January 27, 2009, Update: Despite his suicide letter, it appears that Arthur Nadel is alive and well, and in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Funny how times change. A google news search for Arthur Nadel, who disappeared on Thursday amid allegations his Valhalla Investment Partners LP hedge fund blew $350 million of its investors' money, reveals only 55 stories. A year ago, this would have been on the front page of the Times of London. The Sarasota Herald Tribune, the paper of record in the locality where Nadel's funds were based, reports on the story in its sports section.
Fund principal Arthur G. Nadel, a prominent player in Sarasota social and philanthropic circles, disappeared this week. His wife, Peg, filed a missing person report with law enforcement after finding a suicide note.
Investors — from individuals to the Sarasota YMCA Foundation — in the funds branded Viking, Valhalla and Scoop were stunned this week to learn they may be victims in what could become the largest investment swindle in Southwest Florida history.
Despite the carnage on Wall Street last year, investors were told that their investments had earned more than 8 percent as of November.
Some are already calling the case a "mini-Madoff," after Bernard Madoff of New York, who has been accused of creating a $50 billion Ponzi scheme that promised similarly large percentage returns.
Some might call placement of this story, which a year ago would have been one of the biggest investment swindles in history, not just southwest Florida history, in the sports section a mistake. I consider it clever irony. Considering the rides given to the public by CitiGroup, Fannie and Freddie, Bear Stearns, Lehman Bros, GM, Bank of America, and Bernard Madoff, Arthur Nadel's alleged misdeeds seem about as significant as the outcome of a big basketball game between high school rivals in southwest Florida.
Even the "missing" angle isn't that interesting. After all, Arthur Nadel isn't a young, pretty white girl. So how can this be news?
On reflection, just to make this post interesting even to me, I'm going to have to insert an image of a pretty girl. I give you: a pretty girl on a bicycle.