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BW Businessworld

A Scam In So Many Pages

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Many of you might have missed the haunting number, No One Would Listen, in the 2004 musical The Phantom Of The Opera. The song was deleted in the theatre cut. But some DVD versions have it as a bonus feature, where the Phantom sings, "Shamed into solitude/ Shunned by the multitude/ I learned to listen..." Perhaps, these lines best capture how jailed Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff would be feeling today. In the gripping financial thriller, No One Would Listen (John Wiley & Sons), whistleblower Harry Markopolos gives a blow-by-blow narrative of how he helped unearth Madoff's financial fraud. Markopolos, a former securities industry executive, started scanning Maddoff's deals in 1999, and after a few years' research and detailing, he turned his finding to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). His report, titled ‘The World's Largest Hedge Fund Is A Fraud' and submitted to the SEC in 2005, blew the lid off one of the world's biggest money muddles. The rest, as the cliché goes, is history.

Markopolos and co-author David Fisher unveil almost everything one wanted to know about the US financial industry, especially how certain ghostly elements rule the secondary market in the US. The book features all components of a true financial thriller, such as The Big Short, a non-fiction by Michel Lewis and Den Of Thieves, a novel by James B. Stewart.

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 06-06-2011)