birthday parties

Two years ago, like a modern day Noah, Nicholas Jacinto arrived at the townhouse of billionaire Phillip Falcone with a menagerie of exotic animals. He carted a sloth, a king snake, a lemur, a marmocet, a hedgehog and a Brazilian aardvark into the hedge fund king’s $50 million Upper East Side home to set up for a birthday party. Jacinto had been hired to provide the entertainment, displaying the rare critters to gawking guests. But before the show could start, city Health Department inspectors swooped in. They ticketed Jacinto, a state and federally licensed wildlife expert, for not having a city permit for the animals, and sent him packing back to his Long Island farm with his tail between his legs. “It was a huge embarrassment what the department did to me,” he recalled. DNAinfo New York, January 21, 2014

Wilbur adjusted the towel around her head. She took a long drag off her Lucky Strike and stared out onto East 67th Street. Phil hated when she smoked in the house, so she’d cracked the bathroom window and had the fan going. But honestly, she didn’t much care what Phil thought right now.

Had she wanted to perform at the children’s birthday? No. Of course not. She wasn’t their monkey and she didn’t do children’s birthdays. But the fact that he’d made the call immediately after their fight felt especially cruel. Things weren’t great with them but she never thought he’d go out of his way to hurt her.

She flicked the rest of her cigarette out the window and stared at her pores in the mirror. Phil used to tease her for spending hours scrutinizing her skin. Lately, though, he hadn’t said anything. Maybe he was no longer paying attention. Maybe he’d noticed the fine lines where things were once smooth, and hoped she would, too. She knew it was ridiculous, but she couldn’t help but feeling like he was trading her in for a new model.

There was a knock at the door. “Wilbur, can I come in?” Phil asked from the other side.

After all of their fights, the big ones and the small ones, no matter what had been said, no matter how many objects were thrown (Wilbur) or how many tears were shed (Phil), they’d always found their way back to each other eventually. Wilbur was still hurting, but she was ready to hear what Phil had to say, ready to move on. In a couple hours the guests would be arriving, and a little while after that they’d sing Happy Birthday and eat cake, and Wilbur would do her standard, “Are you one, are you two, are you three…” In spite of herself, she was actually looking a little bit forward to the animal display.

She opened the door, ready to reconcile. But Phil didn’t come in. He stood at the threshold, without a hint on contrition on his face or in his bearing. There was no sign that he’d been crying at all. Read more »

After the Great Auto CEO Debacle of 2008, the government had put its foot down on private-jet use by CEOs of TARP-supported companies, and when these onerous restrictions threatened to thwart his ability to make his granddaughter’s birthday party in Chicago, he exploded. “I said to Jim, ‘Here is the deal,’ ” he recalls. “ ‘I’m going to go and see my granddaughter, and I’m going to take that plane and shove it up your fucking ass. And everyone else’s ass. You are going to break my banana over this shit?’ ” [NYM]

Memo to the Tiger Cubs who are throwing the bash: weekends are hardly ever city days for Tiger Dad, who has been known to make his assistant “painstaking collect evidence to account for his whereabouts each day and on some late nights [has] frantically searched for a car to take him back to Locust Valley” in order to avoid spending more days of the year inside NYC that out, which the Tax Man would just love. This thing better be good. [AR]

What motivates people to share material non-public information with a person they know will use it for profit? For some, it’s simply about greed. For others, it’s about the thrill. For yet others, it’s about pillow talk. For Rajat Gupta, the McKinsey director currently on trial for allegedly passing inside information to Raj Rajaratnam, it’s about friendship, according to prosecutors who are trying to make the case that Raj and Rajat were the best of buds and that’s what buds do. They they back each other up when they drunkenly hit on the girlfriend of the wrong guy at the bar, they stand up as best men at each others’ weddings, they pick up the phone and say “Buy GS” when they know for a fact Warren Buffett is about to do so, too. And although attorneys representing Gupta don’t deny the two were thick as thieves, they argue that while perhaps back in the day Rajat would have provided useful information to Raj, there is no way he would have done so after Big R twice violated the bonds of friendship. In the first instance, there was this:

Defense attorneys have argued that Messrs. Gupta and Rajaratnam had a falling out in fall 2008 after Mr. Gupta lost his entire $10 million investment in a fund managed by Mr. Rajaratnam and therefore wouldn’t have passed along inside information…The precise timing of their relationship’s deterioration could be crucial in proving Mr. Gupta’s guilt or raising doubts in the minds of jurors about whether he conspired to commit securities fraud…Defense attorneys have said Mr. Gupta was furious at Mr. Rajaratnam in the fall of 2008, when Mr. Gupta’s $10 million investment in a fund called Voyager Capital Partners Ltd. evaporated. According to Mr. Kumar’s testimony, Mr. Gupta felt Mr. Rajaratnam’s negligence had allowed Voyager to collapse.

And then this happened: Read more »