Back in the day, JP Morgan had no issue with managing the investment account of Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s charitable foundation. Then the bank’s reputation took a hit in the eyes of the regulatory industry, and started paying multi-billion dollar fines, and had its hiring practices in China questioned, and it was forced to reevaluate some of the people with whom it did business. At the same time, SAE was setting records for deaths “linked to drinking, drugs and hazing,” and someone decided JPM had enough bad publicity of its own without being linked to an organization that makes people strip down to their underwear, stand in a trash can filled with ice, and recite a credo about what it means to be a “true gentlemen.”
That JP Morgan, it of $23 billion “to resolve regulatory and criminal investigations,” of rogue whales, of possible Foreign Corrupt Practices violations, decided it could be hurt by an association with SAE was extremely troubling to national President Bradley Cohen. “If JPMorgan is going to turn us down, who’s next?” he wondered aloud to Bloomberg. “What if universities start saying SAE’s not welcome?” The thought was too much to bear, so he did a bunch of thinking and decided that pledging could no longer be part of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon way.
A lot of people, like the parents of kids who died trying to get into the fraternity, thought this was a good move. One Oklahoman, did not. Read more »
Over at New York today you will find an excerpt of Kevin Roose’s new book, Young Money. The passage is an extended version of a story written by Roose for the Times, about a 2012 gathering of the members of a “secret Wall Street fraternity” called Kappa Beta Phi (which included Wilbur Ross, Ace Greenberg, and Robert Benmosche). Like college-age members of Greek organizations 30 and 40 years younger than the people assembled that night at the St. Regis, “Wall Street Kappas” initiate newbies (called “neophytes) with hazing, enthusiastically take part in cross-dressing, and are blissfully unaware of how embarrassed they should be for each other. In the extended version of the piece, we learn that the fraternity’s motto is “Dum vivamus edimus et biberimus” (Latin for “While we live, we eat and drink”); that private equity exec Paul Queally wrote and delivered this joke: Q: “What’s the biggest difference between Barney Frank and a Fenway Frank?” A: “Barney Frank comes in different-size buns; and that Fortress exec Mike Novogratz would have lifted Roose up by the tux lapels had his “brothers” not intervened. Read more »
His employees are heading for the door. His #1 Fan is nowhere to be found. His sales rep at Patagonia lost his number. But the brothers of the University of Pennsylvania chapter of Zeta Beta Tau have his back, and that’s gotta count for something. Read more »
Not content to let the inconvenience of the real world interfere with their high flight lifestyle, a group of enterprising young members of DePauw University’s Beta Theta Pi chapter have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Yes, it probably it has a little to do with not wanting their asses foreclosed over the matter of a $1 million owed to Lehman Brothers from a 1999 loan. But it also has a lot to do with the immediate short-term benefits of not having to make payments and instead putting that money toward whatever the toilet water beer of choice is in Indiana. “Rather than just pouring every bit of income the house gets into the mortgage, we’re working on renegotiating the mortgage with the bank,” said president Greg Giometti. Provided the house isn’t a shelter for infidels to refer to beirut as beer pong, we’re all for it. Beta Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy [The DePauw] These Greeks are bankruptcy geeks [The Deal]