One other thing characterises both stories: the scores of people who after the event delight in explaining how they knew the man was dodgy all along.
BOTH were table-thumping, charismatic figures. Both aggressively built up colossal business empires. Both loved grandiose schemes. Both vanished just before their companies collapsed amid fraud allegations. It's easy to draw parallels between Robert Maxwell and Jurgen Schneider, the German property developer who reportedly fled his country last week with suitcases full of Deutschemarks. The two men even share curious hair affectations: Maxwell dyed his jet black; Mr Schneider, I'm told, favours an appallingly ill-fitting toupee. Maxwell left by yacht and died, while Mr Schneider used his Lear jet and is thought to be very much alive.