Arthur Nadel, the manager of the Sarasota Florida based Viking, Valhalla, and Scoop hedge funds, went missing a couple of weeks ago amid allegations that his funds were nothing but ponzi schemes. Nadel left only a suicide note, and frozen assets of about a million remaining from funds that once totalled 350 million. At the time, we wrote about how trivial, even quaint, Nadel's alleged crimes seemed amid the bigger scandals, criminal and non-criminal, of Bernard Madoff, Lehman, GM, and the like.
It appears that Nadel read our thoughts. In an effort to boost his public profile, Nadel turned himself in to the FBI this morning, ending a two week manhunt. Like stunt pilot and alleged fraud artist Markus Schrenker, even Nadel's suicide note was a lie. Yet here, again, Nadel disappoints. Rather than engaging in DB Cooper style avionics and subterfuge with hidden motorcycles, as Schrenker did, Nadel just hid in a swamp. Or a hotel room in Tampa, as the case may be.
Mike at Crime and Federalism, who originally alerted us to the Nadel story, writes often of psychopaths in business. Not Norman Bates-style serial killers, mind you, but people utterly devoid of empathy and conscience just the same. People wonder, on reading of psychopaths and the harm they wreak on their clients and co-workers, how the psychopath went down that path, or what went wrong? What people should wonder is how to detect other psychopaths, and avoid doing business with them.
If anything about a psychopath in a suit (as Nadel and Schrenker may well have been) could be predicted, it's that he would run, leaving a suicide note to the remorse of his family and friends. It's equally predictable that the psychopath would fail to follow through.