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Chasing Madoff [Blu-ray] [Import]

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Product Details

  • Format: NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Mpi Home Video
  • Release Date: April 3 2012
  • ASIN: B006Z7Z3IG

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 83 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Harry Markopolos for head of the SEC Dec 31 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: DVD
Everyone should watch this documentary, even if you think you're familiar with the Madoff story.
The media did not report on a lot of the details, and there are things here that you may not have not heard before.
The main thing is that the Madoff Ponzi scheme was much bigger than most people realize; it was truly global in scope and people all the way up to many European royal families (and perhaps Prince Charles) were affected.
Also, Madoff did not act alone. He kept the smallest slice of the pie for himself and made sure that all the feeder funds made big money. There was also offshore or "dark" money invested in Madoff's scheme.

Because of this, Markopolos had valid reason to fear for his life.

Also, prior to watching this documentary, I was not aware of the story of Thierry de la Villehuchet, which was tragic. Markopolos seems to think he was involved with head-hunting for Bernie, while Harry's colleague Frank Casey believes Thierry was an honorable man who got duped like everyone else. Either way, it was sad to hear how he despaired and took his own life when the scheme came crashing down.
Also the story that Frank Casey tells of "Abe" and his failed attempt to warn his new wife and father-in-law to not invest was sobering and sad to hear.
Saddest of all is that almost no one listened to Markopolos and his colleagues; the economy is what brought Madoff down. Even though Markopolos was invited to testify before Congress, and received praise from some representatives, you could tell he was not a welcome guest there; but they finally had to listen to him since the scheme had blown up due to the financial collapse. Most politicians are beholden to Wall Street, just as the SEC seems to be, and I don't think Washington really wanted to hear what Harry had to say about the corruption of the system. If the politicians truly appreciated Mr. Markopolos, they would have appointed him head of the SEC. Can you imagine what things would be like on Wall Street if Markopolos led the SEC? But no politican who has taken money from Wall Street (and that's almost all of them) would ever dare nominate him.
One other thing I found interesting was when Harry's colleague alludes to the other great Ponzi scheme: "God forbid we should ever lose confidence in the US Dollar", but that's a tale for another documentary.

The main lesson I took away from this documentary is that you can't trust government or Wall Street to protect your money; like Maggie Mahar or Catherine Austin Fitts would say, you must get your money off Wall Street and put it on Main Street if you want it safe - buy a home, a business, gold and silver, or other hard assets, and be sure to bank with a local bank or credit union that is conservative and well run.

Everyone should watch this film so that they understand how corrupt the system is.
12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Markopolos probably deserves a better documentary than this May 20 2013
By robin - Published on
Verified Purchase
First off, let me just say that I highly respect Mr. Markopolos and fully acknowledge that he was one of the few people who labored mightily to bring down the Madoff fraud. Unfortunately this documentary comes up way short when discussing the nature of the Madoff scheme, then quickly drowns in over-dramatizations of Markopolos extreme paranoia.

If you wish to gain a better understating of the Maddof affair and how Harry Markopolos fits into the picture, I highly recommend Frontline's documentary on this topic, or Diana B. Henriques book "The Wizard of Lies." If you want to see 45 minutes of extraneous footage of Mr. Markopolos loading clips into handguns, putting on body armor, or peeking through blinds, this is the movie for you.

Look, I get that Mr. Markopolos probably felt a great deal of stress going up against someone as powerful as Madoff, but in hindsight the level of his panic was probably not justified; the story since revealed shows that Madoff didn't regard Markopolos or the Media as anything other than a small roadblock to amassing new clients. Markopolos really jumps the shark when, after the Maddof scheme implodes, he becomes absolutely convinced that the SEC is imminently going to execute a raid on his home and assassinate him and his family in order to hide the evidence of the SECs failings. He has his wife stand at the top of stairs, gun drawn, with instructions to shoot anyone who tries to enter; meanwhile he goes to a nearby pizza shop to fax some documents to a reporter. The whole segment is absolutely bizarre.

Frankly, if Markopolos acted at all in person like he comes off toward the end of this documentary, I can understand why so many people wrote him off as someone whom not to take seriously. This in no way excuses the SEC from its failure to act however. Harry Markopolos was absolutely right about Maddoff, it is just a shame that he was so ineffective at making the case to everyone else.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Chasing Madoff May 10 2012
By Liv - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Although this was probably a low budget film, it is something most people should see. It is mindboggling that the offices who should have discovered the fraud did not, including the media. it seems they were afraid of powerful people in high places.I am glad I purcased this film from Amazon
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
great story, dissapointing doc Nov. 6 2012
By Rachel Grean - Published on
Format: DVD
I was actually hoping for more on Madoff himself than to hear again just how frightened the whistle-blower was with more than a couple of filmed references to his children who are sweet but it felt like feather-bedding. I may not watch it again and I own it!.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
For Madoff's strategy to work, he would have had to buy more options on the Chicago Options Exchange than actually existed! Sept. 4 2012
By Joseph Kohout Jr. - Published on
Format: DVD
I am not sure of the etiquette re: spoilers for a documentary?

Lets start with all the critique: loud dramatic music, frequent cut-ins, excessive filler (Markopolos showing his wedding photos, visiting his old HS and the cop that signed his carry permit). YES, YES AND YES! Could the film have been cut in half to 45-minutes? YES! Markopolos coming off as a paranoid Schizophrenic (checking his mini-van for bombs and deciding that if it came out he was behind the investigation that he would have to kill Madoff before Madoff killed him). YES! Does Frank Casey come off as a polished Wall Street Salesman who prompted Markopolos because he wanted the business for their firm (Rampart) and they couldn't compete with Madoff? YES!

What makes the program worthwhile is that the scheme was actually exposed TEN YEARS BEFORE MADOFF WAS PROSECUTED!

What is interesting to me is how many people actually had to be aware and how easy it was for a semi intelligent "quant" to identify fraud within a relatively short time of analysis, as both the sheer volume of trades that needed to have been made to support the return profile would have exceeded the total of all options currently being traded and that the third party clearing firms were not doing business with Madoff! Without getting too technical, the latter is actually more telling then the former, as there are only a handful of specialist firms that would have had to be involved to facilitate the volume of trades that needed to be made to support the reported volume. I to this day don't understand how this could have gone un-noticed by even a junior SEC audit team. It latter came out that Madoff had not done a single trade since the 1990's!

I am not a conspiracy theorist per say, though as a financial professional with +25-years of experience, I can't fathom how Madoff could have pulled it off without protections at the highest level?

"When Markopolos got his hands on a copy of Madoff's revenue stream, he suspected problems almost immediately. To his mind, Madoff's strategy was so poorly structured that on paper, it couldn't possibly make money. Additionally, his return stream rose upward with only a few downticks--a nearly perfect 45-degree angle. Markopolos knew that the markets were too volatile even in the best of conditions for this to be possible. He believed there were only two ways to explain the figures--either Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme (by paying established clients with newer clients' money) or front running (buying stock for his own account based on knowledge about his clients' orders). Either way, Markopolos believed there was no legal way for Madoff to deliver his purported returns. Markopolos later said that he knew within five minutes that Madoff's numbers didn't add up. It took him another four hours to prove that they could have only been obtained through fraud"

"He also couldn't find any evidence the market was responding to any Madoff trades, even though by his estimate Madoff was running as much as $6 billion--far more money than any known hedge fund even then. In Markopolos' mind, this suggested that Madoff wasn't even trading."

Despite the schlock, worth a watch for the underlying message

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