Glaciers for Sale
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The Canadian dentist behind what may or may not have been the world’s first global-warming Ponzi scheme either lives or does not live in Iceland. His name is Otto Spork, and when I first learned of him, in 2008, he had secured the water rights to a glacier north of Reykjavík and quit his dental practice to run the most successful hedge fund in Canada.
His Toronto investment firm, Sextant Capital Management — the name was chosen to honor his paternal grandfather, Johan Marinus Spork, a Dutch sea captain — had recently been claiming 730 percent returns for its investors. Spork’s sales pitch was simple: the world was warming and parts of it were running dry, so Sextant bought water companies.