Sunday, April 8, 2012
Probably because of my affiliation with the financial industry, I am fascinated by the Bernie Madoff case. It just seemed too obvious right from the start - his fraud - and I marvel at how he got away with it. I also couldn't understand how in his firm, only a handful of people knew about what he was doing. For example, he was supposed to be executing bogus trades for years. Who settled those trades? How did he make it seem like he executed them? How did he make it appear like he settled them? The documentary "Chasing Madoff" did not really answer those questions, but it showed that there were a couple of people who were asking the same ones. It more r less focused on Harry Markopolos, who was initially hired by Rampart Financial to mathematically make up an equation to beat Madoff's ROIs. Within minutes, he realizes that Madoff's numbers are impossible, and from then on he becomes obsessed in exposing Madoff. he sends letters to Boston Exchange, and the SEC, and of course, nothing is done. In fact, this movie shows the ineptitude of SEC. Or was it because there were some powerful people connected with Madoff enabling him? The film employs some gimmicky tricks to make the subject matter seem simpler for some, but I think it mostly dumbs down the audience. And it tries to make Markopolos seem so "goofy" that it distracts from his message. But, the interviews are interesting, and the linear storytelling is clear that it should keep the interest of everyone watching. I hope this movie attracts viewers, and it should make people more aware of looking at their where and how their money is being invested. It is even being dedicated to the next set of people who will be part of the next financial meltdown, and unfortunately, that could very well happen.