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

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  1,201 ratings  ·  231 reviews
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...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published January 29th 2010 by John Wiley & Sons (first published 2009)
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Interesting but terribly written

I was curious to learn more about this story, and this book did the trick, but the whole time I was frustrated by the poor writing. So many "really"s, "very"s, and things like, "They are so lame, they couldn't ______ a ______ in ______" (catch/cold/winter, find/steer/a stampede, find/steak/an Outback, find/batter/a batter's box, etc.). Markopolos repeats stories and tells over and over his reasoning for various choices he made. It feels like he is filling in space...more
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...more
This is a terrible book. I have respect for the fact that Harry Markopolos and his team figured out that Madoff was running a ponzi scheme in 1998. That's impressive. I think the process by which they came to this conclusion is very interesting. The book, however, is poorly written. Markolpolos's hyperbole makes many chapters hard going and his many digressions (about offering to buy his wife a boob job for an engagement gift or about a friend's sailing accident) bog down the story and feel like...more
Esther Bradley-detally
No One Would Listen, a True Financial thriller by Harry Markopolos is a gripper. Forget that I, a daughter of a municipal bond person, can't read the stock page, and this book is filled with discussions of derivatives, Ponzi Scheme (think Madoff), Harry Markopolos grips the reader to his account of discovering Bernie Madoff and his scheme which was ignored by the SEC and eventually grew to the size of $65 billion Ponzi scheme.

Markopolos is a wonderful writer, chatty, very intelligent, a math gee...more
Everyone knows what a ?*&% / Bernie Madoff was, but how many people know that most of the damage he did could have been prevented by a simple phone call from the SEC to verify his trades several years before, and some 55 billion dollars before, his collapse? The incompetence of the SEC is legend. They simply refused to even consider so much as asking a question about the legality of what Madoff was doing. The question that comes to my mind is what WERE they doing with their time, if it wasn'...more
I'm not remotely interested in financial intrigue, but I saw this guy on Jon Stewart and he was just so mad that I had to pick up the audio book. It was a delightful listening experience - the financial details were made so easy to understand. The book also uses the real audio clips from the Congressional hearings into the SEC and Madoff, which makes for an exciting listen.
I already knew much of the Madoff story, having read articles and a book on it, and watched Harry Markopolos's congressional testimony. But No One Would Listen was still a gripping read, as Markopolos and his "team" of fellow derivatives experts tried to figure out over the span of a decade how Madoff's secret hedge fund was getting the returns it was getting with almost zero volatility, and tried repeatedly and unsuccessfully to get the Securities and Exchange Commission to pay attention. Marko...more
Harry Markopolous was a "quant" mathematician with a hedge fund in Boston in the late 1990s. His supervisor came to him with the results from a secret, unregistered management fund ran by the former chairman of NASDAQ, and asked him to devise a product that could compete with that fund's returns. Markopolous did the math and realized that Bernard L. Madoff was a fraud. He gathered up as much information as he could, then reported the matter to the SEC--in 1999. Markopolous and three other men sp...more
Jenny Zarate
While reading about the Bernie Madoff scandal was fascinating, you can put the book down after he's arrested. Really. You want to, unless you just want to hear the author toot his own horn for the remainder of the book.

The author's language is very boring and dubious to read, in my opinion, because he sounds like a high school geek who has been vindicated, which, most likely is what he is. Although he was right, and no one would listen as the book title claims, it's no wonder; he is abrasive, an...more
Jan 08, 2012 Joan rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: financial students should have to read this!
Markopolos took on City Hall quadrupled, because everyone was essentially on the other side because no one could believe such an incredibly gigantic scheme could have been kept secret for so long. Journalists didn't take on the story for that reason, as well as lack of understanding of the subjects involved. The SEC was pretty much in bed with the people they were "regulating" and also considered Markopolos merely an minor competitor who was out to get rid of Madoff that way. There was also no o...more
Lis Carey
In December 2008, Bernie Madoff, one of the most respected figures on Wall Street, co-founder and former president of NASDAQ, confessed to running the largest Ponzi scheme in history. On the heels of that revelation, we learned that this fraud had been going on for decades, and then that it was international in reach.

We also learned that there had been a whistleblower, who had warned the SEC a decade earlier, and when he was ignored had continued to investigate, and made additional filings, with...more
How on earth does it happen that a Ponzi scheme of the size and scope of the Madoff creation goes undetected for so long in spite of the regulatory agencies in place to keep such a thing from happening much less sustain itself for such a long period of time? That's what Harry Markopolos explains in this book. I cannot say that I understood all of the explanations outlined here, but I don't think that's the fault of Markopolos. He tries to explain some pretty sophisticated and complex principles...more
Frankly, I found this book exceedingly self-congratulatory and didactic. If the praising comments are to be believed, Harry Markopolos is a hero among men and a god among mere mortals. He and his two comrades figured out that Bernie Madoff and his hedge fund were frauds long before anyone else, but alas, their numerous cries were unheard by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for years. It was only when Madoff's Ponzi scheme collapsed under its own weight that Markopolos, et al. were pr...more
This should have been a good book, but the author is so repetative and egotistic that the 300+ pages should have been reduced to about 50.

The author fails to discuss quite a few interesting aspects of the case and leaves a person wondering about so many things.

After reading the book I went to Wikipedia and found much more interesting information with 5% of the words.

The quo...more
Colleen Clark
Another look into the financial crisis.

In 1999, about 12 years after he started his career as a broker in Boston, Harry Markopolos, a self-described quant, learned about a money manager in New York who steadily produced a net return of about 1-2% per month. Markopolos and a colleague immediately got suspicious about how anyone could turn out steady returns month after month. Madoff had a sterling reputation so everybody just assumed he was just very smart.

The firm that Markopolos and friend were...more
Marcopolos still hadn't cooled down while writing this...and it suffers

It's totally understandable. He'd been investigating Madoff for about 10 years, frustrated and angered by the SEC's brushoffs, so it makes sense that he's still furious about the whole affair. Trouble is that it completely colors his writing, even the organization of the book. You can tell how angry he is by the tone of contempt he holds throughout. He could have polished this book much better, and used some sort of organizat...more
Dan Petegorsky
Harry Markopolos is a bit like a real life Lisbeth Salander, without the sexual abuse (at least that we know of): a macho quant on a mission, and with a passion for vengeance. This is a very well told story less of Markopolos' pursuit of Bernie Madoff, whose fraud apparently jumped off the page at him the first time he looked at the numbers and strategy behind Madoff's purported earnings, as of the decade he spent trying in vain to get the SEC to investigate and shut down the Ponzi scheme.

The b...more
If you aren't spitting mad about corruption on Wall Street and the incompetence of the government agencies tasked with regulating them you will be after you read this book. The author was working as a "quant" for an investment firm in 2000 when he was asked to look at the Bernie Madoff fund to try to create a new fund to mimic Bernie's returns. After 5 minutes he knew it was a fraud. Over the next 9 years he submitted his increasingly detailed findings to the SEC 5 separate times and was ignored...more
Harry Markopolos became aware of the Bernie Madoff fraud in 1999. He subitted a very thorough analysis and explanation to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (my former employer) on five different occasions. The SEC really blew it regarding Bernie Madoff, and Markopolos doesn't pull any punches in denouncing the SEC's incompetence. Markopolos estimates the size of the Madoff fraud was about $5 billion (yes, BILLION) when his team first started investigating in 1999. By the time Madoff blew...more
Joyce Lewis
This was a fascinating account of the Madoff financial Ponzi scheme allowed to continue for 20+ years. The utter failure of the SEC to investigate after repeated detailed whistle-blower information is inexcusable. It contains makes one recognize the precarious position that the American public exposes themselves to when they depend on the oversight of government.

What worries me most is the current Health Care Reform which is placing the government again in the position of overseeing one of this...more
I would have given 4 stars to this book that chronicles how a "quant" financial analyst tries to convince the SEC with data and research that Bernie Madoff is a Ponzi scheme for over 10 years before Madoff eventually turns himself in. However the last quarter of the book is a non-stop lecture about the incompetence of the SEC which we got in the FIRST 3/4's of the book. I listened to this on audiobook, and usually I listen to Scott Brick read anything...but I finally decided to just leave the la...more
Bought 5 books. Ok I did get them for $1.91 each.Somebody got rid of about 10 spanking brand new copies. Wonder why. This young brilliant investor/investigator saw the Ponzi scheme that Madoff was perpetrating. He told Congress, the SEC, etc. Nobody paid him any attention. Well of course not.. He was in Europe with the real big financiers..those whose families go back 300 years..65 billion dollars in investments. This book outlines the kinds of sophisticated market analysis that those who have t...more
Our human greed burdens the policemen overseeing financial markets with a unique regulatory responsibility. Other regulators, those overseeing meat packing or nuclear power for example, are not forced to guard against greed. The butcher and physicist are not corrupted by their craft to exploit their customers.
In finance, a trade ruled by “greed is good” and “caveat emptor,” predators will steal from the public. The financial cops at the Securities and Exchange Commission must out smart, hunt dow...more
I don't really understand why some reviewers are rating this book as "terrible" or the like. I think it was a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the world of finance in general and of the Madoff case in particular. I believe it was pretty well written for a guy who is a self-proclaimed numbers geek and certainly not a writer by trade. I think it was about as good a job as he could of done in explaining some very complex issues in a manner which allowed we laypeople to understand the key issue...more
Vannessagrace Vannessagrace
No One Would Listen is a true accounting of how Bernie Madoff pulled off his ponzi-scheme and how he pulled the wool over the heads of those who entrusted their money to him.

Harry Markopolos is the man who discovered Madoff’s scheme and took it to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) who has little investigative authority and who doesn’t regulate over the counter markets.

No One Would Listen was a great must read.
Jeff Hunt
“Why are male SEC employees smarter than their female counterparts? Because the males can count to 21…..but only if you pull their pants down.”

“No One Would Listen” is Harry Markopolos’s account of his attempts to expose Madoff’s operation as a ponzi scheme. His main arguments (the “red flags” in his lingo) concerned the lack of volatility reported by Madoff’s strategies, the secrecy surrounding the operation, Maddoff’s fee structure to his feeder funds, and the shear impossibility of running a...more
Mar 16, 2010 Alice rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in protecting their financial assets.
Recommended to Alice by: Read a review, and I had seen newsclips of Markopolos testifying
This book details why NO ONE should be investing in the stock market unless they fully understand it AND then only if they are wary of becoming penniless victims of the Wall Street vultures who dominate the business. Markopolos is the "quant," or numbers guy, who spent years trying to expose Bernie Madoff's Ponzi Scheme, but none of the federal regulatory agencies would listen.
This is an amazing book. Although we may never know why or how Madoff ruined so many lives and was able to continue his scheme for such a long time, Mr. Markopolis provides a wonderful book detailing the events. I listened to the audible edition and it is one book I had a hard time turning off.

Wow. Insightful, thought provoking and seriously scary stuff. So many times I was in disbelief at how easily Bernie Madoff played the system with charisma and how the person with less charm often seems like the one less truthful.
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Meeting Venue Information 1 6 Jan 23, 2012 11:00PM  
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No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller (Hardcover)

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“Certainly one of the most important things I learned is that numbers can be deceiving. There is a logic to mathematics, but there is also the underlying human element that must be considered. Numbers can't lie, but the people who create those numbers can and do. As so many people have learned, forgetting to include human nature in an equation can be devastating.” 2 likes
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