At a gathering on Monday night at 740 Park Avenue in Manhattan for Diana Taylor, the girlfriend of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, some of New York’s wealthiest considered a future without the billionaire in charge. There was considerable alarm about Bill de Blasio’s lead in the polls, along with his plan to raise taxes on New York’s upper echelon. “I fear for New York City if Mr. de Blasio gets elected,” said Muffie Potter Aston. “He just wants to tax everyone to smithereens. You have to be fair to everyone. You have programs that support all of the people of New York. But if you continue to tax what you see as the upper-income brackets, it’s still only going to be providing a small percentage of additional income.” [...] “I would love to support a fourth term for Mike Bloomberg. So if we can float that, you can say Muffie Potter Aston wants a fourth term for Michael Bloomberg,” she said. Her concerns about de Blasio were shared by her cohort. “I’ve never understood why New Yorkers vote against their own interests,” said Jacqueline Weld Drake. “New York is a city of financial entrepreneurs, of genius stock traders and bankers. It would be a smart idea to keep it that way. It’s not a city that’s going to benefit from high taxes because people who have substantial incomes have a choice. They have a choice of venues. New Jersey beckons. Florida beckons. All kinds of other states who do better at job creation. We are really biting the hand that feeds us. No question about it.” [WWD via Dealbook]
always with the three names
Noted White Shoe Law Firm Happy To Represent $3.7 Billion Hedge Fund, Less Interested In Defending Alleged Crook With Overdrawn Bank AccountBy Bess Levin
Yesterday afternoon, federal prosecutors charged Fredrick Douglas Scott, the self-described “youngest African-American hedge fund founder in history,” with engaging “in a wire fraud conspiracy to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from investors1,” which he used to buy Caramel Macchiatos, stay in hotels with views of the Holland Tunnel, and bail his friends out of jail.2 At this time, there appear to be several inconsistencies with the stories Scott has told clients and friends, which include:
- The claim he manages $3.7 billion.
- The claim he makes $96,000/year (“[Scott] filled out a financial affidavit claiming his salary is $96,000. Scott then told pretrial services he makes $200,000 but takes home only $50,000 a year, prosecutors said. Scott’s personal account at TD Bank showed over $700,000 “flowing in and out,” but as of April 30 his ACI Capital Group account was overdrawn by $91.24.”)
- The claim his in-laws were his get out of jail free card (“Scott [has said] his wife’s parents have ‘Italian diplomatic status,’ and he boasted to the FBI that if he got in trouble, she would be his ‘ace in the hole.’”)
Will we find out that the above weren’t so much lies as misunderstandings in the days to follow? Maybe! At this time, however, the most pressing issue Scott may want to resolve would be that of his representation, which is currently not returning his calls. Read more »
If you were going to try and extort money Bear Stears alum, how would you do it? Would you call him at his new job and talk trash about his wife? Would you call his house and tell his wife he was running around on her with another woman? Would you call his mother-in-law in New Jersey and breathe heavily into the phone? Or would you bring out the big guns and start sending pizzas, sometimes 20 at a time, to his home in New Canaan, as a sign you really meant business? Donato Anthony Minicozzi chose all of the above. Read more »
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Became The Chiseled Adonis You See Before You Through A Strict Regimen Of Picking Up Rocks And Lying In Bed For Two YearsBy Bess Levin
Have you ever gazed upon classical Greek philosopher Nassim Nicholas Taleb and thought to yourself, “That man has a body from the gods. I could never hope to match him in brains, but what about brawn? If only I could obtain the details of his diet and fitness regimen”? Well, friends, today is your lucky day. Despite still being on his second tour of self-imposed quiet time, Taleb granted several interviews to publications reviewing his new book, “Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder,” and, naturally, the topic of his physique came up, specifically the various ways he keeps it in such enviable shape. (He also touches on the exercises that led to him having a brain three times the size of the typical astrophysicist, though please note that these should be appreciated but not be attempted by average humans, who could hurt themselves quite badly.) Read more »
Guy Who Was Fired By Goldman Sachs For Amassing “Inappropriately Large” Position Welcomed With Open Arms At Morgan StanleyBy Bess Levin
Back in December 2007, things weren’t going so well for Matthew Marshall Taylor. He’d just been fired from Goldman Sachs and not only was he out of a job, but his prospects for finding a new one didn’t look so hot, on account of the fact that Goldman planned to put a note in his file detailing the reason he’d been let go– “for building an ‘inappropriately large’ proprietary trading position”– and it seemed unlikely anyone at the firm would be open to serving as a reference for him moving forward. Three months later, however, one bank told MMT that there was room for him at their inn. Morgan Stanley, apparently having decided the incident at Goldman was but an asterisk in what would be a long and fruitful career, told Taylor to come on down, employing him for over four years until he left in July of his own accord and not because of any legal issues relating to his work at Goldman Sachs. Read more »
Imagine, if you will, that you are a stock-picking robot. You’ve put in the time, come up through the trenches, and have finally started to garner the respect you deserve. Investors are flocking to your fund, begging to put in as much money as you’ll let them. People were wary at first, not sure what to make of your style, but you’ve finally proved to them you’re the real deal. Life is good. Then some two-bit hacks come along and threaten to destroy everything you’ve worked for, sullying the reputation of legitimate stock-picking robots with the one they used as a front for their scam.
Starting at the age of sixteen, the defendants, twin brothers Alexander John Hunter and Thomas Edward Hunter, developed an elaborate scheme to manipulate the prices of penny stocks at the expense of unwitting investors. The Hunters concocted and hyped the tale of a “stock picking robot” named “Marl” that they claimed could identify penny stocks that were poised to appreciate sharply in value. In their email newsletters and websites (doublingstocks.com and daytradingrobot.com), the defendants represented that the “robot” was a highly sophisticated computer trading program and the product of extensive research and development. The defendants’ story was persuasive. Approximately 75,000 investors, the vast majority of whom lived in the United States, paid at least $1,200,000 for annual subscriptions to the Doubling Stocks newsletter and copies of the robot software. In reality, the “stock picking robot” was a work of fiction.
Did “Marl” come up with brilliant investment ideas based on painstaking research, meetings with management, and complex analysis? No, in fact he did not. Read more »