The news was on the front page of the Toronto Star, it was all about the death of Bernie Madoff while in prison. It caused Harry Marx to stop and think. He actually felt bad for Bernie. Yes, he had been dishonest, and yes he took advantage of people, but to end up dying in a crappy prison, it didn’t get much worse than that.
Harry knew how hard it was to succeed and while he had made it to the top of the financial world, he had also paid a price. He knew he never screwed over people on a mass scale like Bernie did, but he also knew he had taken advantage of situations to benefit himself while causing others problems. It was all in the fine print.
Having a normal family life while making it to the top was not an option. He remembered his first wife. Sophie had been the ultimate good person and he had basically ruined her. When they married she was full of life and optimism, when they divorced she was bitter and frustrated. Harry wasn’t surprised when she married an Australian guy a few years later and moved away. She had received a big settlement from him and had said to her divorce lawyer that no matter how much she got, Harry had caused her so much stress no amount of money would ever be able to cover it. Harry thought about the way he screwed around while married, and he knew she was right.
He remembered the first time he went on a private jet with Ho Ling. He was a billionaire from Hong Kong. He had met Harry through a banking associate and they had hit it off. Ho wanted to park some money in Canada and Harry had done a very good job of accomodating him. The end result was besides doing business they became friends.
Ho had a massive suite at the Wynn, and he went to Vegas once a month. The first time he invited Harry to go with for the weekend, it coincided with his third anniversary to Sophie. Harry bought Sophie a diamond broach and explained that under normal circumstances nothing would make him miss his anniversary, but Ho was a major client and he needed to meet with him, their future depended on it. It was a pile of bullshit. Sophie reluctantly agreed to postpone their anniversary date, and Harry went to the Toronto airport. He went to a private hangar and got on Ho’s Learjet 75 Liberty.