• 28 May 2008 at 9:37 AM

Hey Kids, You Wanna See A Card Trick?

greenberg.jpg

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]

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Comments (20)

  1. Posted by Jesse | May 28, 2008 at 9:50 AM

    OMG that was so funny!

  2. Posted by guest | May 28, 2008 at 10:00 AM

    These “stories” and that is being generous, are total BS.
    Everyone, who actually reads and does research, knows that Goldman Sachs started the whole mess by refusing to be a counter-party on remaining BSC deals.
    These people had no idea what they were doing and fabricating these tales are a way to try and show the common man that they were “on it” when they clearly have not been for several years.
    BSC were exposed as the clowns they have always been.
    Proof that the WSJ is now “Rupert’s Rag”
    WHat a crock of crap…
    MS

  3. Posted by guest | May 28, 2008 at 10:06 AM

    Please leave Elmert Fudd in peace! He wanted the best for the company.
    He was a great magician. What the note does not say is that he just to appear, (after the children went to sleep),
    a pot cigar for Cayne from nowhere.
    The audience used to clap amused.
    At the end of the act, when everybody was hammered he used to exposed himself to the audience.

  4. Posted by diablo | May 28, 2008 at 10:19 AM

    Funny stuff!

  5. Posted by guest | May 28, 2008 at 10:29 AM

    Go easy – the man’s a WS legend. Show some respect.

  6. Posted by guest | May 28, 2008 at 10:41 AM

    im with 10:29
    he’s not the problem in this story,lay off

  7. Posted by guest | May 28, 2008 at 10:47 AM

    Agreed. The post is too mean.
    Bad karma Bess.
    I’d yank it if I were you.

  8. Posted by guest | May 28, 2008 at 10:59 AM

    Illusions, Jimmy, You don’t have time for my ILLUSIONS!
    A trick is something a whore does for money….or cocain.

  9. Posted by guest | May 28, 2008 at 11:10 AM

    The guy’s a bafoon! I give him credit for an amusing sales guy but other than that, he’s a moron too along with Jimmy Cayne (Both of them live in the past, ie 70′s wall street culture). Although personally, he’s lot more friendly than Cayne.

  10. Posted by guest | May 28, 2008 at 11:19 AM

    10:06 – Elmer Fudd ? What nerve !!
    Anyone can see that it’s Uncle Fester.
    Skip the magic – let’s see him chew some lightbulbs !

  11. Posted by Lowly Assistant | May 28, 2008 at 11:52 AM

    I remember years ago one junior trader called him out for his bullshit magic (particularly the ol’ “Watch me pull this silver dollar out of my ear” trick). Ace made haste, fashioned a barrel from some pitch books, and rolled out the window of 383, only to miraculously survive. Some call it magic, I call it tumbling beneath God’s radar.

  12. Posted by guest | May 28, 2008 at 12:18 PM

    @11:10am. I don’t know if either Ace or Jimmy are “morons” (Ace seems to be getting a little out of it, i.e., senile dementia, but I wouldn’t dare volunteer a diagnosis on Jimmy because assessment of his case is well beyond me), but I do agree that both of them have been living in the past.
    Btw, your excellent word choice of “Bafoon” is conventionally spelled “buffoon.”

  13. Posted by dd | May 28, 2008 at 12:28 PM

    “on the sixth floor, there was talk of ordering breakfast from dunkin’ donuts.” There was talk??? What’s the deal WSJ, did they, or didn’t they? Don’t ‘there was talk’ me. I need to know the facts here, not this ‘there was talk’ trash. god.

  14. Posted by guest | May 28, 2008 at 1:05 PM

    At least Ace was at the shop. “Mr. Schwartz arranged an emergency board meeting to brief directors that Thursday night. It was late, so most phoned in. James Cayne, who’d remained as chairman after stepping down as CEO Jan. 8, missed part of the discussion because he was playing in a bridge tournament at a Detroit hotel.” Attaboy, Jimmy!

  15. Posted by guest | May 28, 2008 at 1:41 PM

    @1:05pm. I do agree with you. I’ve long since given up trying to understand why Jimmy Cayne insisted on playing bridge in Detroit during the Bear Stearns melt-down. Cayne lost hundreds of millions of his own money as a result of the firm’s collapse. I just can’t honestly fathom what was wrong with him.

  16. Posted by Finnegan | May 28, 2008 at 2:38 PM

    @1:41
    Weed is wrong with him.

  17. Posted by guest | May 28, 2008 at 3:52 PM

    @11:19
    Funniest post ever.

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  20. Posted by buster bluth | January 23, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    G.O.B.: You want us for Use Your Illusion?

    Tony Wonder: Actually, some band has got the rights to that title, so I’m thinking like Use Your Illusion 2….
    So I want you guys to be on Use Your Illusion. Only now it’s “allusion” with an “A.” So if you guys want to put an allusion in there somewhere, like Poe or something… Don’t do Poe, ’cause I’m doing Poe.