Thursday, July 3, 2008

Another hedge fund manager bites the dust. Well. Fakes biting it.

Chat from several months ago:

1:28 PM me: I've been following the Norman Hsu case. I think it's really funny.
I'm not sure why.
1:29 PM His pictures make him look like a basset hound.
He's also a moron.
I also think the phrase "Ponzi scheme" is funny. That might be part of it.
1:35 PM Ryan: I haven't heard of Norman Hsu.
I'll look it up
1:36 PM me: He's that democratic fund raiser from Hong Kong that was recently discovered to have a 15 year old outstanding warrant for his arrest in SM county.
Ryan: right
I recall now
me: He was summarily arrested and then brought to court, at which point he convinced them he was not a flight risk.
Then he took flight.
No one knew where he went.
1:37 PM Until he fell violently ill on a train in Colorado.
He will be extradited to California, where I imagine he will try and convince them that he is not a flight risk.
1:38 PM Ryan: which will probably not work again
1:39 PM and there are now charges against him in NY
me: He has since been found to be the mastermind of a Ponzi scheme, which was how he was getting the $850,000 he gave to Hillary Clinton's campaign in addition to the other money he has donated to the Democratic party.
Ryan: the NY fraud charges include investments totalling more than 40M$.
1:40 PM me: Yep. The reason he was caught in CO was because he fell "violently ill."
on the train.
1:41 PM I think that phrase itself is really, really funny.
Ryan: I imagine him throwing up in someone's lap
me: Violently!
Ryan: causing grievous bodily harm

I bring this chat to your attention because I found that story so funny. I mean, stuff like that doesn't even happen in movies. Why? Because even in the most farcical Schwarzeneggar/Van Damme/Segal movie the writers would find the whole story utterly implausible.

Maybe it isn't right to laugh at people who are obviously so sick in their heads with their megalomania that they actually believe they can get away with things like this. But here's another story that I find hilarious for the same, campy, ludicrously tragic (and tragically ludicrous) reasons.

A Paul Giamatti* doppelganger and former hedge fund manager, faked his own suicide by dramatically parking his car on a bridge, already popular amongst those wishing to kill themselves. He scrawled the words "Suicide is Painless" (I love it!) in the dust on his hood and then disappeared.


"“I’ll believe it when I see a body,” said Ross B. Intelisano, a lawyer at Rich & Intelisano, a law firm in New York. The firm is representing 20 investors who lost about $25 million in the collapse of Bayou, which was based in Stamford, Conn. “All of the clients I spoke to, their initial reaction was that it’s a ruse. It’s just another fraudulent act.”" -NYT

Apparently his mother talked him into turning himself in today. A big Edna Krapappel "HA!" for that one.

PS. I'd like to add that I drank Pinot Noir before Sideways came out AND I never saw it. I do love Paul Giamatti though, mainly for his portrayal of Harvey Pekar in American Splendor.

1 comment:

La Nina said...

Faking my own death is totally on the list of things I want to do before I, well, die.