Being called to testify before the U.S. Congress did little to help him lure clients, said Tilden Park Capital Management CIO Josh Birnbaum, whose hedge fund nonetheless managed to top the industry in 2012. Asked whether his testimony regarding his role in then-employer Goldman Sachs’s $3.7 billion windfall in betting against the subprime housing market had hurt his business, Birnbaum said, “Without a doubt.” “You go back to that period in 2010, when we were just getting our firm rolling, and nothing stops the momentum of a hedge fund like appearing in front of Congress, so there’s no question that that slowed us down,” he said on “Fast Money.” [CNBC]
Posts by Bess Levin
Having Carl Levin Suggest He F*cked His Clients On Live-TV Not The Boon To Josh Birnbaum’s Business One Might Have ExpectedBy Bess Levin
Remember Juerg Buergin? Former UBS executive, brown hair, rimless glasses, about yea high? Goes by the name Robert James when seeing the services of prostitutes? Tried to argue that the 17 year-old hooker he banged during his time in Singapore tricked him into thinking she was 18, which he and his lawyer backed up by point to all the women he paid to have sex with who were between the ages of 20 and 43? He’s going to spend some time in jail. Read more »
Billionaire John Paulson, the hedge- fund manager seeking to reverse two years of losses in some of his strategies, lost 27 percent in his Gold Fund last month after the precious metal and related securities plummeted, according to two people familiar with the matter. The loss brings the strategy’s decline to about 47 percent this year, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. The fund is made up primarily of Paulson’s own money, one of the people said. The strategy has about $500 million, down from about $700 million at the end of March. [Bloomberg]
The French are planning cuts, but only for those who want ‘em. Everyone else can stay. Read more »
California Jeweler Is Sorry He Traded A Rolex, Unmarked Envelopes Of Cash For Inside Information Re: Herbalife, SkechersBy Bess Levin
Won’t happen again. Read more »
In an interview on CNBC, He said that Cyprus demonstrates, “an old truth, you can’t trust bankers to govern themselves. A banker who’s allowed to borrow money at X and loan it out at X plus Y will just go crazy and do too much of it, if the civilization doesn’t have rules that prevent it.” Warren Buffett’s right-hand man added, “What happened in Cyprus was very similar to what happened in Iceland, it was stark raving mad in both cases. And the bankers, they’d be doing even more if the thing hadn’t blown up. I do not think you can trust bankers to control themselves. They’re like heroin addicts.” [SFG]
What If We Told You You Could See A So-So Stage Version Of American Psycho Or You Could See One With Live Music And Actors Who Know Their Lines?By Bess Levin
Would the latter sound like something you’d be interested in? If so, would you like to be able to say you helped make it happen? Then today’s your lucky day: the producers of the London musical have launched a kickstarter campaign and your donation will go toward “an extended seven-week rehearsal period” and the hiring of live musicians who’ll perform music by Duncan Sheik; plus you’ll get an AS tee-shirt, so that’s nice. [Kickstarter]
This Would Be Bob Chapman Asking Inteliquent CEO Ed Evans To Comment On His ‘Essential Ass Raping’ Of AT&TBy Bess Levin
Follow-up questions: 1) Would you agree or disagree that you’ve been prove to be “something of a weapon of mass destruction”? 2) Can you justify your continued employment? Read more »
Before They Were Wearing Wires And Trying To Get Each Other To Make Incriminating Statements Re: Securities Fraud, SAC Capital Employees Were Using Threesomes As A Front For Insider TradingBy Bess Levin
Remember Noah Freeman and Donald Longueuil? Former SAC Capital portfolio managers and best buds, fired from SAC for performance and later confronted by the Feds, who divided and conquered the duo by convincing Freeman to record his conversations with Longueuil, which didn’t come of much until Noah got Don to give a step-by-step guide to destroying evidence of wrongdoing?
Longueuil is set to be released from prison in December and Freeman, who once ran around San Francisco in his underwear while tripping on ‘shrooms and shouting “I said buy, motherfucker” at no in particular, is awaiting sentencing. But before they put all this behind them and move on with their lives (Don is taking a three-week honeymoon in January; Noah has hundreds more cities to traipse through half-naked), how about one last trip down memory lane? This one is courtesy of Vanity Fair from a larger article about D&N’s boss, and involves the kind of cover for their illegal activities that’d make Ping Jiang curse the fact that their time at SAC didn’t overlap. Read more »
Of all the hedge funds affected by the government’s crackdown on insider trading, SAC Capital has topped the field in both fines paid and traders charged (can’t give you an exact figure at the moment but it’s “requires spreadsheets to keep track of all the cases” big). And while recognition of peerless achievement is always nice, Steve Cohen has gotten a little tired of waking up to find out another one of his employees chopped up evidence of wrongdoing and scattered it through Manhattan, or (allegedly!) sold stock based on material, non-public information passed on by friends in the medical profession.
Although one would have thought a simple “cool it with the securities fraud, you idiots” or a diagram of a foot in an ass would have sufficed re: sending a message that SAC has had it up to here with people trading in the sort of way the SEC frowns upon, apparently some hard and fast policy changes were necessary. They include:
1. Compensation clawbacks for employees “facing criminal or civil cases,” for whom the possibly of prison is not enough of a deterrent.
2. Requiring portfolio managers to get permission from compliance before taking calls with expert network analysts, after the first four freebies. Read more »
The Aussies have some angry junior mistmakers on their hands. Read more »
Bob Diamond Was Touched His Daughter Responded To His Resignation By Telling British Politicians To Hold Her DickBy Bess Levin
Diamond talked the situation through with Jennifer, his wife of 26 years. “What is the best thing right now I can do for the firm?” he asked. His answer: “Step aside and shut up.” His daughter, Nell, a recent graduate of Princeton, wasn’t quite so discreet. The morning after Diamond announced his resignation, she tweeted: “George Osborne and Ed Miliband you can go ahead and #HMD” — referring to a slang term that can’t be reprinted in these pages. (Google it.) She immediately called her father. “ ‘Dad, I think I did something really bad. I think I’m in trouble,’ ” Diamond recalled her saying. He told her: “Sweetie, I love you. That’s so nice. I think we’re probably all in trouble.” [NYT, earlier]