footnotes

Remember, back in 2009, when Phil Falcone’s personal accountants realized that the hedge fund manager owed the government more than $100 million in state and federal taxes? And he decided to come up with the cash by “loaning” himself $113 million from a gated investor fund? It’s one of our favorite Falcone stories and we bring it up today because it’s one of the reasons, among many, that the Harbinger Capital founder just agreed to pay the Securities and Exchange Commission $18 million, admit wrongdoing, and take a five year involuntary break from the securities industry. For those who need a refresh, here’s how the idea for Falcone to help himself to the money came about, courtesy of the SEC:

1. After figuring out Falcone was in the hole for over one hundred mill, Phil’s accountants informed Harbinger’s COO, Peter Jenson, of the problem.

2. Jenson made some calls and let his boss know that “no bank would accept Falcone’s hedge fund interests as collateral.”

3. Jenson suggested that Falcone “proceed with appraisals of Falcone’s two Manhattan townhouses and artwork, and raised the possibility of borrowing against other assets, including Falcone’s interest in a National Hockey League team and an estate on the island of St. Barts.”

4. Falcone said nothing but quietly stewed. Borrow against his interest in the Minnesota Wild? He couldn’t believe Jenson had the balls to even mention it. Especially when all that investor money was just sitting there, practically begging to be used… Read more »

6 December 2012. Do you know the significance of this date? It was the day “an MBA holder, active MENSA member, alumnus from both the ‘best public high school in the USA’ according to the Wall Street Journal and the best private high school (Philips Academy Andover) in America” was treated “in a manner [considered] highly offensive and unusual in ANY* Western nation,” by a HR representative of a firm from which he was seeking employment. And although said “MBA holder, active MENSA member, alumnus from both the ‘best public high school in the USA’ according to the Wall Street Journal and the best private high school (Philips Academy Andover) in America” was already informed that he was unqualified for the job he’d applied for, a 1,057 word email detailing his experience and informing the company that he was calling shotgun on rejecting them, plus a threat, nay, a promise to go public with his grievances, seemed in order. Read more »

Something you may or may not know about Cliff Asness is that by day, he is a hedge fund manager but by night he is the second coming of his hero, Captain America. Like the Captain, the AQR founder believes his duty is to defend America, only instead of fighting Axis Powers, Asness’s enemies are liberal Commie Socialists hell-bent on destroying this country. Because his shield has been in the shop for repairs for the past couple years, Cliff has been forced to use other weapons to pummel his foes, namely writing amazingly witty1 emails to his friends and colleagues about how much Obama et al suck. Most recently, Captain Asness circulated “Some Useful Definitions to Understand Our Modern Progressive World,” a little glossary of unalphabetized terms he put together sure to cut his adversaries deeply. (The Captain also helpfully pointed out in a footnote that many of the definitions were “written sarcastically as a faux left-winger, [while] some [are] just conservative/libertarian interpretations of what the left really means,” in case that was lost on his audience.) They include: Read more »