No One would Listen by Harry Markopolo

The book by Harry Markopolo is extremely interesting as it gives in-depth information regarding Bernie Madoff’s story. The information presented by Markopolo in the book is from a firsthand and reliable source because he was part of the team that conducted the investigations. The book also provides details of how Markopolo and his team found out about the crimes being committed by Madoff, even before he sadly lost his life. Madoff had started a Ponzi scheme worth $65 billion and had intended to defraud people of their hard earned money. It is quite unfortunate that people never listened to Markopolo when he let the world know about what was going on. It seems that people do not support the efforts of whistleblowers; hence, the reason as to why Markopolo had to write a book as a source of evidence for his claims.

The whole scenario described in the book is quite mixed up because of many things that happen at the same time. Madoff together with the people who were carrying out the investigations had evidence that dated back to the year 2000. The team was able to find out what Madoff was up to and even informed the SEC about what was going on. However, the SEC did not bother to investigate or address the issue despite being aware of the existing warning signs. In my opinion, the most compelling part in this book is from the excellent use of the author’s viewpoint when telling the story. He is quite direct in his explanations of Madoff’s scam and the failure by the SEC to solve the situation that existed (Markopolo 86).

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The forward in ‘Nobody would Listen’ has a segment that was written by David Einhorn, who worked at Hedge Fund Greenlight Capital. Einhorn described Markopolo as being a great hero because he caused the downfall of Madoff. Furthermore, he was pleased with Markopolo as he was able to expose the incompetence of the SEC and thus Markopolo deserved recognition. Markopolo is truly an example of a whistleblower and he should serve as an example to other people (Browers & Fodder & Lewis & Mitchell 456). The book has made it known that people should not be afraid of whistleblowing even if their regulating bodies seem to be against them. The book has exposed and shown that investors become vulnerable when things start going wrong and regulatory bodies are not doing anything to protect them. In this case, the SEC did a poor job in trying to make Madoff pay for the crime he had committed.

It should be known that the book’s storyline has been telegraphed because when reading it, something seems to keep on pulling you to read it even more. The timeline of the book is one that took place over a decade ago, but it still has been written flawlessly. When reading the book, the perception is that we are drawn to the exact time the whole story was taking place. Even more, the audience can think that they are working together with Markopolo in trying to unravel the case. Despite the fact that it is easy to know the ending of the story, a person feels like reading all the details. The timeline of the book starts when Markopolo’s intriguing chronicle proves that the returns made by Madoff were not feasible as they were meant to be.

The most unique and intriguing character, in my opinion, is Markopolo as he is the main character in the book. He did not hide anything from the reader but gave a firsthand account of what happened when investigating Madoff. Markopolo represented an awhereas person in the society who is out to ensure that justice prevails (Browers & Fodder & Lewis & Mitchell 212). Therefore, he showed that the crook easily outmatched the watchdog. The quants were able to create sophisticated financial products that were not easy to understand. The SEC was busy engaging in other projects while the quants were busy data mining in order to obtain people’s money (Markopolo 89). The American press did not assist in making the story known; hence, did not benefit from the glory associated with the story. For example, even after receiving a tip about the story in the year 2001, Forbes Magazine did not publish the story.

Courage, determination, and willpower are some of the words that can be used to describe Markopolo. Even though he was fully aware of the consequences of his failure to make the story known, he still continued with his conquest. There is evidence, which suggests that the Wall Street Journal did not want to publish the story because they feared that someone would try hurt Markopolo. Another unique characteristic of Markopolo was that he was slightly eccentric and this is quite different from being self-aware. He believed that everybody who ignored him during the eight years of that the story was happening ought to feel guilty. It is also possible to claim that Markopolo had his own self-interests at heart. At one point, Madoff’s firm was competing with that of Markopolo. Skeptics made claims that the only reason he was pursuing the investigations was to cause Madoff’s downfall. In turn, Markopolo would gain, but this is not true as later on, he dedicated his life to becoming a fraud investigator. This is another perfect example that proves that Markopolo is an admirable character.

The outreach in the book was limited as Markopolo proved that he did not respect some of the employees working at the Massachusetts Securities Division. For example, when he attended a meeting with the employees, he did not mention anything concerning Madoff. He even went as far as not warning the risk management director working at Oppenheimer Funds. This is despite the fact that Markopolo claimed that the director was his friend, and Oppenheimer had dealings with Madoff. In fact, the second largest investor in Madoff’s business was Oppenheimer. If people are true friend, it is in their best interests to warn each other about any impending disasters. This incident shows a dark side of Markopolo’s character that is not desirable in any way.

The book has appealed to me in a logical way because it deals with real life issues, which are constantly taking place in the real and corporate world. There will always be people who want to take advantage of others and Madoff is a good example of such characters. At the same time, there are people who are not willing to let such people go unpunished, such as Markopolo. When reading the book, I choose to use logic just like any lawyer would do in a bid to follow the case without pronouncing judgment before the end. Therefore, the key themes that Markopolo wanted to make known were the inefficiency of regulatory bodies and whistleblowing in society (Browers & Fodder & Lewis & Mitchell 520). The book requires readers to have some levels of intelligence in order to understand some of the issues being talked about. Other authors in the same genre should follow Markopolo’s example when writing such thrillers.

When reading the book, one should think of it as being a movie that has numerous flashbacks. A person is able to relive the events that took place in the past using the eyes of the protagonist. Half of ‘Nobody would Listen’ has focused on Madoff’s fall, while the other part focuses on Markopolo’s conquest. In addition, the second half has information on the ignorance displayed by the SEC. The book’s style of writing is extremely impressive, but it should be noted that there are not many segments, which are cliché-laden. When you reach the end of the book, you are sure to be impressed by Markopolo’s perseverance and conviction. At the same time, you will be flabbergasted by the SEC indecisiveness and this is definitely a compelling thriller.

Markopolo did a spectacular job in writing the thriller, but he erred at some points. For example, he kept on repeating some metaphors and this was quite visible towards the end of the book. Some of the metaphors include ‘Couldn’t hit the ocean if they were standing in it’ and ‘Couldn’t find their behind with two hands’, among others (Markopolo 114). He should have instead, used fewer metaphors and add more vivid descriptions to the elements he was describing. Secondly, I believe that when writing the epilogue, he threw in various things together during the last minute. Finally, he kept on misspelling and using the word ‘principle’ and ‘principal.’ Markopolo often described himself as being a principled man in many scenarios. For example, he used the word ‘principle’ instead of ‘principal’ when he was referring to the things that he abides by. This great mistake tarnishes his credibility among the readers of his book. The editors, as well as the proofreaders, let him down, as they should have noticed these errors before publishing the book.


I would recommend ‘Nobody would Listen’ to people who love reading thrillers. This book should be specially targeted to people who are interested in pursuing justice. Those who intend to engage in whistleblowing will find it quite helpful. Markopolo is a true example of a whistleblower who stood up for what he believed in. Even though he knew that his life would change, he still ensured that Madoff’s schemes would be revealed and face justice. Before one reads this book, he/she should have an open mind and not judge any of the characters. This will help one appreciate and solve the case together with Markopolo and thus making it quite interesting when reading. Thereafter, once the people I have recommended to read the book are through, there will be a discussion about the issue of whistleblowing and the role of regulatory bodies in investigating such cases. Indeed ‘Nobody would Listen’ has proved to be a thriller that captures the attention of the readers because it is a real-life story.


Works Cited

Browers, J. & Fodder, M. & Lewis, J. & Mitchell, J. Whistleblowing: Law and Practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. Print

Markopolo, Henry. No One would Listen to A True Financial Thriller. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2011. Print.



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