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Rich People Are Awesome

wallstreetbonus.jpgDelving further into its favorite class war between the Haves and the Have-Mores this weekend, The New York Times found that in Silicon Valley, people who are rich don’t feel rich compared to their very rich neighbors. And they’ll try anything—even working a whopping twelve hours a day—to move into that next tax bracket. You know, the one that will make them feel a sense of superiority and self-worth and raison d’être. Just like us (you)!
Yes, many members of this “digital elite” feel bad about themselves because they are “surrounded by people with more wealth—often a lot more.” One gilded geek, Gary Kremen, pouts, “It’s just like Wall Street, where there are all these financial guys worth $7 million wondering what’s so special about them when there are all these guys worth in the hundreds of millions of dollars.” Reminds me of this story Keith likes to tell about sitting in the steam room of the 92nd Street Y with an inconsolable Daniel Seth Loeb, weeping over the fact that he made $150 million last year, sure, who cares about that when James Simons is spending that much on cigarettes annually?
But lest you think you and your West Coast brethren are too much alike, the Geek Squad makes sure to point out a notable difference: they feel bad about it. Sure, talent played a role in their good fortune, but so did “being at the right place at the right time” and many feel “sheepish, even at times guilty about their piles of cash.” See, they’re just as obsessed with money and chasing the top one-tenth of a percent (if squarely in the top one percent), or the top one-one-hundredth of one percent (if in the top one-tenth of one percent) as you, but in Silicon Valley, they’re introspective and self-doubting and have issues about their stacks of gold. Sometimes they even cry about it (when was the last time you shed some salty discharge over your bonus? And not the “I feel bad about my bonus because I got screwed out of three extra zeros so I’m going to silently weep about it in a little locked room” kind).
Which begs the question: Is it better to be a rich prick who questions his/her rich prickocity or a Dealbreaker reader? (I love you people, I do).
In Silicon Valley, Millionaires Who Don’t Feel Rich [NYT]

  • 01 Aug 2007 at 3:56 PM
  • Banks

Deconstructing Blackstone’s “Buy”

blackstoneiposecondayfirstdaypopletdisapointingipoperformancedownwarddowndowndown.JPGDespite winning the distinction of Worst IPO in the History of IPOs (real title: Worst IPO of the Year), with the BX stock dropping 23% from its initial $31 offer, a cornucopia of Wall Street firms gave the P.E. goliath “buy,” “outperform” or “overweight” ratings today. Citigroup’s Prashant Bhatia wrote that “Blackstone is positioned to generate double-digit earnings growth driven by its superior over-the-cycle investment performance,” and analysts from Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, and Bank of America all laid the toothy-smile emoticon on thick, with Lehman Brothers even going so far as to use the lips ‘n mole prostitute face. Some—Reuters’ Jonathan Keehner for one—would like to know how, in spite of the dwindling stock, some stuff going on with the credit markets and the 15 vs. 35 issue, no one thinks Stephen’s Crab Shack by the Sea is a “sell.”
If we were cynical, we’d say it had to do with every “sell” rater being an underwriter on the IPO, and that the “Chinese Wall” provides about as much protection as the rhythm method (more than the “But it’s my birthday” method, less than “If we do it like this, we don’t need condoms, and God will still love us” method). If we were really cynical we’d say: because Blackstone capitalized on the inside information that analysts have no ethics, all of the analysts rating BX are under 5’6”, and maybe B’stone really is buy-worthy. But you’d know better than us. Do tell.
Wall St. rates Blackstone’s stock a (you guessed it) “buy” [Reuters Blog]
Despite analysts’ rave Fortress, Blackstone plunge [Reuters]

In Dealbreaker’s new “DealBreaker Delusions of Grandeur of the Week” feature, we bring you a performance update from Caxton Associate President Peter P. D’Angelo to his investors, dated August 1. D’Angelo notes that this is a “most unusual step” that he was forced to take due to market volatility and “unfounded rumors in the internet community.” That is US, people! Later, we’ll try and figure out how to upload the voicemail Bruce left during lunch.
Third Point investors, expect your report tomorrow, because 3T is blowing up today.* Danny Loeb, break out the pen and paper now.
*We’re joking, of course. Unless you know something.

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What people are saying about: Caxton, Arky, John Carney

crutches&kilt.jpgCax: “The flagship Global fund, which oversees $12 billion, dropped about 3 percent in July.”
Arky Busson: He is nice, his intelligence ranges.
“Arky runs EIM…it is a legitimate business. He made his name because he was an early investor in Tudor, Moore and some other funds. So, he has access to a lot of funds that have good performance but are now closed. The truth is it doesn’t take much brains to run that type of fund of funds. It is all about contacts. Arky is very charming and very French. And, rumored to be, dumb as a brick. But nice enough.”
“He’s an incredibly lucky, really nice guy, but not whip smart. Not dumb, necessarily.”
John Carney: “I just miss him, is all. When’s that drunken magic Leprechaun coming back from his vacation in Omaha?”
(Monday, provided we haven’t burned this thing down before then.)
Tudor Raptor Fell 9% in July; Caxton’s Global Lost 3% [Bloomberg]

Maria Bartiromo: [Five second face]
Dennis Berman: What is Wall Street?
Yes, people, Dennis Berman’s answer (and column from yesterday’s Wall Street Journal) would suggest that he’s on to your little game. Don’t even act like you don’t know what we’re talking about. You know, and we know, and Dennis knows. You get your bonus checks every twelve months, but the risks created by your work are spread over a longer time frame. By the time your fuck-ups (sometimes monumental, other times just run-of-the-mill) are revealed, it’s too late. You’ve already blown your checks on the Wii (Sun Trust) or ten Wiis (Goldman) (and if you’re Brian Hunter, tackle and bait). What’s Bear Stearns going to do, repossess your sense of self-worth derived from buying that Scores girl a newer, bigger set of implants?
You’d have to bend over backward to a. not get an enormous bonus as a banker or trader and b. sexually harass everyone within a 100-foot, 2-floor radius (merely running the firm’s hedge fund into the ground won’t do it, right, John Costas?) to even flirt with the idea of getting canned. One “top merger banker” told Berman on Friday: “I’m underwater on every single loan on my book.”
So get out there today and buy a million shares of Homebanc Corp. Georgia, which is probably about to fold and turn into junk. Then infect yourself with HIV via a Port Authority regular and pass it on to the boss’s daughter. And don’t forget to send your numbers to tips at dealbreaker dot com so that we might update our bonus bumper to reflect your handsome reward. Wall Street: long-term is just a fancy way of saying the next period of short-term.
Best Bet Against Risk Further Down the Road May Be Wall Street Gig [WSJ]

  • 01 Aug 2007 at 10:46 AM
  • bankers

Is It Because He Has a Super Ex-Girlfriend?

arky.jpg More ridiculous international bankers are bagging our highest yielding assets. Swiss financier Arky Busson is now dating Uma Thurman, after splitting with his last femme-bot girlfriend Elle Macpherson. Page Six has the urgent, important news:

[Uma] has been spotted playing kissyface with handsome Swiss banker Arky Busson, who was Elle Macpherson’s man for many years and the father of her two kids. “With their arms wrapped around each other, the couple seemed oblivious to everyone around them,” said one report.

Breaking up with Uma may prove more difficult, as she knows the five-finger exploding heart technique.
Does anyone know where Arky works (word is that he manages EIM, a fund of funds) or if he’s just a product of old money debutardation, as special mentions of his fam in the New York Social Diary would suggest? Arky’s mom is named Flocky, who New York Social Diary reminds us is the granddaughter of the late Arphad Plesch, which sounds like something that needs to be drained when you have a sinus infection. Arky also was at least partially responsible for naming the children he fathered with Elle, Flynn and Aurelius Cy.
Arky played Claude in the 1988 film, “Sweet Lies.”
Next for Uma [Page Six]