As many of you know, around these parts we are constantly debating the merits of various financial services employees’ food eating challenges. Historically, we’ve detracted points for allowing the participants far too much time to complete the task at hand (opening bell to close, might as well just make it limitless), an insufficient volume of food (a box of Munchkins, considered by many to be a snack), and lack of originality (vending machine challenges have been done). On the flip side, we’ve applauded creativity (an investment banker and 500 Starburst enter a room and there’s a webcam involved),* obscene amounts of food and enough sugar to cause hyperglycemia (244 oysters, a cupcake of death), and topicality (the delicacy that is the Sausage Pancake Bite: yes! Double Downs: double yes!).
Which brings us to this: the Herbalife Food Eating Challenge. New York Observer reporter Patrick Clark noticed that while the Herbalife story has been covered by many an angle so far (the blood-sucking pyramid scheme angle, the grandma angle, the Dan Loeb/UWS hedge fund manager on UWS hedge fund manager angle), the most important angle of all had yet to be explored: the actual ingesting of this stuff angle.
The Germans are “going on a diet” that will involve a “painstaking, methodical, meticulous approach to boosting efficiency” and “very significantly streamlining” in the investment bank and no one, not even the people hiding out in Chicago are safe.
“Yet more DB cuts: 3 directors, 1 managing director and 1 vp in Chicago last week.”
Book excerpt: Adam Baldwin’s “Heroes and Villains of Finance” is a fascinating dive into the history of money as an institution, highlighting the fifty most significant figures that, rightly or wrongly, are responsible for the financial landscape we live in today.
Back in December, things were not going so well for hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam. For starters, he had just reported to prison to serve an eleven year sentence for insider trading, where there would be no April Fool’s day midgets or employees to tase or extra mayo to eat. Then there was the matter of the “unique constellation of ailments ravaging his body,” and the kidney transplant he was said to need. Finally, and not that there’s anything wrong with this, but if you’re a person who thinks looks matter, he was fat. It would have been enough to send Raj into an understandable a tailspin of sorrow and despair. And yet? It turns out the Galleon founder is not only doing great but looks good too. How good? While we have no photographic evidence, consider that an attorney who does not represent the guy and was ostensibly speaking to Bloomberg about a story involving Raj declining to answer questions about a tax shelter case could not help but steer the conversation to Big R’s new body.
Rajaratnam, convicted last year of directing the largest hedge fund insider-trading scheme in U.S. history, was interviewed yesterday for about an hour and 45 minutes at the Federal Medical Center Devens in Ayers, Massachusetts. The deposition stems from a case involving a tax shelter Rajaratnam had invested in. He isn’t a defendant in the lawsuit. He refused to answer any of the more than 100 questions he was asked, invoking his right against self-incrimination under the U.S. Constitution’s Fifth Amendment, said Howard Kleinhendler, an attorney representing the plaintiffs. “He looked good,” Kleinhendler, of Wachtel Masyr & Missry LLP in New York, said today in a phone interview, adding that Rajaratnam appeared to have lost weight since the last time he saw him, in 2007. Rajaratnam, 55, has said in court papers that he has health problems including diabetes and will probably need dialysis and a kidney transplant. “He was in good spirits,” Kleinhendler said.
You’d be in a good mood too if you could finally see your feet again. Guy could be in a Thai prison right now and he’d be happy as a clam.