Ping Jiang, the man who revolutionized trading at SAC Capital, has started his own hedge fund. Previous to branching out on his own, Jiang maximized returns at SAC by *allegedly* requiring those who worked under him to take female hormone pills and wear dresses, operating on the principle that traders were too aggressive, and that Steve Cohen could be made an even richer man if everyone’s voice were a little higher pitched. Jiang was relived of his duties at the Stamford-based firm in March, not because of the push-up bras, but, according to those with their fingers on the pulse of cross dressing, the fact that he wasn’t making any money. Jiang’s new venture will be called Ping Capital Management. No pornification necessary.
Earlier: People Moves: Blanche DuBois Out At SAC
Ex-SAC Capital Trader Ping Jiang Starts Hedge Fund [Bloomberg]
CNBC’s Senior Testes-cum-Ovaries Correspondent Charlie Gasparino reports that the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has closed its investigation of allegations made by a former SAC Capital employee that his superior forced him to take female hormone pills. Junior trader Andrew Tong filed a discrimination lawsuit last year, charging that his boss, Ping Jiang, whose trading philosophy states that men must be more like women, sexually harassed him and made him take estrogen, which supposedly caused strain on Tong’s marriage, and led to him wearing dresses. On Monday EEOC stated that after interviewing dozens of SAC employees, all of which claimed to be wearing tube tops and mini skirts “of our own volition,” that it would not proceed any further. Though Steve Cohen et al are probably pretty pleased with the decision, we hear that Ping is sort of torn– on the one hand, he’s happy that Tong, whose lawsuit continues, has been stripped of a powerful ally. On the other, having been recently tossed aside by the hedge fund for merely not making them any money this year, he’d loved to see those “sexist pigs” fry. If he has go down with them, so be it.
EEOC Closes SAC Capital Female Sex Hormone Case [CNBC]
You’ve obviously read the story on Bloomberg about the big art robbery in Zurich; paintings by Cezanne, Degas, Monet and Van Gogh worth more than $163 million were stolen. It’s a big deal if you give a shit about obscure art museums in third-rate European cities. Reporters Marc Wolfensberger and Linda Sandler note that three burglars–packing heat and wearing ski masks–lifted Monet’s “Poppies Near Vetheuil,” Degas’ “Count Lepic and his Daughters,” Van Gogh’s “Blossoming Chestnut Branches” and Cezanne’s “Boy in the Red Vest” from the Buehrle Foundation half an hour before closing yesterday afternoon. Scandalous, we thought, and yet, not really enough information to solve the case.
Then, a lightbulb—we’d made friends with a well-placed guard at that very museum during our semester abroad junior year. We made a call, and after about ten minutes of bullshitting and acting like we were just calling to see how he was doing and not for a favor, we casually mentioned the incident. He was reluctant at first to give up any details—he said the burglar later called from a secure line (203-890-2000) and through heavy breathing that would seem to imply the person on the other end wasn’t in the best of shape, told him, “If you tell anyone about this I’ll fucking kill you,” but I assured him nothing he told me would end up in the public record. Here’s what he said:
“All points bulletin described the third suspect as a portly gentleman, late 40s or early 50s, dressed in black, coke-bottle glasses visible beneath ski mask. Distinguishing features: cookie crumbs cascading down the front of his zip-up sweater, haunting blue eyes. When confronted by gawking, photo-taking tourists at the gallery, the fleeing suspect promised to ‘pay good money for the rights to those snapshots.’ A small shark figurine was found at the scene.”
Draw your own conclusions. We’ve drawn ours.
Zurich Gang Grabs $163 Million Art Haul From Museum [Bloomberg]
SAC suffered two high level departures today when both its president and chief financial officer announced they were departing. James Rowan, the chief financial officer, is leaving to become the chief operating officer of Ren Tech. The president, Brian Cohn has no plans. Supposedly his departure has come as a surprise to the firm.
SAC employees we spoke to moments ago had no idea that either man had left, so to the rank and file traders both departures come as a surprise. Of course, these surprised traders also couldn’t give us any dish about why Cohn was departing so suddenly because they had no idea he was already out the door.
Cohn, Rowen Depart SAC Capital [Wall Street Journal]
CNBC’s Senior Testes and Estrogen Correspondent Charlie Gasparino, who just can’t get enough of this stuff, reports that SAC trader Ping Jiang probably lost 200 million last year. At one point, Ping was Stevie-boy Cohen’s second highest earner. Where did things go wrong? The obvious answer is not enough E, and not that his “top secret training program” of skin tight tube tops and miniskirts on the floor was distracting Ping from executing profitable trades. Paulson Capital can attest to this, as they posted a 52% return in 2007 after reinstating their cross-dressing/estrogen-injection regimen following a disappointing 2006. And that’s all I have to say about that.
Latest on Merrill, Citi Layoffs and SAC Capital Scandal [CNBC]
Does he wear color contacts or are Stevie Cohen’s eyes really that blue? (And check out all that chest hair! Kind of ironic, isn’t it?)
In a terrific display of holiday togetherness, the employees of SAC Capital convened in Stamford last night to bask in the mediocrity and obscurity of the past year. To create the perfect atmosphere for such an event, the holiday gala was held in a plastic tent behind the company’s headquarters. Despite their better efforts, however, everyone seemed to have a good time, fueled by a live reggae/soul band (interesting choice) and several PMs dispensing bonuses by raining hundreds from a platform over the crowd (no one is really sure whether this was actually their bonus or if they will still be receiving one today). The whole night was summed up in the inspiring, albeit slurred, drunken cry overheard as people piled into taxis outside of the after party: “I can’t believe we fucking work at SAC. I mean, I’m a total idiot, you saw me tonight. And yet here I am.” A breakdown by the numbers:
Bank of America
Tonight’s parties are Citi at Paramount Bar (6 pm), BNP Paribas at South Street Seaport (7 pm), Jay Goldman & Co. (7:30 pm) at Del Posto, and Choice Energy at Bruno Jamais (5:30 pm) but WAY MORE IMPORTANTLY: SAC Capital in a tent behind the Stamford headquarters. We really feel like we should go but Jesus fucking Christ, Stamford? Additionally we don’t want go make the trek by ourselves and our roommate can’t go, even though we impressed upon her that this party is more or less her Everest. (The weak excuse? Tonight she has a date and afterwards will be knee-deep in planning her “big birthday orgy. Entry fee is waived for anyone who can prove yearly net income over $500,000. Oh, and Anal_yst is invited. And that guy from Hamilton.”)
In other news, the Lehman review:
“fid got off to a slow start. equities got started fast, then got too drunk to keep going. admins danced until the music died. damn dj. and then it emptied out to the after parties. fid was starting up at around 8 but then died fast too. everyone’s nervous about bonuses. equities thinks they’re gonna subsidize fid. fid is resigned to their fate. oh and no live band this year.”
Earlier: The Secret To SAC’s Success?
DealBook has a nice little post today that more or less confirms our longstanding suspicion that Andrew Ross Sorkin wants to die. In it, Sorkin– or one of the many Mini Sorkins who represent him– recalls the recommendation SAC Capital gave to TD Ameritrade a few months ago RE: combining with another online brokerage firm like E*Trade Financial, because it would “dramatically increase long-term shareholder value” and “assume only moderate credit risk.”
The last few months have shown this particular piece of advice to not necessarily be the “best” SAC’s offered in its illustrious history. But instead of gently, ever so gently saying that while making sure to kiss ass at the same time, like we did just now, Sorkin goes out of his way to point out that had Ameritrade heeded SAC’s counsel, the results would’ve been “disastrous” and that, in his estimation, and I’m paraphrasing here because I don’t want to even click back to the DealBook article for fear of being implicated in the whole thing, “Stevie Cohen is no more than a glorified day trader who couldn’t execute a profitable trade if he were hopped up on female hormones and wearing a dress.”
We’re not saying he’s wrong (unless Stevie or any of the Tonton Macoutes he has working out of his office are reading this, in which case, WHAT AN IDIOT), or that he shouldn’t feel free to express his opinion (again: ARS is the reason I am against the First Amendment), but jesus christ, Sorkin, you don’t mess with a guy who once killed a bunch of kids selling lemonade for fifty cents to rally his troops after a down month. (If you have to taunt, taunt guys who are afraid of their own shadows, like Global Alpha. They’ll never hurt you.) Yes, you have your God-given ability, as a Jew, to win street fights, but he does too, so it’s cancelled out. And then all you’re left with is the fact that he operates under the belief that the taste of human flesh in his mouth is good for business, and that “legend” about him killing an analyst with his bare hands “on a lark.” We’ve said it before but now, more than ever, it bears repeating– Sorkin, sleep with one eye open.
Analysis: Beware Hedge Funds Bearing Advice [DealBook]
Finally, Allegations Stevie Cohen Can Get Behind: Hormone Investigation ‘Reveals’ Possible Sexism SACBy Bess Levin
CNBC reports that the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has taken the unusual step of performing “on-site” interviews at SAC Capital, on account of the fact that the accusations levied by a former junior trader, Andrew Tong, that his boss, Ping Jiang, forced him to, among other things, take female hormones and dress like a woman, are more fucked up than the run of the mill, “they fired me because I’m Jewish” cases the agency is used to. Jiang, as well as his entire trading staff, have been questioned, and the EEOC is expected to decide whether or not to join the suit in the coming weeks (enough affirmative responses to the question, “Did Tong ever ask you if you found his top ‘too cleavy’ for the office?” ought to do it).
The EEOC is also said to be thinking about expanding its inquiry into the hedge fund’s attitude toward women, after one employee told the Post, “If taking female hormones actually helped you do your job, they would simply hire women here…But they don’t.” Oh, and Tong’s allegations now include being “tied up” by Jiang. Additionally, CNBC notes that the US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York has interviewed Tong about trading activities at the fund, and that Stevie Cohen is going to castrate the associate that let this story get out today at 4, in an unintentionall homage to Jiang’s trading philosophy that men need to be more like women.
Earlier: The Secret To SAC’s Success?
Feds Get In On The SACtion
The Absence of a SAC?
Trader’s Sex/Hormones Claims Being Investigated [CNBC]