Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Marc Rich Dead at 78

Marc Rich, one-time fugitive commodities trader and founder of the group that became Glencore Xstrata PLC,  has died at age 78.

Rich fled to Switzerland from the U.S. in 1983 just hours before being indicted on more than 50 counts of wire fraud, evading taxes and trading with Iran during an embargo. It was typical government harassment of an entrepreneur who attempted to work around bizarre government regulations. On former President Bill Clinton's last day of office in 2001, Rich received a presidential pardon.

I knew some of Marc Rich's traders, when Rich operated as Marc Rich & Co in the US, before the charges were brought against him. He had magnificent offices at 650 Fifth Ave in NYC. One of his accountants at the time told me, "You wouldn't believe the money that flows through that company."

During my recent interview with James Altucher, he ranked persistence as an important trait for an entrepreneur to have. Rich personified persistence. His traders used to tell me that if there was a problem with a trade (This was physical trading not market trading), he would come at the problem from every angle possible.

When the authorized biography of Rich was about to come out, I reported that Rich had Henry Kissinger on his payroll (while he was still a fugitive). Rich seemingly endorsed this report, by linking to it on a book promotion page of his personal web site.

Rich should be remembered most of all though for his consistent ability to work around governmet attempts to prevent commerce. Whether there were on-going sanctions against Iraq, Iran or whatever country, you could count on Rich to find an angle to get product moving in and out of those countries---for a nice profit, of course. Rich was a character right out of an Ayn Rand novel, who fought evil government restrictions and wound up a billionaire for doing it.


  1. I'll just leave this here...

  2. He participated with Summers et al in the looting of Russia,

    Was a consummate crony, worked for Israeli intelligence (according to Wikipedia)

    and got the exclusive, no bid contract to dispose of the WTC rubble and scrap...

  3. JM nailed it.

    "you're backin' the wrong man fischer!"

    check out steve sailer's typically great analysis here: