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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Schadenfreude time

This morning's NY Times had an article about a hedge fund manager entitled, "In Fraud Case, Middle Men In Spotlight."

It featured a picture of Walter Noel, dressed in an expensive jacket, with a big smile on his face and his arm around his wife Monica:

"As a go-between who shepherded clients and their money to Bernard L. Madoff, Walter M. Noel became so prosperous that he was only too happy to show off his good fortune to the world.

"In 2002, Vanity Fair dispatched the photographer Bruce Weber to shoot a lavish spread of Mr. Noel's wife and their five grown daughters at his home in Connecticut ("Golden in Greenwich", read the headline). That was followed, in 2005, by a Town and Country story on the Noel family's tropical retreat in Mustique.

"These houses -- joining Mr. Noel's addresses in Palm Beach and Southampton and on Park Avenue -- were visible evidence of his investment empire, the Fairfield Greenwich Group, which had $14.1 billion in February.

"Mr. Noel's firm, including four sons-in-law as partners, now has the distinction of being the biggest known loser in the Madoff scandal, to the tune of $7.5 billion."

Here is the question: what percent of the people who read this article are chortling over Mr. Noel's misfortune?

99.99%? Or 99.999%?

Your guess is as good as mine.

(The above numbers take into account that members of his immediate family probably subscribe.)

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