cigars

Mr. Dunne, who is obsessed with golf, smokes cigars and stocks his office with cases of Diet Turbo Tea, a drink that claims to provide “anytime energy.” He has an intense, sometimes explosive personality. “He used to say, ‘If I am not yelling at you, and I am nice to you, it’s because I don’t like you,’ ” said a former colleague who asked not to be identified because his current firm does business with Sandler. Another Wall Street banker, who also asked not to be identified, interviewed for a position at Sandler in 2009. He asked Mr. Dunne for a guarantee, a set amount of money for one year, to come to the firm. “What will you guarantee me?” he recalled Mr. Dunne screaming. Mr. Dunne has given only a handful of guarantees during the 12 years he has run the firm. The next day, the banker said he received a call from Mr. Dunne, who apologized. “You got the full Jimmy,” the banker recalled Mr. Dunne saying sheepishly. [Dealbook]

A potential silver lining to finally being arrested Saturday in Florence, if Florian Homm is trying to look on the bright side. Read more »

Some people are such founts of generosity that on their birthday, they think not of themselves and what they will receive, but rather of how they can brighten the days of others. Charles Gasparino is one such selfless, gallant human being. On this special day, January 28th, the 50th anniversary of his entrance into the world, Mr. Gasparino has chosen to present us with a priceless gift: the secrets of his success. Print them out, mark them up, use them to advance your own cause, or simply give thanks to the god of journalism for his magnanimous spirit. Read more »

As the Chairman of Citigroup, a position he’s held since February 2009, Dick Parsons sticks out a bit by comparison. Whereas Citi has at times been the world’s largest bloated, lumbering, diversified cathouse where, for a good while, nothing could go right, a highly flammable entity prone to one chaotic moment of shit hitting the fan after the next, that few wanted to get within 100 feet of Parsons is calm. Cool. “Flat-out smooth,” as BusinessWeek describes him (which is why he was hired to be the one to go make nice with Washington, according to Vikram Pandit). The magazine recently accompanied Dick to a jazz club where they got to know him a little better, on a personal level. Here’s what we’ve learned about DP:

* He thinks the city smoking ban sucks: “Michael E. Novogratz, a director of Fortress Investment Group, a New York hedge fund, gives Parsons a hug and presents him with a Montecristo cigar. Parsons looks pleased. “Oh man,” he says, “I wish we could light these up in here.”

* If you’ve lost ass-ton of money, he’s the guy you turn to for a pick-me-up: Novogratz and Parsons exchange condolences about the market, which is zig-zagging with the turmoil in the Middle East. “I lost more money this week than I did in any week in 2008,” Novogratz laments. Parsons tells him not to be so hard on himself. “Nobody knows what’s going on,” he says.

* Charm like this doesn’t need an undergraduate degree: He went to the University of Hawaii, where he partied more than he studied. After four years, he still needed six credits to get his diploma, but he discovered that if he aced his pre-law exams he could get into law school in New York state without a college degree. He did well on the test and was accepted to Albany Law School, where he graduated at the top of his class. Read more »