, he identified, in gruesome and glaring detail, that Bernie Madoff was necessarily running a Ponzi scheme, precisely why, precisely how, helpfully suggested some precise and simple measures by which an investigating authority could cheaply verify his allegations (as simple as "ask to see his transaction confirmations"), and he sent this, in writing, to the Securities and Exchange Commission about five times over the course of a decade. That is remarkable enough a story, and Mr. Markopolos deserves your money to tell his story for that service alone. While we might shake our heads in wonder at how this could happen, we also might harbour some suspicions: Markopolos was from an unfashionable firm based in unfashionable Boston under the jurisdiction of the unfashionable Boston branch of the SEC; he seems an unfashionable chap prone to unfashionable conspiracy theory: none of this can have helped his credibility. But neither that nor the fact that the SEC is understaffed, underskilled and over-populated with financially illiterate lawyers (all certainly true) comes close to explaining why Markopolos' warnings were systematically ignored. If you read Markopolos' submission to the SEC from 2005, which is appended to the text, you will recognise that one didn't need to be an expert on split-strike conversion strategies to understand something must have been dreadfully wrong with Madoff's operation. Yet while these shortcomings are not good answers, they are the best Markopolos can offer (and, in from position, can be expected to offer). For all the studied outrage he marshals (if ever there were a dictionary definition of "studied outrage" this is it) throughout this entertaining and readable book, Markopolos seems satisfied this is just a case of good, old-fashioned, thorough incompetence. The system itself is conceptually ok; it's just some significant parts of it (such as the SEC) happened not to be fit for purpose. Hire a few more financially literate analysts, and fire a few lawyers, and all will be well. That doesn't sound like a plausible answer to me. Anomalies, in the sense depicted in scientific literature, are fleeting imbalances; momentary disruptions in the established order of things which are gone so quickly so as to not be reliably measurable, and thus incapable of falsifying existing orthodoxy. Anomalies are the sort of things that are characterised by platitudes such as "stuff happens" or "the exception that proves the rule". A fifteen-year, 50 billion dollar fraud involving one of the most respected men in the industry, publicly trailed by magazine articles and a privately prosecuted by the concerted, detailed, and relentless efforts of a small group of professionals is no such anomaly. It simply isn't credible to put this dow
CyclingLeft on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Good first person account by the quant who identified Bernie Madoff's ponzi scheme in 1999 and his attempts to get the SEC to act. He exposes the SEC as an ineffective watchdog agency that had it acted in shutting Madoff down in 1999 could have prevented at least the $43 billion that was invested between 1999 and 2008 when Madoff turned himself in.
iBeth on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Markopolos suggests that the SEC ignored his warnings in part because they didn't like him. After reading his book, I agree with that assessment. Markopolos does sound like a dick. But he also gave some easy ways to check whether his accusations were right. For example, the SEC (or investors, or anyone familiar with the markets) could have compared the fund statements Madoff produced to actual trading records to see if trades actually happened. The SEC debated doing just that, but decided it would take too long, so they relied instead on Madoff's words and his track record. A shocking lapse, with tragic results. Anyway, although Markopolos isn't all that likable, his book sure is entertaining.
Miro on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An interesting book in which a group of financial derivatives specialists centred around Harry Markopolos stumbled in the fact that the Madoff company must be falsifying performance data on their investment fund.Markopolos raised a series of red flags in a detailed 2005 submission to the S.E.C. (Securities and Exchange Commission) strongly suggesting that Madoff Securities was a Ponzi scheme, and continued to visit and make submissions to them until all it would have required on their part would have been a few telephone calls and half an hour on a Bloomberg terminal. However, they resolutely refused to investigate while investors lost a further $40 billion because the SEC staff of lawyers and recent graduates lacked the experience or training to investigate financial crime.A few institutional investors did complete due diligence on Madoff and decided not to place money with him. Caveat Emptor.
dudara on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Bernie Madoff has gone down in the history as the man behind the world's largest known Ponzi scheme. When his scheme collapsed following the market crisis of 2008, hundreds of investors lost their savings with the total loss estimated at being in excess of $50 billion. The truly shocking part of this story is that this terrible loss could have been mitigated - if the Securities Exchange Commission had heeded the warnings of Harry Markopolos. In the years preceding the collapse, Markopolos had filed no fewer than 5 complaints against Madoff, all of which had been lost or ignored by the SEC watchdog. It is tragic to read of Markopolos' repeated efforts to bring this to the attention of the authorities and the mind boggles at how all these red flags could have been ignored.Markopolos does tell an intriguing and well-written story. However, I must admit that it is rare to read a book where I've actively disliked the author. Markopolos has a strong character (stubbornness is especially obvious) and I can see how individuals in authority might have taken a dislike to this man. But when fraud on such a massive scale is being alleged, personal likes and dislikes should not come into the picture.Markopolos' revelations led to him testifying in front of government and has triggered a review of staffing and procedures at the SEC. His work has led to significant change and it cannot be underestimated. Read this story and marvel at a tale of ineptitude and dedication.
dougcornelius on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
You can¿t really criticize Harry Markopolos. He was right. He had spotted something wrong with Bernie Madoff years before the biggest Ponzi scheme collapsed. Unlike many others, Markopolos contacted the Securities and Exchange Commission about his suspicions. They ignored him. Markopolos went to the press, but no meaningful article came of it.When Madoff¿s scheme collapsed and he turned himself in, Markopolos became lauded by the press, testified in Congress about the failings of the SEC, and was even offered the job of Chairman of the SEC by an ill-informed Congressman. No One Would Listen is another step in the Markopolos victory lap.He celebrates his brilliance in discovering the fraud and the incompetence of the SEC for not stopping it. He fills his attacks with similes:¿His returns were as reliable as the swallow returning to Capistrano.¿¿As I continued examining the numbers, the problems with them began popping out as clearly as a red wagon in a field of snow.¿Markopolos lays out how he first ran into Madoff and the years he spent trying to figure out how Madoff was generating his returns. Eventually, he came to the conclusion that he couldn¿t do it. Since Madoff ran a big trading organization, he could have been front-running orders to generate illicit profits. Effectively, he would be stealing from his brokerage customers and giving it to his money management operations.The other likely possibility was that Madoff was making up his returns and using new funds coming in to redeem those leaving. Markopolos could not find any footprints of Madoff¿s split-strike trading strategy. There didn¿t seem to be enough options traded on the markets to support the amount Madoff had under management.I think it¿s important to see why Markopolos was focused on Madoff. The principals at his firm wanted him to reverse engineer Madoff strategy so they could offer a similar product to their clients. Markopolos could not figure out how Madoff was generating his steady returns. He first contacted the SEC as a way to get his boss off his back. If he could prove Madoff was a fraud, his boss would quit demanding that Markopolos duplicate the Madoff strategy.Markopolos starts off No One Would Listen by stating that he made five separate submissions to the Securities and Exchange Commission over a nine-year period. So far, I¿ve only seen one, his December 22, 2005 letter. Frankly, I found the letter to be a rambling, half-coherent diatribe. It was penned by a competitor who couldn¿t figure out the trading strategy of the legendary Bernie Madoff, the founder of NASDAQ.As Chris MacDonald notes ¿Markopolos is a bit of a strange cat. He¿s a likeable guy, and apparently a man of integrity, but also a bit paranoid-sounding.¿ (He had seen the new movie, Chasing Madoff, based on the book.)Clearly the SEC was unable to stop Madoff. Was it their fault? Yes. They relied on the well-established credentials of Madoff and dismissed the paranoid ramblings of an eccentric analyst. Markopolos¿s barbs against the SEC are over-the-top and eventually got distracting. On top of that, I was often distracted by his misuse of ¿principle¿ instead of ¿principal¿ in the book. You would think that a financial analyst would know the difference.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fabulous book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago