hedge fund managers


[via @matt_levine]

  • 17 Dec 2014 at 3:35 PM

Bill Ackman Just Can’t Help Himself

ackmanBill Ackman sat in the hair and makeup chair at Bloomberg, waiting for his lieutenants to file in for a quick briefing before he went on the air. He knew what they were going to say and what they needed to hear him say before they’d be comfortable with him getting in front of the camera.

“Now what are you going to do when they ask you about Herbalife, Bill?”

“I’m going to speak about it in a measured tone. I’m going to manage expectations.”

“And why are you going to do that?”

“Because even if it’s true the company is a fraud, it doesn’t mean it’s going out of business tomorrow so we shouldn’t tell people to expect it, even though… [mumbles something about how he knows it will]…”

“What was that?”

“Nothing.”

“Okay, and what are you not going to do?”

“I’m not going to give an exact date in the near future when the company is going to explode.”

“And?”

“And I’m not going to use the word ‘explode’.”

“And?”

“And I’m not going to say ‘If Herbalife doesn’t go out of business in the next 365 days, I’ll give up solid food and subsist only on their shakes and supplements for a calendar year.”

The lieutenants looks at each other and nodded. They weren’t 100% sure they could believe him but this was as close as confirmation as they were going to get. And, to be fair, since the incident in July, he’d kept his promise. His promise to them, sure, but also his promise to himself. It’s not like he liked doing this. It’s not like he wanted to build up expectations re: the demise of Herbalife only to have them fail. But every time he got up on that stage, or in front of a camera, or on the phone with CNBC, something inside him took over and made him blurt out stuff like “Call the coroner, ’cause there’s gonna be a murder tomorrow, of the corporate variety” or “Get all the shakes you can now because in a fortnight, they’re gonna be gone” or “If Herbalife doesn’t go out of business by next week, my name’s not William A. Ackman.”

He wanted to dial down the enthusiasm. He really did. Read more »

stevecohenpenthouse
He already cut it once to $98 million (from 115) and now it’s down to a mere $82 mill. At this point his practically giving it away and if the bargain basement price isn’t enough to get anyone to bite, how about he sweetens the deal by throwing in a coupla signed 8×10 copies of this puppy? Read more »

Steve-Cohen-of-SAC-by-Bloomberg-1Will Cohen celebrate the loss by his noted #2 enemy1 at the hands of an appeals court by saying, “Fuck it, you know what? We’re re-re-naming the firm?” We’ll just have to wait and see (but it seems possible). Read more »

Here Are Some Things That Paul Singer Thinks Suck

While you're at it, care to weigh in on this Obama guy?Our friends over at DealBook yesterday gave the Elliott Management chief an audience and a microphone, which means that Paul Singer did what he does when he gets an audience and a microphone: Give his enemies a piece of his mind. The Fed? A bunch of self-important “enablers” with a martyr complex. CalPERS? Doesn’t know what the hell it’s talking about. Corporate boards? Lazy incompetents. And don’t get him started on Argentina… oh, wait, forget it: He’s already started. Read more »

goat7A few weeks ago, the hedge fund manager Mark Spitznagel was walking through a wooded area on his 200-acre farm in Northport, Michigan, shouting at goats. “A droite! A droite!” he called, urging the animals to return to a path from which they had strayed in order to nibble on the surrounding brush. When Spitznagel was first launching his goat cheese farm, called Idyll Farms, around 2012, he hired consultants from France– but of course– to come to Michigan and help train him and his staff, and the goats have grown used to hearing commands in French. “A droite! A droite!” Spitznagel shouts, tapping on the ground with a long, hooked walking stick he sometimes uses to gently prod the animals….They seem intelligent, I said to Spitznagel. “They’re herd animals,” he responded. “They’re as smart as any investment manager out there.” [Worth]

  • 02 Dec 2014 at 5:00 PM

Layoffs Watch: Lily-Livered Fund Managers

Too true, Ken. How's the divorce going?An affinity for risk can be a very bad thing. Blow-up-your-hedge-fund-and-become-a-laughingstock kind of bad. Ask Brian Hunter. Also lose your job kind of bad, especially if your affinity for risk produces losses and you work at Brevan Howard. But an aversion to risk? You might as well start boxing up your cubicle right now, according to science. Read more »

ken griffinKen Griffin, the founder of Chicago investment firm Citadel and Illinois’ richest man, has listed his three-bedroom, 2,494-square-foot condominium on North Michigan Avenue for $1.4 million. Griffin, who is in the midst of a contentious divorce from his wife Anne Dias Griffin, owns a penthouse condominium on the 67th floor of the nearby Park Tower that has been his primary residence since he bought it in 2000 for $6.9 million. In 2012, Griffin expanded his domain by paying $15 million to buy a 7,900-square-foot unit on the 66th floor of the Park Tower, Chicago’s priciest-ever condo sale. The three-bedroom unit that Griffin placed on the market Monday is on the 54th floor of a different tower on North Michigan Avenue. He paid $1.02 million for it in late 1995, according to public records. [Chicago Tribune]