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Mark Thomas Williams (born August 19, 1963) is an academic, financial author and risk management expert. He is a faculty member in the Finance Department at Boston University where he teaches courses in banking, risk management and capital market activities. In 2015, he co-authored a report with Harry Markopolos, the Bernie Madoff whistleblower about the potential fraud and growing risks associated with the MBTA pension.[1] [2] In 2018, he was awarded the James E. Freeman Lecturer in Management Chair. In 2019 he completed a performance study on Major League Baseball Umpires pitch-call accuracy over 11 seasons (2008-2018) concluding that over 20% of certain pitches are called incorrectly. For the 2018 season, home plate umpires made 34,294 incorrect pitch calls.[3]

Mark T. Williams
Boston University Questrom School of Business
Boston University Questrom School of Business
Born (1963-08-19) August 19, 1963 (age 55)



In 1985, he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from the University of Delaware.[4] He became a bank trust officer for Wilmington Trust Company and joined TD Banknorth in 1987. In 1993 he earned a Master of Business Administration from Boston University and joined the Federal Reserve Bank as an examiner in Boston and San Francisco. In 1997 he joined Citizens Power LLC, a Boston-based energy trading company and became a senior vice president, Head of Global Risk Management.[5] Since 2002, he has been on the faculty of Boston University as Executive-in-Residence/Master Lecturer.[6]

Williams is a member of the Standard & Poor’s Academic Council, a senior advisor at the Brattle Group[7] and is on the advisory board of Appleton Partners, a Boston-based private wealth management firm.[8]

Williams is a frequent guest contributor for the Financial Times,[9][10][11] Reuters,[12],[13] and Business Insider.[14] He has also written articles for Bloomberg,[15] the Boston Globe,[16][17][18][19][20] [21] Foreign Policy magazine[22] and The New York Times[23][24][25]

Bitcoin criticismEdit

On January 29, 2014, he provided risk testimony before the New York State Department of Financial Services hearing on virtual currencies.[26] In this testimony[clarification needed], he stated "to transform Bitcoin into a virtual currency would require regulation, centralization, creation of a legal framework and strong regulatory oversight." He raised concerns about Bitcoin, including lack of consumer protection, it being a high-risk virtual commodity, having an artificially inflated price, extreme hoarding, hyped demand, high potential for market manipulation, and fraud.[27][28][29][30] On April 2, 2014, Williams provided congressional testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Small Business discussing the 10 major risks associated with Bitcoin.[31] In 2013, after Bitcoin peaked at $1,200, Williams predicted that it was in a bubble and would trade for less than 10 dollars by mid-2014.[32] In 2014, Bitcoin prices dropped by over 50% but bottomed out above $200 through 2014 and didn't reached $10 like he predicted. [33][27]Other academics including Yale economist Robert Shiller also consider Bitcoin a speculative bubble.[34] In January 2018, he further cautioned investors about the cryptocurrency hyper asset bubble, stating it is fraught with uncertainty and high risk. Prices can also be manipulated, and exchanges that trade them tend to have little to no regulation and consumer protections. [35]


  • Beckwith Prize for Excellence in Teaching - Boston University, 2008
  • New England Book Show Best Reference Book of 2013, New England Book Show, 2014
  • James E. Freeman Lecturer Chair awarded, 2018


  • Williams, Mark T. Uncontrolled Risk: The Lessons of Lehman Brothers and How Systemic Risk Can Still Bring Down the World Financial System. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010.[36] Chinese Version Published McGraw Hill, 2014.
  • Williams, Mark T. & Lawson, Alan. Longwood Covered Courts: And the Rise of American Tennis. Boston: 2013.[37]


  1. ^ "Madoff whistle-blower sounds alarm on T pension fund". Boston Globe. June 27, 2015.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "MLB Umpires Missed 34,294 Ball-Strike Calls in 2018. Bring on Robo-umps?". BU Today. June 16, 2019.
  4. ^ Thomas, Neil (June 10, 2010). "UD alum writes book on Lehman, financial crisis and important lessons learned". UDaily.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Barlow, Rich (June 17, 2010). "Learning from Lehman Brothers". BU Today.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Form N-1A". SEC. April 30, 2013.
  9. ^ "MF Global Gives Fed a Lesson in How to Pick its Friends" The Financial Times - November 6, 2011
  10. ^ "Few Silver Linings When Gold Bubble Bursts" The Financial Times - October 17, 2010
  11. ^ "Ignore the hyperbole: America is not bust" The Financial Times - September 8, 2010
  12. ^ "Why did the SEC fail to spot the Madoff case?" Reuters - January 6, 2009
  13. ^ "A Breach Of Fiduciary Duty At Bank Of America?" Forbes - February 26, 2009
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Derivatives Trading Comes Clean in the Open: Mark T. Williams" Bloomberg - April 16, 2010
  16. ^ Williams, Mark T. (June 30, 2016). "A five-point plan to save the MBTA's pension fund". Boston Globe.
  17. ^ Williams, Mark T. (February 2, 2015). "A priority list for fixing the MBTA". Boston Globe.
  18. ^ "The weak link in bank reform" The Boston Globe - July 8, 2010
  19. ^ "Don’t throw the keys to the Fed" The Boston Globe - July 2, 2009
  20. ^ "Bitcoin spikes to a new record — again. Will it ever come down? - The Boston Globe". Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Fool's Gold" Foreign Policy - November 8, 2010
  23. ^ William, Mark T. (January 24, 2014). "Bitcoin Is Not Yet Ready for the Real World". New York Times.
  24. ^ "Beware Of Bitcoin". cognoscenti. December 5, 2013. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  25. ^ "Investing in Cryptocurrency: Do or Don't? | BU Today | Boston University". Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  26. ^
  27. ^ a b Testimony of Mark T. Williams The New York State Department of Financial Services: Hearing on Virtual Currencies - January 29, 2014.
  28. ^ Panel 3: The Academic View on Virtual Currencies The New York State Department of Financial Services: Hearing on Virtual Currencies - January 29, 2014.
  29. ^ "Investing in Cryptocurrency: Do or Don't? | BU Today | Boston University". Retrieved October 6, 2018.
  30. ^ "Mark T. Williams: Proposed Edits to New York Regulations Pertaining to Virtual Currencies" (PDF).
  31. ^ [1] House Committee on Small Business: Committee Explores Risks and Benefits of Bitcoin Use by Small Businesses
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^ Shiller, Robert (March 1, 2014). "In Search of a Stable Electronic Currency". New York Times.
  35. ^
  36. ^ Healy, Beth. "Learning from Wall Street's failures".
  37. ^ Lawson, R. Alan; Williams, Mark T. (2013). Longwood Covered Courts: And the Rise of American Tennis. Longwood Covered Courts.