It's Day Three of the search for Samuel Israel III, the hedge fund manager who failed to show up for the start of his 20 year prison sentence on Monday, for defrauding Bayou Group clients of more than $400 million, and was presumed dead. Except that few people actually believe Israel is no longer with us, because the video camera footage along the Bear Mountain Bridge (where Israel car was found) is "inconclusive," a body's yet to be found, and the note he left, scrawled in dust on the hood of his car, was the completely unimaginative M*A*S*H quote, "Suicide is painless."
Which brings us to this: we said yesterday that suicide is not a laughing matter. It still isn't. But, since no one really thinks a guy killed himself here, I think it's okay to discuss something that's really been weighing on us, as it relates to this story. The fact that hedge funders get away with murder every day re: losing their clients' money, and then what happens? They get offered consulting gigs. It's just not fair.
No, just fucking with you. What I really want to talk about is that TV reference. "Suicide is painless"? Come on. I don't feel the pain of a man desperate enough to off himself. Plus, it's too perfect that his S-note actually contains the S-word. Did he type "suicide" and "note" into Google and that was the first result? Methinks yes. Me also thinks that, as an inside joke among his friends and former partners, Israel is probably planning on nicknaming his hideout in Argentina "Casa de Suicide is Painless." This was really poorly thought out, and, I submit, the red flag that Sammy's alive and kicking.
So, in order to prevent the brow of skepticism from being raised should something like this happen again, at this time we'd like to ask for suggestions from the audience--if you were going to kill yourself, what movie/TV quote would you go with? To get the creative juices flowing, check out this good one, by George Sanders: "Dear World, I am leaving because I am bored. I feel I have lived long enough. I am leaving you with your worries in this sweet cesspool. Good luck." And here's what we'd go with: either (a) "This is what happens when you fuck a stranger in the ass" or (b) "8 year-olds, dude" or some combination. Now you.
Earlier: Another HF Manager Presumed Dead
Search broadens for missing ex-hedge fund manager [Reuters]