Batman

You can hear the audio here (Bruce Wayne comes on the line at 35:50), and for those who like to follow along, a transcript: Read more »

Exhibit A:

Friday morning at AQR, August 10. Cliff Asness glanced pensively at a candy-colored array of Marvel superhero figurines lined up along his east-facing window. Spiderman. Captain America. The Hulk. Iron Man. Comic book heroes of his boyhood days on Long Island.The Quants, by Scott Patterson, page 100.

“Hedge funds charge far too much in general by claiming to be geniuses,” says Asness, lounging on a sofa in his corner office, surrounded by foot-high plastic models of comic book heroes like Captain America and Spider-Man.  Fortune, December 19, 2011

As a child, Clifford Scott Asness gave no sign of his future as a Wall Street tycoon. He was born in October 1966 in Queens, New York. When he was four, his family moved to the leafy suburban environs of Roslyn Heights on Long Island. In school Asness received good grades, but his interest in Wall Street didn’t extend beyond the dark towers of Gotham in the pages of Batman. Obsessed with little besides girls and comic books, Asness was a listless teenager, without direction and somewhat overweight. At times he showed signs of a violent temper that would erupt years later when he sat at the helm of his own hedge fund.The Quants, by Scott Patterson, page 12.

“His super-villains are intellectual dishonesty and ignorance,” says Jonathan Beinner, a managing director at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and a former classmate of Asness. “When someone offers an opinion that Cliff feels is incorrect or dishonest, whether it be related to investments, politics or pizza, he feels it is his duty to stand up, even if it’s not in his best interest.” Asness admits to a superhero complex. His favorite Marvel comic book character is Captain America, who gains strength with the help of a secret serum and whose shield can be used as an indestructible weapon. Asness has an image of the shield tattooed on his left arm.Bloomberg Markets Magazine, October 7, 2010

Exhibit B:
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  • 09 Dec 2010 at 2:25 PM

Caption Contest Thursday


Prince William broke the record for the largest foreign currency trade when he joined his father to take part in the ICAP fancy-dress charity day on Wednesday. He joked with one bank: “I have got Batman and Robin standing either side of me… They are very slow here. I have had to come and give them some help.” There was loud applause when the prince eventually completed the deal, which saw Barclays trade €17bn (£14.2bn) with Credit Suisse based on the projected currency value for Wednesday and Thursday.

Earlier: Sarah Jessica Parker, Darryl Strawberry, Magic Johnson And Tyra Banks Walk Onto A Trading Floor

[Telegraph via BI]

Not saying, LLOYD, just saying LLOYD– it’s parked outside bankruptcy court at 40 Broadway circa now. Just putting it out there. Read more »

  • 13 May 2010 at 11:52 AM

Asness Thinks New Financial Reform Bill is Ass Backwards

While Sen. Chris Dodd’s financial reform bill is one giant 1,300 page tome, it’s so vague that almost any financial product known to man will come under its purview.

That’ll create the “largest and most powerful crony system in history,” Cliff Asness, comic book collector, and his AQR colleague Aaron Brown write in their latest Op-Ed in the WSJ. (FD: Asness gave $4,600 to Dodd’s campaign in 2007, but only $409 last year.) Read more »

asness_batman.jpgIn writing about hedge fund managers and other celebs in the world of finance, sometimes I find myself wondering what these men were like as children, before the billions, and the bitches, and the fleece. I’m pretty sure Ken Griffin carried a briefcase to school starting at the age of 5, and the 12 year-old Jim Simons was a lot like the 72 year–old one we know today– bearded and chain smoking a pack of Pall Malls. Stevie didn’t develop a taste for the finer things in life (fleece) until college, preferring until then to swath himself exclusively in silk. And so on and so forth. But what of Biff Basness? I’ve had some difficulty getting a good picture of the AQR founder in my head. Luckily, a new book by Wall Street Journal reporter Scott Patterson, The Quants, sheds a little light.

As a child, Clifford Scott Asness gave no sign of his future as a Wall Street tycoon. He was born in October 1966 in Queens, New York. When he was four, his family moved to the leafy suburban environs of Roslyn Heights on Long Island. In school Asness received good grades, but his interest in Wall Street didn’t extend beyond the dark towers of Gotham in the pages of Batman. Obsessed with little besides girls and comic books, Asness was a listless teenager, without direction and somewhat overweight. At times he showed signs of a violent temper that would erupt years later when he sat at the helm of his own hedge fund. Once a chess team rival taunted him in the school’s parking lot about a recent match.

That’s when things got real.

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Yesterday we explained that Bruce Wayne–who fights street crime and evil clowns by night–has all the markings of a corporate criminal. We even went so far as to explain that Wayne seems like exactly the “better class of criminal” that his nemesis The Joker claims Gotham City deserves.
Some of you fanboys disagreed!
But it turns out we’re not alone in seeing the criminality of Bruce Wayne. Smart lawyers and law professor types agree with us! And it’s not just criminality: Wayne–and his Batman alter-ego–bring up a whole host of legal issues. After the jump, a quick summary of Wayne’s white-collar criminality and litigation inviting ways.

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