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Amid the turmoil, Alan “Ace” Greenberg, Bear Stearns’s 80-year-old former boss, attempted to break the tension in a lighter way. Wearing his trademark bow tie, Mr. Greenberg, who still trades, performed magic tricks to amuse colleagues.
What the Journal doesn’t tell us, is that Old Man Greenberg did this every day just prior to the close for the last thirty years, at which time, traders would give him spare change “just to go away,” which, little known fact, was part of his plan in the first place. Also, for years, colleagues would hire him as a clown for their children’s birthday parties out of pity. In the beginning Jimmy Cayne would come along as an assistant, but he scared the kids and was dropped from the act pretty early on, without flourish.
Fear, Rumors Touched Off Fatal Run on Bear Stearns [WSJ]