Danny Pang: Ponzi schemer's death shrouded in mystery

If the economic meltdown were to have an epitaph, it might be Warren Buffett's (and Robert L. Clarke's) oft-cited admonition that "When the tide goes out, you find out who is swimming naked." Over the past year, this popular line has transformed from a pithy quote into a contest, with each entrant vying for the honor of being the most flamboyant skinny-dipper. In the beginning, there was gray-faced, shlumpy Bernie Madoff, who robbed celebrities, universities, funds and friends in a scam that was almost epic in its scope. Later, Allen Stanford's apparent ability to more or less control the government and economy of Antigua seemed poised to transform his personal Hiroshima into a one-man recession for the Caribbean nation.

Recently, however, the mysterious death of private equity guru Danny Pang has moved the line of scrimmage for Ponzi scheme royalty, turning swimming naked into something that borders on the operatic.