In 1984, when he was a junior at Horace Greeley High School, in affluent Chappaqua, New York, he wagered his father $2,000 that he would score a perfect 800 on the verbal section of the S.A.T. The gamble was everything Ackman had saved up from his Bar Mitzvah gift money and his allowance for doing household chores. “I was a little bit of a cocky kid,” he admits, with uncharacteristic understatement. Tall, athletic, handsome with cerulean eyes, he was the kind of hyper-ambitious kid other kids loved to hate and just the type to make a big wager with no margin for error. But on the night before the S.A.T., his father took pity on him and canceled the bet. “I would’ve lost it,” Ackman concedes. He got a 780 on the verbal and a 750 on the math. “One wrong on the verbal, three wrong on the math,” he muses. “I’m still convinced some of the questions were wrong.” [Vanity Fair]
Bill Ackman Is Still Thinking About Filing An Appeal Against The SAT Board For Those 4 Questions He Got “Wrong” In 1984By Bess Levin
In his most recent Wall Street tome, Money And Power: How Goldman Sachs Came To Rule The World, William Cohan wrote of a GS partner who several years back, sought to teach a group of new employees the values of stick-to-itiveness and having “the right attitude.” To do so, he “summoned a group of i-banking greenhorns to a conference room at 5PM on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend,” showed up at 10PM and fired those who’d left early. Lessons were learned.
Obviously, this little exercise would still hold up as an effective behavioral tool today. Having said that, 1) it’s been done, so people will see it come a mile away and act accordingly and 2) if you’re an employer who’d like to really crank up the heat on your staff, consider the following scenario: Read more »
Friday night, a bunch of chippies patted themselves on the back for successfully predicting the outcome of the British elections (and winning an undisclosed sum) by spending £60,117.40 on drinks at London nightclub Merah. They started with the most expensive bottle of champagne (a “Methuselah of vintage Cristal at £36,000″), which, not surprisingly, garnered them some fans. Read more »
Almost three months ago, an absurd story appeared in the Wall Street Journal, which quoted an unnamed senior London-based investment banker, who’d said he’d bet a bunch of people at Davos a few million pounds that Lloyd Blankfein would be out as CEO of Goldman Sachs within two years. It was ridiculous! We thought so, Lloyd thought so, and you know Lucas van Praag thought so, having told the paper, “It is preposterous that The Wall Street Journal would even consider publishing such effluent.” On Friday, the theory was discredited even further when Dick Bové, snapping her fingers and seeing the perfect opportunity to get Ken Lewis off the couch, wrote that she doesn’t think Blankfein and CFO David Viniar will “maintain their positions in the company, and must “fall on their swords for the devastating decline in [Goldman's] persona…for public relations reasons.” All of this is bull shit, obviously. Lloyd will be doing no stepping down and not just because everything in the executive suite is already fitted to the exact measurements of his golden scrot and would be a bitch to replace. So we’ll ask this just once and then move on to more important questions, like what LB’s going to do to Messier Fantabulous once his feet touch US soil (management soliciting suggestions now). Read more »
A senior London-based investment banker has apparently bet that Lloyd Blankfein will be out at Goldman Sachs within two years and he said he would back it up with millions of pounds.
Asked about the wager over Mr. Blankfein, Goldman spokesman Lucas van Praag said: “It is preposterous that The Wall Street Journal would even consider publishing such effluent.”