Harvard

Back in August, a Dartmouth undergraduate wrote an editorial taking issue with “faceless hedge funds” and his peers in New Hampshire who “flock to Wall Street to perpetuate class-based systems of power and dominance.” And, as the new semester began, it turned out that Dartmouth boy wasn’t alone. At campuses across the country but particularly at Ivy League schools, those less than thrilled with Wall Street, and the prospect of their fellow students taking jobs there, have let it out. As a result, many would now prefer to disclose a raging case of gonorrhea or being born with only 7 toes, than the dirty little secret that they hope to gain employment in the financial services industry, for fear of mocking and scorn. After a group of Occupy Harvard protesters “attempted to disrupt a Goldman Sachs recruiting event at the Office of Career Services” on Monday, though, the school newspaper had decided it’d had enough. A strongly-worded editorial was in order.

… while many experts agree that Goldman was part of the problematic system that created the financial crisis, Occupy Harvard’s targeting of a Goldman Sachs recruiting event presents a facile and trivializing interpretation of the root causes of the economic catastrophe and debases our national conversation on the issue.

They went on. Read more »

Yesterday afternoon, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it had frozen the assets of “purported” Boston-based quant named Andrey C. Hicks. Purported because, was he actually a quant? Not so much! Other small inaccuracies in his story with which the regulator took issue, describing the total as Hicks’ “brazen web of lies”: Read more »

Since February, Bernie Madoff has been on a little something called the Legitimate Years Tour. Yes, he may have pleaded guilty to a $50 billion crime that ruined countless people’s lives, not to mention resulted in the suicide of his own child, but why must that be all that is said of him, when it only represents a single entry on the old CV? He’s did a lot of other stuff too, and because everyone seems to have forgotten all that when his name comes up, much like they conveniently forget about how Mussolini made the trains run or time, or how Hitler built those wonderful autobahns, or how Ted Bundy made women feel special, he was forced to embark on the LYT to jog some memories. The first stop was a February an interview with New York, wherein he griped to Steve Fishman:

“Does anybody want to hear that I had a successful business and did all these wonderful things for the industry?” Bernie continued. “And got all these awards? And so did my family? I did all of this during the legitimate years. No. You don’t read any of that.”

Next stop: a chat with New Yorker reporter Jeffrey Toobin, who was reminded that Madoff “was worth a billion dollars before any of this nonsense started,” during which it was also suggested he should be getting credit for his later work (the legitimacy of which is still an open-ended question in his mind), if only for the fact that its complexities could only be understood by the most sophisticated of investors (him). And finally, as sit down with the Times, where Berns explained that he got such a raw deal because the judge, like all of his feeble-brained haters, doesn’t understand how “the industry” works.

And yet for all the work he’s put into educating you people on the History of Bernie’s World, in which the whole Ponzi thing is but a blip, you just still don’t get it. But you know what? That’s fine. Not a problem. Because Harvard does. Read more »

Gang, something big has come up this morning and we need to discuss it right now. Don’t want to scare anyone but also don’t want to minimize the enormity of this news so let’s just get right to it. Wall Street has been keeping a secret. Look around at your colleagues this morning. The ones who attended schools like Yale, Princeton and Harvard and played sports like lacrosse and squash and use the word ‘summer’ as a verb and describe the color red as Nantucket red and argue the HJs don’t count if you give them to a guy whose named ends in IV and get aroused at the mere thought of an ACK sticker? They might have had an easier time breaking into the industry than those who graduated from lower ranked universities and did not get their WASP on. Yes, really.

After you’ve picked your jaws up off the floor, you’re presumably going to want to fight us on this and shout “It can’t be!” and “You lie!” Sorry to say it, pumpkins, it’s the truth. But don’t take our word for it- someone actually did a study on the shocking phenomenon. Read more »

  • 05 Nov 2010 at 1:42 PM

Shaq Versus The Harvard Crew Team

This event needs a corporate sponsor. Read more »

In our long and highly scientific study into the lives of Harbinger Capital couple Phil and Lisa Falcone, one thing we’ve determined is that Lisa, God’s gift to us, is not your typical hedge fund wife. For instance, most of these women would not commandeer a conference room at their husband’s office blasting music with the lyrics directing “bitches, throw your hands in the air,” citing 18 years of marriage and no pre-nup to mean “shared family office.” Most of them would not hire “little people” for their daughters’ birthday, or bring a piano-playing pig into the house or dance on a table in view of photographers. In sum, most of these women play by the rules, figuring that’s the price they’ve paid, whereas Lisa lives by the motto “I do what I want.”

One of the things Lisa has most notably wanted to do, which her fellow Hedge Fund Wives will not, is take an out of the box approach to fashion. Gladiator outfits? Yes, please. Mermaid Chic? Don’t mind if I do. Slutty Peacock? Bring. It. On. And while the fact that Phil clearly loves Lisa for who she is and has no interest in forcing her to act like one of them should be refreshing, some people have still questioned how he is comfortable with these get-ups, wondering if they attract too much attention and scare of potential and existing investors, whose hands must all times. What is the deal here? A profile on Phil in the latest issue of Bloomberg Markets that touches on his early life sheds some light. Read more »

The culture of the employees, the trading floor [as depicted in Money Never Sleeps]…I thought all that was pretty good, though some of the machines looked funky. And those equity guys were portrayed very accurately, like the lugheads that that know their stories on a couple of [stocks]. At Lehman the difference between equity floor and the fixed income floor was like night and day. It’s like the Harvard, MIT crowd in fixed income and then it’s like UMass on the equity floor. So many equity guys totally got blind-sided. They didn’t understand credit derivatives, and they just were so wrapped up in their own little stories.– Lawrence McDonald, managing director at Pangea Capital, previously VP of distressed debt and convertible securities trading at Lehman Brothers, and guy for whom the Wall Street sequel was “hard to watch” because it “brought back a lot of bad memories.” [TDB]