The bits of wisdom Florian Homm picked up during his stay in Colombia, where he was getting some “me time” and not trying to distance himself from angry investors whose money he’d lost, can be found in the book he wrote about living underground (“Kopf Geld Jagd”), which he hopes will be a “hard-core wake-up call” readers who are “trying to get a second Mercedes and a bigger boat.” For those who can’t wait for the English version, from an interview with the Times we learn:

Underwear makes a pretty good hiding place for cash.

Mr. Homm said he had spent much of the past five years living under an assumed name in Colombia as he tried to find himself, and not be found by dubious characters trying to collect a reward of €1.5 million, or $1.9 million, that had been put on his head…Just who wants to get Mr. Homm remains a mystery. But presumably the people who put up the reward — since withdrawn — were among the people who lost hundreds of millions investing in the hedge fund that Mr. Homm managed from Majorca, Absolute Capital Management Holdings. The fund’s value plunged in September 2007 shortly after Mr. Homm, his Calvin Klein underwear stuffed with cash, boarded a private turboprop plane on the Spanish island and flew to Colombia, according to the account he gives in the book.

You can never be too careful.

The years in exile do not appear to have dulled Mr. Homm’s flair for drama. German journalists who met Mr. Homm in Paris last week reported being subjected to baroque precautions in order to thwart a list of enemies that, Mr. Homm suggested, may include the Hell’s Angels and the Russian mafia. A reporter for The Financial Times Deutschland wrote of being told to travel alone to Paris, where he was directed by text message to a hotel lobby. There, a Homm associate appeared and led the reporter through narrow streets to another hotel. Mr. Homm appeared only after security guards had scanned the journalist with a metal detector.

If you polled a random 100 people on the street, odds are at least half of them were fucked by Bernie Madoff. Not really a lesson, just a little statistic that should keep the big guy, who knew he was good but not that he was that good, warm at night.

During his years underground, Mr. Homm wrote, he lived in Cartagena, Colombia, choosing the country because it would be easy to bring in a large amount of cash. “Most people try to take things out of Colombia, not the other way around,” he wrote. He also spent 18 months traveling the world, often living in cheap hotel rooms. Mr. Homm’s fortune, once estimated at $400 million, has dwindled to just 1 percent or 2 percent of its former value, he said. That is still $4 million to $8 million. Mr. Homm said the rest was squandered by an investment adviser who put some of the money into funds managed by Bernard L. Madoff, who is now in prison for operating a Ponzi scheme. “Madoff!” Mr. Homm wrote. “Irony can sometimes be brutally vengeful.”

After 5 Years Of Hiding, A Banker Reappears [NYT]

22 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (22)

  1. Posted by Guest | November 20, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    I know if I was a German taking a temporary hiatus from society for alleged wrongdoings, the first thing I'd want to do is write a book about my life, explaining just how terribly misunderstood I was.

  2. Posted by guest | November 20, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    Knowing how much German's love number 2, I'm going to say no one in Colombia wanted to touch that cash anywho.

  3. Posted by TobiasFunkeCFA | November 20, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    There are so many gems in that article. For instance:

    "Mr. Homm, who once shared a €5 million abode on Majorca with a Russian table dancer, said he now prayed daily and planned to devote proceeds from his memoir to schoolchildren in Liberia."

  4. Posted by Sean | November 20, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    Hey, this continent ain't big enough for two runaways!

    -Ustasha Sakic

  5. Posted by guest | November 20, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    I'd imagine a German trying to escape justice by living on the down low in South America would make nervous Jew very nervous.

    ~Not Nervous Jew but a fan of his work.

  6. Posted by John McAfee | November 20, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Colombia, you say?

  7. Posted by very funny guy | November 20, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    He'll be smoking more than cigars in prison

  8. Posted by very funny guy | November 20, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    His new neighbor will go by the name Bubba and will call him " his wife"

  9. Posted by guest | November 20, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    go play in traffic

  10. Posted by VonSloneker | November 20, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    He was great in "The Big Lebowski"…

    – Logjammin

  11. Posted by Helpful Fact Guy | November 20, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    Kopf Geld Jagd means "Bounty Hunting."

  12. Posted by PermaGuestII | November 20, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    You could call it "My Struggle"

  13. Posted by Customs | November 20, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    Where the fuck is interpol ?

  14. Posted by Guest | November 20, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    He looks eerily similar to Jeremy Irons in Die Hard With a Vengeance

  15. Posted by | November 20, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    Dont be fatuous VonSloneker

  16. Posted by asdf1234 | November 20, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    Yeah but Madoff investors got most of their cash back. Perhaps that's why he moved back to Paris.

  17. Posted by Dr Szell | November 20, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    Is it safe?

  18. Posted by qwestion | November 20, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    Let's see: he's 6'7" looking to blend in in a country full of 5'8" Columbians. Someone's not looking hard enough.

  19. Posted by Guest | November 20, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    Columbians? Wow, go Lions !

  20. Posted by DingALing | November 21, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    They got lost in the narrow alleys on the way to the third hotel

  21. Posted by Louis Bacon | November 21, 2012 at 10:21 AM

    what a farc of a hedge fund manager

  22. Posted by Daisy Liddell | November 22, 2012 at 11:47 PM

    So funny! But i like this! Pretty interesting!