Posted on Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010 by Peter Sciretta
You know about Bernie Madoff, the man who ran the the world’s largest financial fraud scam of all time, but you might not know the whole story of Harry Markopolos. Who is Harry Markopolos? And why is his story gaining the attention of everyone in Hollywood? Markopolos is the man who tried to blow the whistle to the SEC on Bernie Madoff several times over the decade before before Madoff ran out of money.
His book titled No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller, chronicles the story hits stores today. In NY Times’ Sunday Magazine, Markopolos revealed that Hollywood is very interested in turning the movie into a feature film. According to Markopolos, “All the major studios. Sony, Paramount, Tom Hanks, you name it” have contacted him about the rights to his story. No deals are yet in place, but it seems like only a matter of time.
Here is the official description for the book:
Bernie Madoff was a king of the financial world. He’d helped create NASDAQ and founded one of the most successful broker-dealers in the industry. He was also a beloved philanthropist. But very few people knew about his side business: he was quietly running the largest hedge fund in the world, a fund that eventually spread to over forty nations and handled tens of billions of dollars. Harry Markopolos was a quant, a little-known number cruncher sitting at a desk at a Boston equity derivatives firm analyzing investment products. When a marketer for that firm, Frank Casey, handed Harry a prospectus outlining Madoff’s strategy and asked him to create a similar product, he sat down and looked at the numbers. Literally within minutes Harry knew it was impossible to do. The numbers didn’t add up.
For the next ten years, Harry Markopolos and the investigative team he recruited tried desperately to warn the government, the industry, and the financial press that the largest and most successful hedge fund in the industry was a total fraud and that the respected and admired Bernie Madoff was a crook. But No One Would Listen. This is the thrilling, complete story of the pursuit of the greatest financial criminal in history—a chase that put Markopolos’s life in jeopardy, led to international notoriety from his appearance on 60 Minutes, and once again opened the door to questions regarding the true effectiveness of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Markopolos’s incredible investigation takes readers inside the financial industry, revealing the never-before-told stories behind the headlines. As he shows, Madoff was a creation of the anything-for-profit culture that has devastated our economy and that perhaps led thousands of industry professionals, who knew about the fraud, to adhere to the industry’s code of silence. No One Would Listen is the frighteningly true story of massive fraud, governmental incompetence, and criminal collusion that has changed thousands of lives forever—as well as the world’s financial system.
You can definitely see why this would make an interesting Hollywood thriller, but how are they going to get around the not-so-hollywood ending of Madoff turning himself in? The 376-page book is available in book stores everywhere (you can get it on Amazon for around $15). You can read an excerpt on the publisher’s website or watch a two and a half minute video with Markopolos talking about his story, embedded below: