5 People Who the World Thought Were Crazy But Were Right All Along

They tried to warn us but we didn’t listen



Cassandra. Source

FFive stories of real-life Cassandras. In Greek mythology, Cassandra was the daughter of the last king of Troy, Priam, and his wife Hecuba. She was cursed by the Greek god Apollo that no one would believe her prophecies. [1][2]

#1. Harry Markopolos

Harry Markopolos. Source: Business Insider

Markopolos was a financial analyst and portfolio manager at Rampart Investment Management, a Boston-based options trader. Markopolos was tasked with developing a product that replicates Bernie Madoff’s returns. Bernie Madoff was one of the most respected names on Wall Street and at that time was running the largest hedge fund in the world.

After looking through Madoff’s financial statements, Markopolos spotted several red flags. The biggest red flag was that Madoff’s return on investment rose continuously at a nearly perfect 45-degree angle. According to Markopolos, the financial market is too volatile for this kind of return to be possible. He further elaborated that it was impossible for Madoff’s strategy to work as he would have had to acquire more options on the Chicago Board Options Exchange than actually existed. He concluded that Madoff was either front-running or running a Ponzi scheme.

From 2000 to 2005, Markopolos made three submissions to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with his third and final submission being a detailed 21-page memo titled “ The World’s Largest Hedge Fund is a Fraud.” However, SEC took no action. Markopolos spent ten years trying to convince everyone (investors, journalists, regulatory agencies, etc.) that Madoff was a fraud, based on forensic accounting. Despite the overwhelming evidence, no one would believe him.

In December 2008, Madoff’s sons tipped off the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Madoff pleaded guilty to operating the largest private Ponzi scheme in history, he was sentenced in 2009 to 150 years in prison with restitution of $170 billion. [3][4]

#2. Ignez Semmelweis