Freudian slips

Not-so-poor old Warren Buffett is taking a beating: First, Marc Andreessen went for the low blow re: bitcoin. Perhaps staggered by the epithet, or perhaps unable to see the “Welcome to New York City” signs on the Outerbridge Crossing from the top of Berkshire Hathaway HQ in Omaha, or perhaps having failed to memorize all 6,000 Dairy Queen locations, or perhaps thinking (correctly) that Staten Island doesn’t look much like New York City, or perhaps taking sides in a contentious non-debate about whether in fact Staten Island should make like the Crimea and secede, a position supported by dozens of Staten Islanders and many more beyond its shores, for whom the city’s fifth borough lost its utility upon the closing of the Fresh Kills Landfill in 2001, or perhaps simply making a minor mistake, the Blizzard purveyor has committed a faux-pas tailor-made for the modern outrage industry. Read more »

As those of you’ve been paying very careful attention may have noticed, Wall Street is pretty into tech these days. Morgan Stanley is underwriting every single IPO available, Goldman Sachs has money in Mark Zuckerberg’s poking machine and LinkedIn is making Jim Cramer’s head explode. Hedge funds, however, want more. While Peter Thiel famously invested in Facebook way back when, and Tiger Global has poured cash into a whole bunch of sites, the industry as a whole wants a piece of these companies and not just after they become (alleged) successes.

A handful of hedge funds already had a history of such investments, but the activity has increased recently as investors try to cash in on the surging valuations of Facebook Inc., LinkedIn Corp., Zynga Inc., Groupon Inc. and a smattering of smaller companies…In the past 12 to 18 months, firms including D.E. Shaw & Co., Maverick Capital, Brookside Capital and Tudor Ventures, as well as hedge-fund investor James Pallotta, have joined Tiger in putting more money into promising yet risky tech companies. Starting last summer, Tiger began ramping up its investments in private companies in India, China, Brazil, Russia and other emerging markets. This year alone, it has invested in six Indian start-ups, including consumer electronics retailer LetsBuy.com, online fashion site Exclusively.in, and online bookseller Flipkart…Edward Lampert, the hedge-fund investor who controls Sears Holdings Corp., has become interested in private tech companies too. He recently assigned Daniel Levine, an analyst at his hedge fund, ESL Investments, to look for opportunities.

Sounds great, right? Well it would be except for the fact that some people are apparently too good for hedge fund money. Despite the fact that the firms are willing to throw hundreds of millions at them and open doors to sophisticated investors, these people are “suspicious” and skeptical of what hedge funds want and what their intentions are and whether or not they are literally the devil. Read more »