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review 2018-07-04 01:35
No One Would Listen by Harry Markopolos
No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller - Harry Markopolos

This is the story of the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme from the whistleblower who first reported Madoff in 2000. It was interesting to see how this particular Ponzi scheme worked, how Madoff got away with doing it for so long, and how the 2008 financial crisis caught Madoff red handed and the SEC (Securities Exchange Commission) flat-footed. Markopolos kept reporting Madoff and keeping track of Madoff's crimes until Madoff turned himself in. However, Markopolos and his team only kept track of the institutional investors they knew of/heard of who invested with Madoff - even they were surprised at the charities and individual investors that were scammed and how big the fall out was ($65 billion dollars). 

 

Markopolos worked in finance as a quant (quantitve analyst), so basically he was a back room number guy whose job was to come up with new financial products for institutional investors and banks. He and a colleague first came to know of Madoff's financial products in 1999; his employer kept hounding him to come up with something similar to Madoff's products to try and get a piece of the money flowing into Madoff's investments. Markopolos and co-worker (also a quant) couldn't do it and as they tried harder/were pressured to do so, they uncovered the Ponzi scheme and began to investigate in their downtime. Eventually all the members on Markopolos' Madoff team would leave the company, but they continued to work on the investigation. They reported Madoff to the SEC again in 2005 with a more detailed account and a sham of examination by the SEC was conducted. Markopolos has no love for the SEC at all, as it gets clearer the further the story goes on to the point where he is just repetitive out of spite and smugness.

 

Although Markopolos and team were incredibly smart guys, Markopolos' writing makes him out to be the biggest wanker in the story not named Madoff. I couldn't really root for Markopolos to be vindicated because his personality was such a turn off. And why did an editor(s) feel that the story of how he asked his wife to marry him in any way, shape, or form have to do with the story of Madoff? He came out of that section as nothing more than a creepy loser (after pricing out diamond rings, he asked his fiancée if she would consider his paying for her to get a boob job in lieu of a ring okay, as boob jobs were cheaper than a two carat diamond ring). And Markopolos was obsessed with getting paid for his Madoff investigation - one of his demands in the retooling of the SEC is that they needed to pay whistleblowers a lot more money in order to make it more attractive to come forward. 

 

I would try to find a different book to learn more Madoff scam than this book.

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text 2018-07-01 10:00
July 2018 TBR
No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller - Harry Markopolos
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption - Bryan Stevenson
Lafayette in the Somewhat United States - Sarah Vowell
Negroland: A Memoir - Margo Jefferson
The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas - Anand Giridharadas
Lethal Warriors: When the New Band of Brothers Came Home - David Philipps
Zodiac Unmasked: The Identity of America's Most Elusive Serial Killers Revealed - Robert Graysmith
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI - David Grann
Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens - Eddie Izzard
Eye on the Struggle: Ethel Payne, the First Lady of the Black Press - James McGrath Morris

I am just binging on non-fiction, as it grabbing me so much more than fiction. I went a little OTT at the library and pulled a bunch of books. I have two read-a-thons I am doing towards the latter half of the month.

 

 

1. No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller by Harry Markopolos

         My current read is how Markopolos discovered the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme and was the whistleblower that brought Madoff down. He is not kind AT ALL to the SEC. 

 

2. Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

           I want to learn more about criminal justice reform, so I am starting here.

 

3. Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell

              For the July 4th holiday, I am trying Vowell for the first time.

 

4. Negroland: A Memoir by Margo Jefferson

               Heard nothing but good things about this book.

 

5. The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas by Anand Giridharadas

              True Crime that doesn't involve Wall Street.

 

6. Lethal Warriors: When the New Band of Brothers Came Home, Uncovering the Tragic Reality of PTSD by David Philipps

                This is a really long title.

 

7. Zodiac Unmasked: The Identity of America's Most Elusive Serial Killer Revealed by Robert Graysmith

                 True Crime.

 

8. Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann

                      True Crime plus history.

 

9. Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens by Eddie Izzard

                      Not a true crime book, lol. Manicure on the cover is beautifully done.

 

10. Eye on the Struggle: Ethel Payne, the First Lady of the Black Press by James McGrath Morris

                    Also not a true crime book. I wish she was more of a household name today as she was when she was working. 

 

 

 

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text 2018-06-29 19:32
Friday Reads - June 29, 2018
No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller - Harry Markopolos
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption - Bryan Stevenson
Lafayette in the Somewhat United States - Sarah Vowell
Conspiracy of Fools: A True Story - Kurt Eichenwald

I finished Conspiracy of Fools (the story of the rise and collapse of Enron) this morning, went bowling and lunch with the kids, then came home and started No One Would Listen (written by the whistleblower of the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme). So No One is my focus to knock out this weekend. After that, I want to get to Just Mercy and for the holiday, Lafayette in the Somewhat United States

 

I am getting backed up on reviewing, which is bad for me because it is COYER time and part of COYER is reviewing. So this weekend I will be here writing reviews  - sorry in advance for the review wave coming. Also writing my personal essay and resume for grad school this weekend, as that is all that is left on my end for the application process. I will probably write while watching season two of 30 Rock, my show of the summer to binge this year. 

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text 2017-10-02 22:52
Money-saving tips that will stop you from overspending

 

You just withdrew money at an ATM, went for a walk around the neighbourhood and, by the time you got home, your wallet’s cleaned out. Then your phone pings with a message from the bank reminding you of another totally unplanned, random purchase. And before you’ve reached the end of your pay cycle, you’re broke and wondering how you got there. Sound familiar? Well, then it’s time for a reality check. Start with accepting that most things you buy are completely unnecessary. Open any closet in your home, and staring at you is most likely a whole mess of things you haven’t used, looked at or even thought about in months. Once you recognize there’s a problem, you can get down to fixing it.

 

Spell it out

 

“Women tend to be impulsive buyers. So what you should do is note down your expenditure. Before buying anything, ask yourself if you really need it and whether you have space to keep it,” says Shikha Bhatnagar, executive vice-president, Bajaj Capital. With debit and credit cards and e-wallets, it has now become easier to spend. A study conducted by Dun & Bradstreet, a business services company, found that people spend 12-18 per cent more when they use plastic money instead of cash. Chartered accountant Dhananjay Paranjpe agrees. “Credit cards create liabilities. They commit your future income for what you buy today. Always ask yourself whether what you’re buying will be an asset or just an expense.” What you also need to do is identify areas you are splurging on—whether it’s dining, shopping, or even cabs.

 

Manage your mood

 

Psychotherapist Dr. Radhika Bapat believes splurging is a coping mechanism. “The occasional impulse buy is normal by itself. But chronic overspending might be an emotional tool. People come to depend on shopping to be happy, to fill those empty spaces, and to run away from themselves.” According to Dr. Lorrin Koran, professor at Stanford University School of Medicine, “People who overspend may also be suffering from other psychological issues. These include mood swings, anxiety and other impulse control problems or addictions.” Dr. Sonal Sheth, psychotherapist and counsellor at Bhatia Hospital, Mumbai, explains how this manifests. “Moods and money habits are related. When people are depressed, they spend money in order to feel in control. It reduces their sense of gloom,” she says. Shopping is also popular among those with low self-esteem. “Objects give people a sense of security,” says Dr. Vasant Mundra, consultant psychiatrist at Mumbai’s Hinduja Hospital. “From childhood, it has been ingrained in us that rewards are a token of love, so we identify objects with emotions. Rewarding oneself is a way of handling insecurity,” she adds. If you are a compulsive spender and think you might be depressed, make an appointment to see a mental health therapist. Find ways to get that ‘high’ that doesn’t involve spending money. You could call friends over for dinner or spend time with family. On your list of priorities, upgrade experiences and people and downgrade material possessions.

 

Think

 

Long-term “Plan in such a way that the moment your salary is credited, a part of it goes into your savings. Only when you instill savings discipline can you cut down on unnecessary spending,” says Surya Bhatia of Asset Managers. He, however, warns that the belt shouldn’t be tightened overnight. “Target 30 per cent savings initially. This can go up to 40 per cent depending on your expenses,” he says. Once you get into the habit, cutting down on spending will be as easy as shopping once was.

Source: devinconsultants.jigsy.com/entries/financial-consultant/money-saving-tips-that-will-stop-you-from-overspending
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