No One Would Lis­ten: A True Finan­cial Thriller

Har­ry Markopolos
  • Review
By – September 7, 2011

Ten years before news of Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme rocked the finan­cial world, Har­ry Markopo­los began peel­ing away the lay­ers of the biggest finan­cial crime in his­to­ry and reveal­ing the scheme behind it. He took his sus­pi­cions of fraud to the Secu­ri­ties and Exchange Com­mis­sion, but no one there would lis­ten to him. It was only when the $65 bil­lion scheme dam­aged investors around the globe and near­ly brought the finan­cial world to its knees that the S.E.C. paid atten­tion. This book tells that sto­ry — the whole sto­ry— of the papers, the reports, the tes­ti­mo­ny, and the evi­dence the world ignored. 

Writ­ten in the style of a legal thriller, the book has all the fast pac­ing and intense action of a nov­el, yet its sto­ry is fright­en­ing­ly true. Markopo­los is a for­mer secu­ri­ties indus­try exec­u­tive who became an inde­pen­dent finan­cial fraud inves­ti­ga­tor. His cred­i­ble and detailed evi­dence should have prompt­ed an inves­ti­ga­tion by the SEC, but, he main­tains, too many peo­ple who invest­ed with Mad­off were mak­ing mon­ey from Madoff’s scheme to pay atten­tion to his attempts to blow the whistle. 

Markopo­los’ inves­ti­ga­tion began short­ly after his own boss at the equi­ty deriv­a­tives firm where he worked asked him to cre­ate a prod­uct like the one with which Mad­off was so suc­cess­ful. He ran the num­bers, but deter­mined that the prof­its were impos­si­bly high. The book takes the read­er on an eye-pop­ping roller-coast­er ride through the finan­cial indus­try, strip­ping bare the under­ly­ing beliefs and assump­tions that spawned the Mad­off dis­as­ter. Appen­dices, index.

Lin­da F. Burghardt is a New York-based jour­nal­ist and author who has con­tributed com­men­tary, break­ing news, and fea­tures to major news­pa­pers across the U.S., in addi­tion to hav­ing three non-fic­tion books pub­lished. She writes fre­quent­ly on Jew­ish top­ics and is now serv­ing as Schol­ar-in-Res­i­dence at the Holo­caust Memo­r­i­al & Tol­er­ance Cen­ter of Nas­sau County.

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