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 »
Bernie Madoff Under The Impression That Harvard Plans To Teach A Course Based On His Legitimate YearsBy Bess Levin
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 »
What did Larry Summers really think of the Winklevoss twins? “Rarely, have I encountered such swagger, and I tried to respond in kind,” the former president of Harvard said in an interview at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference. Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss were at Harvard at the same time that Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook, and they had come to Summers for help in their fight for a piece of the action. Summers dismissed them, a scene dramatized in the movie the “Social Network.” Summers didn’t try to dispel the portrayal. “One of the things you learn as a college president is that if an undergraduate is wearing a tie and jacket on Thursday afternoon at three o’clock, there are two possibilities. One is that they’re looking for a job and have an interview; the other is that they are an a**hole. This was the latter case.” [Fortune]
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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]
A year after a disastrous 27 percent decline that prompted layoffs, salary freezes and a halt to some campus expansion, the Harvard endowment on Thursday reported a solid 11 percent increase in its $27.4 billion endowment portfolio for its fiscal year ended June 30. In her first year as head of the Harvard Management Company, which oversees the endowment, Jane Mendillo struggled as the portfolio she had inherited faced heavy cash demands in the area of alternative investments when the stock and commodities markets tanked, The New York Times’s Geraldine Fabrikant reports. Since then, Ms. Mendillo has put her stamp on the endowment, increasing its readily available cash and generating a respectable, if not spectacular return, several endowment experts said of the latest performance. The return lags that of stock market averages for the period, though it is better than the internal benchmark used by the endowment.