Performance Perspectives Blog

Book ideas

by | Feb 28, 2010

Today’s Sunday (London) Times identifies two books which should probably be on your to-buy list:

Harry Markopolos, who tried more than anyone to get the SEC to see what was really behind Bernard Madoff’s “success” has penned No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller. The Times quoted Markopolos: “As I explained this massive fraud, it very quickly became clear he didn’t understand a single word I said after hello…if blank looks were dollar bills, I would have walked out of that room a rich man.”

On the positive side, looking at a truly successful investor, we have The Greatest Trade Ever: How John Paulson Bet Against the Markets and Made $20 Billion.

During last November’s GIPS conference, one speaker discussed Madoff, saying that his long string of successful years of positive returns should have been a clue to something being wrong. This speaker was followed shortly by another who cited a hedge fund manager (not Paulson) who has had many years of positive returns. Kind of funny, yes? Long string of positive returns = suspicious; long string of positive returns = success. We do live in interesting times. And these books no doubt will provide us with some interesting insights. And while Markopolos’ won’t reveal the secrets behind Madoff’s success in pulling off the biggest Ponzi scheme ever, it at least will provide us with some insights into Markopolos’ struggle to get the SEC to listen.

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