Madoff Whistleblower Flags Next Big Financial Scandals

Featuring Harry Markopolos

Harry Markopolos is the former derivatives professional turned independent financial fraud investigator who uncovered the $65 billion Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme, only to be ignored by the SEC for over nine years.
A vocal critic of the US regulator, Harry now has the audit world and insurance industry in his sights as the next big financial frauds yet to come to light.

Published on
1 November, 2016
Fiscal Policy, Micro, Insurance
41 minutes
Asset class


  • SU

    Shakeel U.

    5 11 2018 23:42

    0       0

    Raoul Pal is a legend for everything he's done with Real Vision.

  • MN

    Mark N.

    22 10 2017 23:00

    0       0

    That was epic. Wow. Real Vision, you are amazing for getting interviews like this. Plays into what I always thought, that money is hard to make. And that man will resort to fraudulent behaviour in a heartbeat if it means he'll be able to to keep his reputation, his job, his lifestyle. It's simply the human will to survive. And then, of course, there's just common or garden crooks, but I don't think most people start out with that intention.

  • RM

    Richard M.

    25 9 2017 03:24

    0       0

    astonishing, impressive, nothing like the Truth! Great interview, can't wait for the next one.

  • V!

    Volatimothy !.

    15 9 2017 20:52

    0       0

    One of my favorite interviews. These crooks are ruthless. Has me excited about taking accounting classes.

  • LA

    Linda A.

    20 7 2017 15:26

    1       0

    LOL: TDTQ (Too dumb to quit) - u have to love this guy. He kept pressing for 9 yrs. - wow.

  • TC

    Thomas C.

    24 6 2017 13:23

    0       1

    When we had pwc and other large brands come in - they were all literally children . ernst young come in - i didnt relaise that you needed to be young to work there.. proably why they now called EY (or

  • TC

    Thomas C.

    24 6 2017 12:54

    0       1

    r they catch anyone or not .. on 50k p.a. as a kid why would you risk rocking the boat? The NY SEC sounds like its full of public servants that didnt quite make the grade on wall st but want to ...

  • TC

    Thomas C.

    24 6 2017 12:47

    0       0

    Very interesting - NY SEC seems like it needs a shake up for sure. Yes the accounting firms all employ teenagers these days ... its a staging ground for their next job.. they could give a toss whethe

  • PV

    Prakash V.

    14 6 2017 06:27

    1       0

    What a great interview. Absolutely intriguing and Raoul - as always - is quick witted and keeps the interview going with some brilliant question and follow throughs. Please bring Harry back for further discussion.

  • sk

    sunil k.

    3 6 2017 09:20

    1       0

    Awesome - no BS , great interview

  • PV

    Peter V.

    2 6 2017 21:20

    0       0

    Cat bonds are the thing to watch, the risk that insurers wanted to lay off.

  • FC

    Forest C.

    22 5 2017 22:39

    0       0

    The structure of the accounting firm really his the nail... the massive turnover, long hours and relatively pay is really discouraging for new CPAs.

    In the context of Hong Kong/ China, almost half of the graduates go into the sector are just looking for a job and the other half are looking for a door-way to investment banking (i.e. research and corporate finance). Motivated youngsters are leaving the sector as soon as they obtain the licence and those leave behind will just become relationship managers. FYR: salary for an accountant (first 1-2 years) is 1/5 of a bank's trainee, so does a trainee working for the SFC (SEC of Hong Kong).

  • DT

    Dave T.

    24 4 2017 03:47

    5       0

    Harry, you are a fucking rock star. How do I sign up?

  • MM

    Michael M.

    17 4 2017 19:11

    3       0

    Great interview - perhaps bring back for a review at 2017 year end?

  • MH

    Marco H.

    10 4 2017 10:06

    1       0

    Thanks to the rearrangement of the interviews I finally got to see this one as well.
    This guy is spot on. I worked for one of the larger companies in the world and every year I saw the teams of accountants coming in to check our books. Every year new people were added, all inexperienced. Our aim was to run a good company, not fraud. But is was too easy to mislead these girls and boys. Because they were wasting our time and not giving additional value to our process.
    The financial crisis gave more regulations. Because this would solve it. This is a very good sales pitch and the government fell for it. But it didn't add anything in quality. It is a big waste of money that should have gone in improving the true shareholdersvalue of the company.

  • RC

    Ryan C.

    8 3 2017 14:44

    0       0

    Slight contradiction from Interviewer saying that Swiss banks were worst hit by Madoff and later saying that those most hurt by fraud are the poor. Anyone hiding money in Switzerland isn't short of a few bob.

  • SP

    Sat P.

    29 1 2017 11:40

    0       0

    Great interview. I learnt so much from this guy. Didn't realise why the big four accounting firms but it makes perfect sense, they never uncover any fraud!

  • JS

    John S.

    7 1 2017 07:45

    0       0

    This guy is incredible. Please bring him back for follow ups.

  • DY

    Damian Y.

    4 1 2017 09:37

    0       0

    That was a great interview.

  • SW

    Seth W.

    21 11 2016 19:54

    2       0

    Harry is amazing and what a remarkable human being. Anyone have any idea on the actual insurers he will expose? He certainly sounds like he is making a case for massive structural changes within the industry, which obviously would wreak havoc on the markets.

  • BL

    Barclay L.

    21 11 2016 03:40

    2       0

    Harry is a force of nature. He can be a bit over the top at times, but ultimately right on so much. As he himself will admit, sometimes it takes a bear market to shake out the skeletons. Without such, sometimes the bad guys skate through. Yes, folks like Pearson at Valeant get caught, but how many others get away with stuff without a come-uppance? The difference between apparent huge success and going to jail is a great deal thinner than most appreciate.

  • SB

    S B.

    20 11 2016 15:09

    2       0

    The anti-fraud human piranha, this is quality

  • WK

    William K.

    19 11 2016 14:30

    2       0

    Spent a short stint in the (re)insurance world - Harry's warnings are understated. Great interview - well done RV.

  • FS

    Fred S.

    16 11 2016 14:26

    3       0

    God Bless you, Harry! This is my new favorite RV presentation. And I've been here from the start. Thanks, Raoul!

  • JD

    Jonathan D.

    11 11 2016 20:22

    3       0

    Ahead of Andy Murray, this guy has just become my No 1 hero in the World.

  • CL

    Charles L.

    8 11 2016 20:21

    3       0

    In one word: I am dumbstruck

  • HJ

    Harry J.

    8 11 2016 15:23

    0       0

    What the hell is this coming to?
    Melt down........
    Going back to subsistence living won't be fun if this continues!

  • NH

    Neil H.

    8 11 2016 02:19

    1       0

    Harry's book about Medoff was one of my all time favorite books. I cannot wait for your rewind on the insurance companies in 2017

  • AD

    Andrew D.

    7 11 2016 12:49

    0       0

    Glad I work in the Australian insurance sector and not the US. Sounds like the wild west over there. Another insightful video. Cheers!

  • ES

    Edward S.

    5 11 2016 21:28

    0       1

    Why should I subsidize the stupidity of those that cannot be bothered to understand what they are buying/owning. That's the only problem I have with this POV.. more fees to the 'shareholder'.. No thanks. Still watching vid.. I have a feeling I'm going to _really_ enjoy the insurance part. It's only a matter of time before they go tits up.

  • GO

    Glenn O.

    5 11 2016 17:35

    1       0

    Go get them Harry. I guess if you are going to be a crook think small ,to small for harry

  • WM

    Will M.

    5 11 2016 13:49

    5       0

    What a great discussion. I am actually surprised at Harry's statements (and with my negativity thats unusual). Good grief. If auditing is that bad in the US, whats it like in China or Korea? As for the Insurance industry comments WTAF!!! Given the potential for another financial event like 2008, what on earth is going to happen to the system? It feel like a total collapse. Counter-party risk seems to be everywhere. What an investor and saver to do? Feels like cash and gold and ....none of them held in the banking or securities system. Dear dear dear.

  • AH

    Andreas H.

    5 11 2016 13:44

    0       0

    Very good!

  • B

    Bojo .

    5 11 2016 10:27

    6       0

    Brilliant, a man of integrity willing to stand up for truth.

  • de

    dale e.

    4 11 2016 18:43

    4       0

    Very interesting. This needs to be shown in Washington. It just keeps getting better on RV. Thanks.

  • JD

    John D.

    4 11 2016 09:48

    4       0

    Fantastic... One of Your Best !!!

  • RW

    Raymond W.

    3 11 2016 21:49

    17       0

    How could anyone give this a thumbs down? Does Madoff subscribe to Real Vision?

  • fc

    frank c.

    3 11 2016 21:34

    12       0

    fantastic, he should start investigating the Gold futures market.....

  • EH

    Elle H.

    3 11 2016 10:26

    2       0

    Fascinating and unique perspective. I wish every investor and voter would watch this.

  • dn

    duy n.

    2 11 2016 22:30

    3       0

    The best interview so far! Would love for Mr. Markopolos to publish his process for finding frauds.

  • AM

    A M.

    2 11 2016 22:26

    4       0

    As a young trainee auditor many years ago, it used to go through my mind that the people at the sharp end of auditing were the least well prepared to carry out an audit & have a good chance of discovering wrong-doings. Harry's suggested changes to the way auditors are remunerated should be taken seriously by SEC and Accounting Standards authorities.

  • TA

    Temporary A.

    2 11 2016 15:56

    0       0

    Appears spell check is changing my words. Super Star you NEVER saw coming.

  • TA

    Temporary A.

    2 11 2016 15:54

    4       0

    Hell, let's make a movie out of this-------kick ass and takes names. Thank you Harry! Super Star you saw saw coming. Greatest trick the devil ever pulled was making people believe he didn't exit----Harry is proving he does exit. Keep digging!

  • TA

    Temporary A.

    2 11 2016 15:51

    5       0

    Holy SH******T. I've felt these confirmations were going on but not in a possible to prove or discover.
    Please keep us informed-----Short The Insurance Industry??? Thoughts?? R. Pal---great on the spot questions!

  • PB

    Pieter B.

    2 11 2016 15:46

    2       0

    Are there any bounty programs in Europe for ponzi scheme hunters? Any information/websites would be very much appreciated.

  • PB

    Pieter B.

    2 11 2016 15:07

    2       0

    simply awesome! Another great interview. thanks a lot.

  • DR

    Daniel R.

    2 11 2016 09:46

    7       0

    Scary fun. Harry's a special kind of superhero.

  • JS

    John S.

    2 11 2016 07:17

    0       0

    Very enjoyable and interesting interview does Harry short the frauds

  • NR

    Nuno R.

    2 11 2016 07:15

    1       0

    Intense guy, reminds Inspector Clouseau, right guy in the right job. Really interesting interview, thanks RVT.

  • ik

    ilija k.

    2 11 2016 06:51

    3       0

    great to hear someone is out there cracking down on the ponzi schemers!
    well done harry.

  • CA

    Craig A.

    2 11 2016 04:39

    3       0

    Great to see something different yet very important to the industry. I would like to see him in future - the 2017 big cases.

  • SR

    Sean R.

    2 11 2016 04:25

    5       0

    A brilliant interview. Harry is a legend, just for the Madoff case. But the idea of "Ponzi Hunters" is fantastic!

  • M

    Marc .

    2 11 2016 02:48

    3       0

    Interesting that he brought up insurance companies. I have always questioned the risk management of some of the companies in regards to their obligations. Currently questioning a particular company and will be interested to hear which companies he is looking at.

  • DG

    Don G.

    2 11 2016 01:23

    5       0

    Lawyers.... This guy is great!

  • DH

    Dale H.

    1 11 2016 23:53

    5       0

    To Jayne T. I don't know the answer, but I do know that when you have information affecting thousands, you want to be effective. You only get one chance at releasing it and usually it comes with (not fully known) personal sacrifice or even some form of danger to you and your family. If you can't be 100% sure of being effective, you wait. Newspapers, people in companies that make big money... Mmm, there would have to be a clear path to success and 100% reason to trust. From my experience anyway.

  • GF

    Guillaume F.

    1 11 2016 23:37

    0       1

    Great itw! Skeptical regarding the insurance part though : I don't know well the US market but European companies have to comply to Solvency 2 (and you do have pandemic / earthquake /... stress tests)

  • DH

    Dale H.

    1 11 2016 23:25

    2       0

    See doco Chasing Madoff.

  • DH

    Dale H.

    1 11 2016 23:20

    21       0

    I admire Harry. Passionate, driven and making a difference. Training other people, catching the bad guys. Smart maths. To me, what was illustrative of his passion for doing this valuable work, was when he got the award (partly for the Madoff work I think); he didn't seem happy about the award; he was saddened about the people that he was not able to help (thanks SEC et al). It is great to see Harry on RVTV and to catch up on his progress and current and future work. Am looking forward to the results next year.

  • T~

    Tshort63 ~.

    1 11 2016 22:21

    0       0

    ong term strategy. cut me off :p

  • T~

    Tshort63 ~.

    1 11 2016 22:20

    4       0

    Great interview, sad commentary on the state of ethics across the board. Cheating is not a good lo

  • LW

    Lukasz W.

    1 11 2016 22:15

    3       0

    Maybe it's just me trying to find correlation but as far as I know there is a wave of increase of insurance across the Europe. I know few countries where it's double digit next year for cars and houses.

  • PC

    Peter C.

    1 11 2016 21:04

    4       0

    We all know now to not be long insurance companies (btw I wouldn't be short either, I tried...the indefinite / long timing can kill). I love the point on the structural incentive systems; so real, including my own 1st hand experiences as a CPA.

  • CP

    Charles P.

    1 11 2016 20:23

    10       0

    Loved the straight, blunt talk. His comments about audit quality and regulatory investigative quality ring true with my 20+ years in and around forensic accounting. Thanks for sharing this fascinating discussion!

  • JF

    Joseph F.

    1 11 2016 20:07

    11       0

    This is yet another very pleasant surprise. Harry's knowledge and direct insight are extraordinarily valuable. Thank you!

  • Sv

    Sid v.

    1 11 2016 19:08

    13       0

    one of the most educational videos i have ever seen. thank you

  • EK

    Emil K.

    1 11 2016 18:36

    8       0

    An important interview. During Harry's presentation at this conference where the interview took place he mentioned something that was only briefly touched on here: suicides. As if this sordid story wasn't wretched enough. The consequences of perpetrating or succumbing to the fraud often involve suicides.

  • KS

    Kathleen S.

    1 11 2016 18:25

    29       0

    NY SEC is in on it, they are not incompetent they are complicit. Matt Taibbi has written about it over and over again. Until there is a rule of law and high ranking individuals go to jail and have their lives completely destroyed (meaning they and their families are left penniless) the corruption will continue. In this country white collar banking and insurance crime pays very well.

  • AG

    Alex G.

    1 11 2016 17:59

    26       1

    Also if he comes back ask him his opinion the the Clinton Foundation. I bet he has some interesting thoughts on that

  • JH

    Joel H.

    1 11 2016 17:51

    17       0

    Love this guy.

  • AG

    Alex G.

    1 11 2016 17:38

    14       1

    This guy needs a high level U.S government position

  • CC

    Charnes C.

    1 11 2016 17:01

    23       0

    "I did not use derivative math...These are lawyers...I use simple answers and diagrams with color markers"


  • CC

    Charnes C.

    1 11 2016 16:58

    29       0

    More of this Honesty. No smooth talk. No "bullshit". Have him back in Jan or Feb 2017.

  • JT

    Jayne T.

    1 11 2016 16:11

    5       5

    Just curious, given that he had known of the Madoff fraud for over 10 years and he couldn't get regulators to listen, why not tell 1) the Boston Globe, NY Times, etc., and let them expose it or 2) tell it to savvy hedge fund managers who would have made it known.

  • EL

    Elizabeth L.

    1 11 2016 16:03

    9       0

    Thank you for bringing on Harry Markopolos. Having had some of my IRA money invested in Madoff Feeder Funds by my financial investor, I know this can happen. We need to know that fraud is where you may least expect it. Really valuable interview.

  • DE

    Dionisia E.

    1 11 2016 16:02

    82       1

    This is the first time I can say, I am proud of someone in the broader finance sector. Just the first couple of minutes makes you realize how valuable persons like him are for society. Just watch Raul's reactions -he got positively suprised by how the blunt truth is spoken from Harry-.
    Screw Noble prizes, medals, etc being a good force and a focal point for ethics smashes all kinds of honours. If there was amazon ratings for persons he should have a five star from thousands.
    Thank you real vision for staying true to your stated mandate.

  • RM

    Robert M.

    1 11 2016 15:14

    4       0

    Interesting Interview