Life is stranger than fiction--or in this case--more tragic. Through this book you will learn about the largest Ponzi scheme in history; those who tried to stop it; how the SEC didn't give a damn, over and over again; and how lives were changed forever, including the author.
But, in the end, it is about the triumph of good men, ethical men who had the fortitude to be believe in what is right. Markopolos, his team, and those who finally listened are true American heroes.
The book is well read by Scott Brick and others, although, I did not see the need for the others. Previously, I've found Brick to be melancholic at times; here, he is a good fit for the tone and message. (Perhaps Demille was the ghost writer.) I enjoyed listening to Brick. I would recommend this book to anyone, including those like myself who know little about the banking industry.
In the end you may ask yourself, so why does the SEC exist, and are we really protected from this happening again? Moreover, why the heck aren't more people pissed off and shouting at the SEC demanding to know why they failed to do their job?
It is a great read. Go ahead, get it now.
The methodical way in which the author gathered his evidence. I learned a great deal about the financial systems and how they could be corrupted. Markopolos and his team took on something that was so big so complex and dangerous for so long....
When Markopolos explained how he and his team cracked the case by following the money. Sounds simple....
When he found out Bernie Madoff had been stopped. All the people who called to tell him all his hard work had finally paid off. And how much money and lives that could have been saved if someone would have listened and acted sooner.
Not bad. Not great. The last hour & half was simply stating how the SEC should be reformed.
Interesting to a point & somewhat unbelievable on how poorly the SEC handled things. What I found comical is how hard the book tried to sell itself as a thriller. Repeated references to how he feared for his life, yet there wasn't one piece of evidence to validate his fear, just pure speculation. Overall, not bad - I just wouldn’t call it a thriller.
This book could have been shorter by half. As what Harry Makopolos calls "my team" discovered the Ponzi scheme and used math skills plus financial-industry contacts to assemble proofs I was enthralled. Then, as he waited and fumed because "No One Would Listen" I began to understand which of his personality traits made people disinclined to join his crusade. I started to regret downloading the second half of the book and Harry finally lost me completely when he assembled an arsenal to shoot at the SEC while admitting employees of said agency don't carry firearms. I felt he worked too hard to add tension to what was already a sufficiently dramatic true story.
Love having someone read me a story. Fires in the hearth, rain on the roof, sunny days and surf. Good friends, good food and J S Bach.
Others have said it all. This is a good listen. I truly appreciate the PDF file, and hope that other Audible talking books will include similar, where it is appropriate.
(maps, pictures etc in history books).
And I thought Aussies had the 'tall poppy' syndrome! ( finding fault with a real achiever). Bravo Harry. You saw it and called it.
The story of Madoff's appalling, decades-long fraud is undeniably riveting -- but Markopolos is an egotist of colossal proportions. His uniquely off-putting personality (misogynist, megalomaniacal, breath-takingly self-important and self-aggrandizing) shines through his merely adequate expository prose.
From the very beginning, he's eager to let the reader know we have no hope of understanding the market machinations he's describing, and we shouldn't even try (indeed, he doesn't even try to explain them). Never was there a room in which Harry Markopolos wasn't the smartest guy; never was there anyone clever enough to appreciate Markopolos's unique and world-altering genius.
Worth a listen because of the interest of the underlying story of Madoff -- but only if you can stomach Markopolos.
I was still awake at 2:00 a.m. listening to this -just couldn't put it down. Makes me wonder what hope is there for the "little guy" who wants to invest in the stock market when the "monsters" are allowed to rampage free.
My only complaint is the departure from the professional narrator to the author and friends when quoting e-mails. Fortunately this was only a very small part of the book. I believe authors would do well to leave the narrating to the professional, just as the SEC would do well to leave the sleuthing to the professional math whizzes. I tend to shy away from books that are self narrated as I have been 'burned' too many times. Surely the author would make more money in the long run by investing in a professional narrator.
Words will not bestow any justice to this audio book... (any review words written by me). One suggestion is to listen to this audio book at least twice in-order to better comprehend the inter-connected story elements put together like a puzzle by Harry and others to reach the ending of this book; (as of the date of this audio publication)! Easy to miss many parts of the story upon first listen... Please set aside some attentive listening time to better comprehend this multiple-people-involved to reach this books conclusion point.
Avid audible listener for over 10 years.
I purchased this book because I like finance stories. At 13 hours, however, it gets rather tedious at times. This is the story of the man who first discovered Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme. The parts of the book that talk about the discovery are interesting. But a large part of the book is a big rant against the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC). In fact about 3 of the total 13 hours is nothing but a big rant. Okay, okay the SEC messed up. Got it in the first hour.
It also has some odd stories about the author fearing for his life and buying guns and checking for bombs under his car. However, there is no proof whatsoever that the Russian Mob was after him, that Bernie Madoff ever thought of hiring a hit man, or the SEC was out to "get" him. Made the author sound like a total paranoid.
Anyways at 13 hours about half is worthwhile listening. The last 2 hours are really not about the Ponzi scheme but people sobbing about their lost money, which also turns into a rant on the SEC. It actually sounded like an attempt for filing a class action suit against the SEC by the author and his lawyers. Sort of put me off.
Audible books are the perfect companion for my 4 mile morning walk!
The narration was good. I'd be reticent to read another book by Markopolos unless I knew for sure that it didn't take the same self-congratulatory tone. One per author lifetime is certainly a sufficient quota.
This book is a great reminder of how badly things can go wrong, and how blind we can be to reality we don't want to see. It's certainly not the first book to tell such a story, but this one goes into such detail, and the whole process went for so long, that it really stands out as a learning opportunity.