Earlier today, SAC Capital pleaded guilty to insider trading, agreeing to pay $1.8 billion, the largest fine ever, for such a crime. While the settlement presumably gave some level of comfort to Cohen, who it is unlikely will face jail time, uncertainty about the future still plagues the hedge fund and its founder.

In addition to legal issues that may still rear their heads, the changes that SAC will undergo as a result of the deal with the government has likely given rise to new anxieties for staff, clients, and the community. Employees are wondering just how safe their jobs are, now that the fund will go from managing $15 billion to a mere $9 billion. #1 Fan Ed Butowsky is scrambling to find a sister or a cousin of Cohen’s who he can marry as a means of becoming an investor in the family fund.

But for the greater SAC Family, the worries are much more urgent.

As those of you with a cursory knowledge of SAC Capital are aware, each year since at least 2009, the firm has sponsored an event called the Giant Balloon Inflation Party. Members of the Stamford community gather downtown the Saturday before Thanksgiving, and the night before the UBS Parade Spectacular, and watch with wonderment and delight as “giant helium balloons come to life.” It’s a spectacle so grand that Cohen himself not only foots the majority of the bill but has been known to attend, too, just awestruck as the children seeing it for the first time.

But with today’s settlement, and the changes afoot at SAC, the question was clearly on everyone’s mind: what would become of the giant balloons that needed inflating? Would SAC cancel its check, deciding it could no longer afford to fund such things? Would a representative from the firm be dispatched to blow them up manually? Would Cohen deem it simply too awkward to lend SAC’s name to the party, given the events of the prior weeks? Would the government include a clause in the settlement forbidding SAC from taking part in “celebratory gatherings of 26 or more people at which cotton candy is provided, without written permission from Preet Bharara”? It all seemed so frighteningly possible.

But those fears were alleviated late Monday afternoon, when it became clear that what could have been the biggest tragedy of the whole settlement – the worst-case scenario of the storm – never materialized. We reached out to inflation party organizers, and according to Stamford Downtown president, Sandy Goldstein:

“SAC Capital continues to be an extraordinary member of this community and is happily aboard as the presenting sponsor of the balloon inflation party.”

SAC Capital Advisors Giant Balloon Inflation Party [Stamford Downtown]
SAC Capital to Pay $1.8 Billion, the Largest Insider Trading Fine Ever [BusinessWeek]

17 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (17)

  1. Posted by trader | November 4, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    Your honor, this balloon inflating thing is a smoke screen for a bunch of criminals forcing somebody to do a lot of blow jobs.

    Preet Bharara

  2. Posted by SAC | November 4, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    We take responsibility for the handful of helium tanks that gave rise to the balloons that comprise the Parade Spectacular.

  3. Posted by guest | November 4, 2013 at 5:15 PM


  4. Posted by Im_a_Dude | November 4, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    Who knew Stamford had their own Thanksgiving parade, but sounds about right UBS= Macy's.

    -Guy who remembers going for the first time to the the macy's parade and and being awestruck when woody woodpecker floated down.

  5. Posted by Tito | November 4, 2013 at 5:33 PM

    1.8 billion

  6. Posted by Drew | November 4, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    "SAC Capital pleaded guilty to insider trading, agreeing to pay $1.8 million"

    ummm….. I think that is $1.8 BILLION not million

  7. Posted by yourmother | November 4, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    White collar crime is the tits!!! you little fuckers

  8. Posted by guest | November 4, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    are you having a stroke?

  9. Posted by guest | November 4, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    um. what?

  10. Posted by guasto | November 4, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    getting to keep the other 7.2 billion is pretty cool

  11. Posted by the strokes | November 4, 2013 at 7:53 PM

    Best fucking band in 2002

  12. Posted by guasto | November 4, 2013 at 8:11 PM

    i stand corrected – 7.8. credit for amounts already paid. that's cool too.

  13. Posted by guest | November 5, 2013 at 4:33 AM

    Kick him in the nut SAC

  14. Posted by Dead_cat | November 5, 2013 at 7:34 AM

    So insider trading is apparently fine provided you cut the Government in for 20% (plus any taxes you can't legally avoid).

  15. Posted by Not Funny, But True | November 6, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    In order to save money on helium, Chris Christie has been drafted to blow up the balloons manually.

  16. Posted by Money Management | November 18, 2013 at 2:05 AM

    The foremost step is to organize your finances in a systematic manner. Streamline the number of bank accounts that you have and take complete charge of credit cards. Use one e-mail address for all e-statements and other financial documents. With Internet banking, you can easily keep constant checks on all the transactions taking place in your bank accounts and be aware of your financial situation.

  17. Posted by Matt Marketing | November 25, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    Managing money, is like managing your own water supply. You can't avoid yourself from drinking, especially when you're thirsty.