At a Fortune conference earlier this week, Larry Summers said in an interview that he learned one invaluable lesson about people while running Harvard: “If an undergraduate is wearing a tie and jacket on Thursday afternoon at three o’clock, there are two possibilities. One is that they’re looking for a job and have an interview; the other is that they are an a**hole.” Summers was not speaking generally about assholes but two in particular, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, who in 2004, complained to the then Harvard president that Mark Zuckerberg had stolen their idea for Facebook. In the Social Network, Summers is portrayed as being a bit brusque with the Winklevii, essentially to fuck off and go waste someone else’s time, a portrayal he has described as entirely accurate, and for which he makes no apology, on account of the asshole assessment. Apparently the twins caught wind of Summers’ comments and yesterday took the time to respond, via open letter. Spoiler alert: they’re not happy (with Summers’ lack of ‘tact,’ his refusal to shake their hands, the sight of his feet on his desk, and this ‘unprecedented betrayal’): Read more »
What did Larry Summers really think of the Winklevoss twins? “Rarely, have I encountered such swagger, and I tried to respond in kind,” the former president of Harvard said in an interview at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference. Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss were at Harvard at the same time that Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook, and they had come to Summers for help in their fight for a piece of the action. Summers dismissed them, a scene dramatized in the movie the “Social Network.” Summers didn’t try to dispel the portrayal. “One of the things you learn as a college president is that if an undergraduate is wearing a tie and jacket on Thursday afternoon at three o’clock, there are two possibilities. One is that they’re looking for a job and have an interview; the other is that they are an a**hole. This was the latter case.” [Fortune]
Last June, Auburn resident Ikenna Njoku purchased his first home, a very exciting event in his life. As a first time buyer, he also qualified for a rebate on his tax return, which he was also pretty pleased about, especially since he planned to use the money to pay off his car, a silver Infinity I-30, a vehicle Njoku says he “loved,” past tense, because the car was towed and sold after he made the terrible mistake of trying to cash his rebate check at a Chase branch, which resulted in not only the loss of his ride but a weekend in prison. Read more »
As most of civilized society knows, it’s considered pretty classless to mistreat waiters or waitresses, and a pretty fool-proof indication of your character. In fact, there’s only one acceptable way to act like an insufferable prick to a person waiting on you, and that’s beginning a meal by whipping out a stack of singles and telling the server, “Let’s establish something. You are, I assume, expecting a tip? This pile of one dollar bills represents your potential tip. Every time you please me, you’ll see the pile grow. However, if I am unsatisfied– if you are slow, mouthy, or sneeze into your hands– you’ll notice the pile shrinking. Alright? Good luck.” This was not how a young Bill Gross went about things, based on an anecdote he recounts in his latest letter to investors called “The Day When I Gave the Waitress a Negative Tip.” Read more »
It’s one thing to produce a film that induces feelings of suicide in the audience, what with its 17 different plots lines and Gucci loafers, all the while exposing your childlike comprehension of the machinations of Wall Street but when you insult the looks of Lloyd Blankfein, you go too far. Read more »
Listen. I get the SEC has to make up for their many, many past fuck-ups. And some people’s scams are actually worthy of being shut down, especially when whoever is running it is spending his/her ill-gotten gains on entirely selfish purchases that will make only them happy and no one else. But what of the con-artists who, while perhaps not running the most legit shops, are taking whatever money they’ve stolen and using it to spread joy far and wide in the form of, for instance, “sexually themed cruises”? Apparently the SEC sees no distinction when, to us, it’s black, white and wearing boob tassels.
The Securities and Exchange Commission today filed an emergency enforcement action to halt a fraudulent scheme being orchestrated by two co-owners of an Albany, N.Y.-based firm who misused investor money to fund their struggling business operations and meet ever-increasing liquidity needs. The SEC has obtained a court order to freeze their assets.
I’ve long maintained that Charlie Gasparino’s “I’m just a country reporter” image is a façade. In reality, he is a dangerous, dangerous man who, if you know anything, nearly brought Wall Street and the country to its knees. Look behind any monumental fuck-up of the past several years– nay decades– that contributed to the financial crisis and you’ll find Gasparino (convincing Bear Stearns to load up on subprime doesn’t even scratch the surface, nor does his encouraging Angelo Mozilo to “just go one shade darker”). So it’s nice to see at least one unnamed (take your best guess) Wall Street exec is agreeing with me, finally.
Charlie Gasparino’s résumé is jam-packed: on-air editor for CNBC and contributor to the Daily Beast, the New York Post and Forbes. But at least one Wall Street executive has a different description: “A monumental asshole, who added dramatically to the financial instability during ’08 and early ’09.”
Business Books [Time]
Outsiders probably think in-depth research and a top notch ability to get information first was the “edge” that Galleon “pressured” traders and analysts to go after in their pursuit of big returns but based on the outbursts of one of the firm’s top employees? Kinda sounds like the fund was also keenly aware of the importance of rubbing rabbit feet and finding four-leaf clovers before executing trades, as well as the perils of allowing black cats to run amuck on the floor.
According to the Journal senior trader Leon Shaulov (previously employed with Sagamore Hill Capital and Goldman Sachs), and not Rajaratnam, was the guy you didn’t want to cross if you came into the office without the good stuff. Shaulov would verbally abuse those who couldn’t get enough material non-public information to make a buck, which seems standard. Who doesn’t do that? What really got Leo’s goat, however, apparently had nothing to do with people slacking on fact-finding missions. What set Shaulov off was jerk-offs who brought (actual) curses on the House of Galleon.