The man who described to the SEC exactly what Madoff was doing years before Madoff confessed is not enjoying his well-deserved 15 minutes of fame. On the contrary, he feels horrible:
[R]ather than enjoy a sense of vindication, Mr. Markopolos says he is miserable. He has trouble sleeping and is haunted by the apparent suicide of Thierry Magon de La Villehuchet, a French money manager found dead shortly after Mr. Madoff’s Dec. 11 arrest on fraud allegations.
Although a colleague of Mr. de La Villehuchet’s says he doesn’t know of any warning, Mr. Markopolos says he told Mr. de La Villehuchet as well as investors at other firms that he thought Mr. Madoff was a fraud. He regrets that he couldn’t persuade many of them.
We don’t mean to provide medical advice to Mr. Markopoulos, but, dude, relax. You did all you could–and more.
Thierry de La Villehuchet was an adult, just like the many of sophisticated investors and fund managers who did business with Madoff. Many of them, including de La Villehuchet, thought Madoff was cheating via front-running, and this didn’t stop them from doing business with him (He’s screwing someone else? Fine. Just as long as he’s not screwing me.) These investors had plenty of warnings, from the press and other sophisticated professionals who refused to give money to Madoff. They made their own decisions, as adults.
So, enjoy your 15 minutes, Harry. You deserve them. (And don’t express your regrets too publicly, or, in our grand tradition of take-no-responsibility, someone will sue you for failing to persuade them).