From reader NP (I don’t know if he wishes to remain anonymous so I’m erring on the side of caution):
A few thoughts on Mr. Noel:
1) Anyone basing the thought that the Noels are in some kind of financial turmoil because they rented out of their island paradise on Mustique are very much mistaken. Even a first year litigator with middling grades and some personal hygiene issues would have forbid them from attending the island in December 2008. When Mr. Noel and Fairfield Greenwich end up in court, it would not further his defence to have the following play out in open court: “So, Mr. Noel, on December 11, 2008, when Mr. Madoff was arrested and the world discovered the fictitious nature of his business, after having fleeced your investors to the tune of $7.5 billion, which is larger than the gross national product of many nations, you immediately leapt into action to preserve your client’s interests by flying down in a private jet to your island getaway, which I understand sleeps 42?” Any picture of the Noels at their “cottage” would really, really put a jury off Mr. Noel, much like finding a used condom at the bottom of your soup bowl.
2) The same litigator with the hygiene issue is going to have a field day with the fact that Mr. Noel did not have his own money with Madoff: “So, Mr. Noel, you saw fit to entrust $7.5 billion with Mr. Madoff. $7.5 billion dollars – money that you knew came from people and families that trusted you and who looked to you to guard their fortunes, however large or small. This, sir, was an awesome responsibility, the safe keeping of what amounted to many families’ entire life savings. I am sure you must have taken all care in the world to find a safe haven for their money, and having done your due diligence, and painstakingly and tirelessly searched the land for the best, you placed the funds with Mr. Madoff. Clearly this must have been because you believed you had found the finest investment advisor in the land. You must have believed he was without peer: for what other reason would you put this incredible, unbelievable sum with him? But Mr. Noel, for some reason, you did not trust this genius, this brilliant, brilliant individual with your own money – only the money belonging to your trusting and faithful clients. Could you please explain that sir?”