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.
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.
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.
The book was interesting, but far from a thriller. When I purchased it, I had envisioned the tobacco whistler blower scenario. Not even close. The Author and Madoff had no connection at all. He stretches and equates a death of someone unconnected to him to his fear of being found out by Madoff and being "knocked off." But it really doesn't equal a fear factor to this reader. The author gave up absoutely nothing for this "whistle blower" activity. He quit his job and decided to become a whistler blower. He did not lose his family, house, car, friends or anything, especially money, that would make me feel he had any fear in his life. While there might have really been some, I don't think it came through in the reading of this book. The only thing that happened was he made money off of Madoff's scheme. A little ironic isn't it.
Don't you just love a great story well told?
This TRUE STORY is of one very bright guy who EASILY figured out Bernie Madoff was a Ponzi schemer. He also explains how anyone with simple market knowledge could have proved that fact.
Hear to the anguish of a man who tried valiantly to stop a the financial Titanic that was Madoff before he hit the "iceberg".
This story of incredible government incompetence should be read as ammo for letters written to your federal congressmen and women.
There is other narration to give voice to e-mails exchanged.
The scary thing is that, in spite of this ONE massive fraud falling apart business as usual continues! 1) The story gives insight into the amazingly clever / complex devices ingenious investors continually concoct.
The problem we, John/Jane. Q. Public depend on the government to check those firms. Here, the market was essentially unregulated by a lame S.E.C. (How lame? Read and be shocked.) For those who think all regulation is bad this book will give you shivers about your ostensibly SAFE "funds". (Well, all but T-Bills and Certificates of Deposit)
The author has common sense suggestions to fix a very broken system. Read, write or call and get the system fixed. ONLY THEN will your $$$$$ FINALLY be truly safe from investors who gamble on ever more complex financial "products." Right now you have just the luck of the market with no guarantee that your firm is even honest.
Teensy gripe: The editor and/or writer endlessly attempt to amuse with metaphors for the inability of the Security Exchange Commission to find ANYTHING. It stops being funny after the 6th, 7th, 10th, one. Sheesh, a better editor might have cut them to half and keeping the funniest.
I like books that have interesting characters and easy to follow plots. For example, Cormoran Strike, is a great character for me.
When the truth is revealed about how incompetent the SEC is, it makes me wonder how incompetent all the other government agencies are. The author does a good job telling us how we were all robbed blind but there is no consolation is knowing that we were cheated with very little consequence to the enablers.
It is interesting to read this book in light of the recent Gulf oil spill and Minerals Management Service (MMS) incompetence. I see similar parallels. Maybe there will be a similar book on MMS. As a former Fed Gov employee at the Dept of Interior (I escaped after 3 years), I am not totally surprised at the SEC problems which is one of the main ideas in this book. It is much worse to have incompetent government agencies that APPEAR to be regulating some industry, and just like the Gulf oil spill - find out they don't do their job. So I'm always left to wonder why everyone seems to have so much faith in government and appears to want to give government more and more responsibility. I wish everyone could have a summer job of working for a government agency - I think the political landscape would change for the better. Many of the issues the author brings to light at the SEC were the same issues at the Fed agency I worked. I think this is a good book (but not a masterpiece) and I recommend it.
I enjoyed this book. I want my children to listen and understand not to buy into any else's crap. Some parts are a bit repetitive but I didn't care - it would be frustrating to keep blowing the horn to warn the authorities and the people who are supposed to protect us couldn't care less. I found it fascinating.
This book is basically a self-glorifying autobiography. Mr. Markopolos gives us plenty of nsight into why no one would listen: his arrogance, social ineptness (he offers to buy his fiance fake breasts instead of a diamond ring so they can both enjoy it), lack of insight, and self-centered personality . Of course none of this excuses the SEC in any way, but after reading page after page of angry diatribes of how dumb and inept the SEC was, punctuated amateurishly by Marcopolos' overused, ghastly metaphors, you just want to bang your head against the wall rather than continue reading. He repeatedly stresses that his one motivation in his work is doing the right thing, not personal gain, however, he constantly requests to be paid a bounty. He has evidence that Madoff is running a Ponzi scheme and the only sources he continually relies on to release this information is the SEC and the New York Times. In this day of information overload and anyone with a computer that can blog I think that if he truly wanted to get this information out anonymously to help others he would have found other sources and there are many. He did absolutely nothing other than try to figure out how to make himself rich and famous. While thousands of people were suffering from their loss he is reveling in his success in bringing down the SEC. This is the ultimate pad yourself in the back for "I told you so" from Mr. Markopolos to the SEC. He is angry at the SEC because they did not listen to him, not because they failed the world and ruined thousands of lives. Why is he writing a book when he did nothing?
The first half of this book is great. You learn alot you did not already know if you've been keeping up with the Madoff scandal. But the second half is repetitive as the author relentlessly complains about the SEC.