Open main menu

Mark T. Williams

Mark Thomas Williams (born August 19, 1963) is an academic, financial author, columnist 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 growing risks associated with the MBTA pension.[1]

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.[2] 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.[3] Since 2002, he has been on the faculty of Boston University as Executive-in-Residence/Master Lecturer.[4]

Williams is a member of the Standard & Poor’s Academic Council, a senior advisor at the Brattle Group[5] and is on the advisory board of Appleton Partners, a Boston-based private wealth management firm.[6]

Williams is a frequent guest contributor for the Financial Times,[7][8][9] Reuters,[10],[11] and Business Insider. He has also written articles for Bloomberg,[12] the Boston Globe,[13][14][15][16][17] Foreign Policy magazine[18] and The New York Times[19][20][21]

Bitcoin criticismEdit

He said in the testimony[clarification needed], "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.[22][23][24][25] 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.[26] On October 21, 2014 he presented on virtual currencies at The World Bank and on April 23, 2015 at the Bretton Woods Committee.[27] The Bitcoin community remains critical of his concerns.[28][29] Williams also continues to assert that the virtual currency is in a hyper bubble and will eventually suffer a price collapse.[28] 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.[30] On January 29, 2014, he provided risk testimony before the New York State Department of Financial Services hearing on virtual currencies.[22][25] Bitcoin prices dropped by over 50% but bottomed out above $200 through 2014 and didn't reached $10 like he said it would.[31][22]Other academics including Robert Shiller also consider Bitcoin a speculative bubble.[32]


  • Beckwith Prize for Excellence in Teaching - Boston University, 2008
  • New England Book Show Best Reference Book of 2013, New England Book Show, 2014


  • 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.[33] Chinese Version Published McGraw Hill, 2014.
  • Williams, Mark T. & Lawson, Alan. Longwood Covered Courts: And the Rise of American Tennis. Boston: 2013.[34]


  1. ^ "Madoff whistle-blower sounds alarm on T pension fund". Boston Globe. June 27, 2015.
  2. ^ Thomas, Neil (June 10, 2010). "UD alum writes book on Lehman, financial crisis and important lessons learned". UDaily.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Barlow, Rich (June 17, 2010). "Learning from Lehman Brothers". BU Today.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Form N-1A". SEC. April 30, 2013.
  7. ^ "MF Global Gives Fed a Lesson in How to Pick its Friends" The Financial Times - November 6, 2011
  8. ^ "Few Silver Linings When Gold Bubble Bursts" The Financial Times - October 17, 2010
  9. ^ "Ignore the hyperbole: America is not bust" The Financial Times - September 8, 2010
  10. ^ "Why did the SEC fail to spot the Madoff case?" Reuters - January 6, 2009
  11. ^ "A Breach Of Fiduciary Duty At Bank Of America?" Forbes - February 26, 2009
  12. ^ "Derivatives Trading Comes Clean in the Open: Mark T. Williams" Bloomberg - April 16, 2010
  13. ^ Williams, Mark T. (June 30, 2016). "A five-point plan to save the MBTA's pension fund". Boston Globe.
  14. ^ Williams, Mark T. (February 2, 2015). "A priority list for fixing the MBTA". Boston Globe.
  15. ^ "The weak link in bank reform" The Boston Globe - July 8, 2010
  16. ^ "Don’t throw the keys to the Fed" The Boston Globe - July 2, 2009
  17. ^ "Bitcoin spikes to a new record — again. Will it ever come down? - The Boston Globe". Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  18. ^ "Fool's Gold" Foreign Policy - November 8, 2010
  19. ^ William, Mark T. (January 24, 2014). "Bitcoin Is Not Yet Ready for the Real World". New York Times.
  20. ^ "Beware Of Bitcoin". cognoscenti. 2013-12-05. Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  21. ^ "Investing in Cryptocurrency: Do or Don't? | BU Today | Boston University". Retrieved 2018-02-09.
  22. ^ a b c Testimony of Mark T. Williams The New York State Department of Financial Services: Hearing on Virtual Currencies - January 29, 2014.
  23. ^ Panel 3: The Academic View on Virtual Currencies The New York State Department of Financial Services: Hearing on Virtual Currencies - January 29, 2014.
  24. ^ "Investing in Cryptocurrency: Do or Don't? | BU Today | Boston University". Retrieved 2018-10-06.
  25. ^ a b "Mark T. Williams: Proposed Edits to New York Regulations Pertaining to Virtual Currencies" (PDF).
  26. ^ [1] House Committee on Small Business: Committee Explores Risks and Benefits of Bitcoin Use by Small Businesses
  27. ^ "Event Summary - Digital Payments and Currencies: Global Threat or Opportunity?".
  28. ^ a b "Prof. Mark T. Williams: "My Concerns Over Bitcoin Remain"". July 1, 2014.
  29. ^ "Time is Running Out for Mark Williams Prediction of a $10 Bitcoin". May 30, 2014.
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^ Shiller, Robert (March 1, 2014). "In Search of a Stable Electronic Currency". New York Times.
  33. ^ Healy, Beth. "Learning from Wall Street's failures".
  34. ^ Lawson, R. Alan; Williams, Mark T. (2013). Longwood Covered Courts: And the Rise of American Tennis. Longwood Covered Courts.