hedge fund managers

  • Hedge Funds

    Loeb, Dan Is Tryin’ To Make A Dolla Out Of Fifteen Cents

    What’s been happening at Third Point lately? Glad you asked! The hedge fund just released its Q3 letter to investors and it’s got lots of exciting news to share. In addition to being up 6.8 percent for the quarter, the firm found inspiration in the lyrics of Tupac Shakur, whose face will henceforth float alongside the unofficial slogan adopted by TP on desktop screensavers, on a giant banner displayed in the lobby, and on company letterhead.

    Tupac wasn’t the only 90s musical act Third Point looked to for guidance during the idea generation process these last three months.

    Finally, this happened:

    Third Quarter 2012 Investor Letter [Third Point]

    / Oct 3, 2012 at 4:10 PM
  • News

    Make Him An Offer

    [EamonJavers, earlier]

    / Oct 1, 2012 at 5:57 PM
  • News

    Leon Cooperman’s Beef With President Obama Involves An Unsolicited Copy Of His 14 Year-Old Granddaughter’s Self-Published Memoirs And Not One Handwritten Thank-You Note In Return

    Last November, hedge fund manager Leon Cooperman penned an “Open Letter To The President Of The United States of America,” in which he detailed the many ways Barack Obama was pissing him off. The Omega Advisors founder accused the President (and his “minions”) of engaging in class warfare, expressed disbelief that he could attack “capitalists who…fill store shelves at Christmas” and still sleep at night, and advised Obama to “eschew the polarizing vernacular of political militancy,” lest he lose* Cooperman’s vote the next year.  While LC says that he received a major outpouring of support for his words (“[he] keeps a bulging manila folder of congratulatory notes in his office”), others were less than pleased at what they saw as a guy who actually has done pretty okay under Obama lashing out because his feelings were hurt on the occasions the president was perceived to have a “tone” in his voice when discussing the mega-wealthy (“If I knew where you lived, I’d put a bomb in your car,” one person wrote Cooperman to say). Similarly, Cooperman’s suggestion, on at least two occasions, that America should be worried about the startling parallels between Obama’s rise to power and that of Adolf Hitler,** was met with mixed reviews, including one by his wife in which she called him a “schmuck.” And while some*** have found it preposterous that Cooperman would paint himself as a victim of Obama, their astonishment speaks to not knowing the whole story, i.e. exactly what this man- no, this monster– did to Leon.

    Last July, before he had written the letter, Cooperman was invited to the White House for a reception to honor wealthy philanthropists who had signed Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge, promising to donate at least fifty per cent of their net worth to charity. At the event, Cooperman handed the President two copies of “Inspired: My Life (So Far) in Poems,” a self-published book written by Courtney Cooperman, his fourteen-year-old granddaughter. Cooperman was surprised that the President didn’t send him a thank-you note or that Malia and Sasha Obama, for whom the books were intended as a gift and to whom Courtney wrote a separate letter, didn’t write to Courtney. (After Cooperman grumbled to a few friends, including Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark, Michelle Obama did write. Booker, who was also a recipient of Courtney’s book, promptly wrote her “a very nice note,” Cooperman said.)

    Now do you understand? Now do you understand? Even Hitler would have sent SOMETHING.

    Super-Rich Irony [New Yorker]
    Earlier: Leon Cooperman Doesn’t Like The Tone Of President Obama’s Voice

    *Just messing about him ever being in a position to “lose” it, of course.
    **Settle down, he wasn’t saying Obama IS Hitler, would would be biologically impossible, he was just saying Obama is the second coming of Hitler, which is something people should be aware of:

    “You know, the largest and greatest country in the free world put a forty-seven-year-old guy that never worked a day in his life and made him in charge of the free world,” Cooperman told the New Yorker in May. “Not totally different from taking Adolf Hitler in Germany and making him in charge of Germany because people were economically dissatisfied. Now, Obama’s not Hitler. I don’t even mean to say anything like that. But it is a question that the dissatisfaction of the populace was so great that they were willing to take a chance on an untested individual.”

    ***Mrs. Cooperman, for example.:

    She is still a liberal, a position that puts her in the minority in their social circle. “She can be a socialist because she’s married to a capitalist,” Cooperman says of his wife, who is strongly pro-choice and pro-gay marriage. She calls Todd Akin, Rick Santorum, and Rick Perry “morons,” and she worries about the underclass. “I care more about the disadvantaged people of America,” she said, comparing her politics with those of her husband.

    / Oct 1, 2012 at 1:13 PM
  • News

    UK Hedge Fund Manager Sets Unreachably High Bar With Resplendent Private Residence For Chicken Friends

    Crispin Odey is the founder of Odey Asset Management, a sausage brand ambassador, and a guy who unwittingly made fellow hedge fund manager Philip Falcone’s life* a living hell when he pulled this stunt:

    …Odey has upped the ante for poultry accommodation – he’s building a temple for his chickens for which the stone alone costs £130,000. The Palladian-style chicken house, designed by Christopher Smallwood Architects, has won planning approval from the Forest of Dean District Council, and will sit on the hillside above Eastbach Court, Odey’s Grade II-listed home. The temple’s roof – adorned with an Anthemia statuette – will be fashioned in grey zinc; the pediments, cornice, architrave and frieze are in English oak; and the columns, pilasters and rusticated stone plinth are being hewn from finest grey Forest of Dean sandstone. Naturally, the doors will be painted in the Odey Asset Management founder’s favourite Hague Blue – “to match the doors around Eastbach Court”, according to the plans…“The temple will be a lovely place when it is finished at the end of the year,” Odey said from a grouse moor. “The chickens will be grand.”

    Nice for the chickens, but obviously this gesture makes Phil look like a deadbeat by comparison, as he merely allows his pet pig Wilbur to live in his apartment and has never even suggested getting her her own place. You can bet someone will be printing a copy of the article and placing it prominently on top of someone‘s morning paper, and god help that someone if he doesn’t get on the horn about building her the god damn Taj Mahal, ASAP.

    Crispin Odey’s chickens come home to (a luxury) roost [Telegraph via FT Alphaville]

    *And the lives of all deep-pocketed animal owners.

    / Sep 25, 2012 at 3:30 PM
  • News

    Julian Robertson To Give Up One “Long Island Day” To Attend 80th Birthday Party

    Memo to the Tiger Cubs who are throwing the bash: weekends are hardly ever city […]

    / Sep 24, 2012 at 4:02 PM
  • News

    Louis Bacon Sees A Lot Of Himself In Fellow Recluse Henry David Thoreau, Erin Brockovich

    Shortly after buying Trinchera Blanca ranch Bacon realized he had a serious problem and that […]

    / Sep 19, 2012 at 2:32 PM
  • Hedge Funds

    Louis Bacon Recruits Brother To Have Tough Conversations With Employees Re: The Fact That They No Longer Work At The Firm

    One thing you may or may not know about hedge fund manager Louis Bacon is that he likes to keep his human interactions to a minimum. It’s not a personal thing, just people in general thing. He doesn’t like ’em and he doesn’t want to talk to or look at ’em. For example, rather than taking five minutes to tell a subordinate he disagrees with a trade idea, Bacon has been known instead to “retreat to his office and place an opposing trade, a tactic known as ‘fading’ a colleague.” Clients are treated similarly (“During meetings with…investors, Bacon, who often draws the blinds in his private office, frequently turns to his lieutenants to answer questions, often sitting silently through presentations“) and if you thought that being, say the fruit of his loins meant special treatment, you were sorely mistaken (“One longtime assistant negotiates annual spending allowances with the elder of his children individually…Once they’ve agreed on the number, the assistant invites the child for a sit-down meeting with his or her father, during which Bacon usually signs off on the terms“). So it probably did not come as much of a surprise when LB hired his brother, the improbably named Zack Hampton Bacon III, to speak with a dozen or so members of the staff re: security waiting to escort them out of the building.

    Moore Capital Management LLC, the $15 billion hedge fund run by Louis Moore Bacon, cut 10 to 15 investment jobs as it restructures one of its equity teams, according to three people with knowledge of the matter. The portfolio managers and research analysts were let go on Sept. 11, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Patrick Clifford, a spokesman for New York-based Moore, declined to comment.

    “Apart from a few hedge funds, it’s not that typical to see a large reduction in headcount in the industry,” said Ronen Schwartzman, founder of Ten Capital Advisors LLC, a New York- based firm that advises clients on investing in hedge funds. “Performance must be having an impact.” Bacon, 56, hired his older brother, Zack Hampton Bacon III, in February to oversee strategic planning, a person briefed on the matter said that month. Bacon told clients last month that he planned to return $2 billion, or about 25 percent of his main fund, to investors, saying it may be too big for him to generate returns in line with historic profits as “liquidity and opportunities have become more constrained.”

    On the bright side, no one was “sprayed in the face” with lead pellets, so not all bad.

    Moore Said to Reduce Positions Amid Equity Restructuring [Bloomberg]
    Related: Louis Bacon Has Better Things To Do Than Explain How Big An Idiot You Are

    / Sep 13, 2012 at 12:40 PM
  • News

    John Paulson Is The Most Resourceful Hedge Fund Manager In The World

    In a pinch, Steve Cohen has made himself a few zip-up fleece jackets with only a travel sewing kit and some Silly Putty at his disposal. Alone in the woods and miles from home, Ray Dalio has been known to fashion slingshots out of the remains of wildebeests. Having blown through all his 100-count packs already and not wanting to catch anything, George Soros has constructed condoms out of strips of bacon; old tea bags; and British pounds. According to Dealbook, however, today they must all bow down to the master.

    John Paulson, the billionaire hedge fund manager, will be forever known on Wall Street as the man who made nearly billions shorting subprime mortgages. But on Monday night at the United States Open men’s singles final, DealBook witnessed Mr. Paulson do something that, while not nearly as remunerative, was almost as impressive: He turned his necktie into an ascot…As the match wore on into the night, the temperatures dropped into the 50s and spectators grappled with how to stay warm. But Mr. Paulson, unable to avail himself of the U.S.T.A.-issued blanket and possibly reluctant to spend money on a Polo fleece, chose a different approach. Early in the fifth set, Mr. Paulson removed his tie and unbuttoned the top button of his shirt. He then wrapped the tie around his neck and transformed it into an ascot, providing additional warmth for the duration of the match.

    Wall Street Sits Courtside For A Marathon Match [Dealbook]

    / Sep 11, 2012 at 6:19 PM
  • Hedge Funds

    Peyton Manning Isn’t The Only Legend In The Midst Of A Return To Glory

    “John Paulson, the billionaire hedge- fund manager coming off record losses in 2011, reported increases […]

    / Sep 10, 2012 at 4:13 PM
  • News

    First Class Customer Service At Marea Means Never Seating Bill Ackman Next To A CSMFPOS

    Increasingly, restaurants are recording whether you are a regular, a first-timer, someone who lives close […]

    / Sep 5, 2012 at 1:24 PM
  • News

    Julian Robertson Made Mitt Romney An Offer He Could Refuse

    And did! (Next time think about throwing in a tutorial on not letting The Man make you his bitch and some tales from the crypt to sweeten the deal.)

    Not long after Mitt Romney dropped out of the presidential race in early 2008, a titan of New York finance, Julian H. Robertson, flew to Utah to deliver an eye-popping offer. He asked Mr. Romney to become chief executive of his hedge fund, Tiger Management, for an annual salary of about $30 million, plus investment profits, according to two people told of the discussions. For Mr. Romney, who had spent the previous decade in public life forgoing any paychecks, the position promised to catapult him back to the pinnacle of American business and into the ranks of the stratospherically rich. Several friends and relatives urged him to accept. “Let’s put it this way,” said Mr. Robertson. “He could have made a lot of money.” But Mr. Romney was uninterested.

    Defeat, Introspection, Reinvention, Nomination [NYT]

    / Aug 30, 2012 at 1:44 PM
  • Hedge Funds

    Once Paulson And Co’s Investments Go Up Instead Of Down They’ll Be All Set

    Some of the questions focused on Mr. Paulson’s flagship fund’s performance, which he admitted was […]

    / Aug 29, 2012 at 2:07 PM
  • News

    Hedge Fund Manager Paul Singer Thinks Paul Ryan Chris Christie Mitt Romney, His First Second Last Choice For The Ticket, Would Make A Great President

    It’s Friday, it’s August 24th, and you (and we) are in the office for reasons […]

    / Aug 24, 2012 at 2:18 PM
  • interesting turns of events

    For The First Time In Its Life, Citigroup Gets To Be Tired Of Someone Else’s Underperformance

    Citigroup’s private bank is pulling about $500 million from Paulson & Co., the hedge fund […]

    / Aug 23, 2012 at 1:37 PM
  • News

    Area Hedge Fund Manager: Leave Harry Alone!

    As you may have heard, earlier this week the lovable scamp that is Prince Harry of Wales got in a bit of hot water when he was photographed ass naked in Las Vegas, with a bunch of equally ass naked ladies, following some sort of swim meet with Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte. Those photographs, some of which involved a billiards table and pool cues, were subsequently run on the covers of various newspapers and the Queen, being none too pleased, told her grandson to get on the first flight back to London (apparently in a tone so scary he knew she meant business and “did not mingle with other passengers,” instead remaining “in the upstairs cabin of the 747″ to think about what he’d done). While it’s unclear what kind of punishment the Queen has in mind, or if she’s yet delivered the sort of tongue lashing generally reserved for naughty Corgis and her subjects at RBS, in the meantime many have come to the prince’s defense and advised the old lady to back off, like the hedge fund manager the Times found on the tube who thinks the Queen should relax and have a good laugh about it. She’d be doing the same thing if Prince Philip ever gave her a weekend off.

    Among people surveyed at random in central London, including subway commuters reading about the Las Vegas incident on the front page of the tabloid the Evening Standard, the verdict was mostly thumbs-up. “I think it’s quite funny,” said John Daniels, 46, a hedge fund manager. “I’m sure most people would like to be doing exactly the same thing, especially in Vegas. This is his own private time and people shouldn’t be taking photographs of him.”

    For Prince Harry, Vegas Exploits Didn’t Stay There [NYT]

    / Aug 23, 2012 at 11:15 AM
  • News

    If You’ve Got A Problem With Paul Ryan, Say It To Dan Loeb’s Face

    Even more telling, Ryanism’s alarming ascendancy has stripped the veneer off some centrist groups long-believed […]

    / Aug 22, 2012 at 11:08 AM
  • News

    Great News: Hunting Guest Of Louis Bacon Not Permanently Blinded By Bullets To The Face

    His throat and arms, also hit, are okay, too.

    The chairman of auction house Sotheby’s has been shot in the face during a grouse shoot. Henry Wyndham would have been blinded had he not been wearing glasses when the accident occurred last Monday, the first day of the grouse shooting season. The Old Etonian was standing at his post – referred to in the shooting world as a grouse ‘butt’ – when a neighbouring gun was accidentally fired towards him, spraying shot in his arm, throat and face. Mr Wyndham was airlifted to hospital from the Scottish moor where the incident took place. He was treated for 52 lead pellet wounds. The accident took place on a hired estate on a shoot organised by American hedge-fund manager Louis Bacon, 56.

    Sotheby’s Chairman Henry Wyndham Shot On Grouse Moor [Bloomberg]
    Sotheby’s chief airlifted from grouse shoot after being blasted by 52 pellets [DailyMail]

    / Aug 20, 2012 at 5:23 PM
  • News

    Greenwich, Connecticut Nobody Threatening To Dethrone Area Hedge Fund Manager As Biggest Middle-Aged Superhero Fan In Town

    Exhibit A:

    Friday morning at AQR, August 10. Cliff Asness glanced pensively at a candy-colored array of Marvel superhero figurines lined up along his east-facing window. Spiderman. Captain America. The Hulk. Iron Man. Comic book heroes of his boyhood days on Long Island.The Quants, by Scott Patterson, page 100.

    On an August morning, Asness walks to his sun-dappled office windowsill and picks up a Captain America action figure. The hedge-fund mogul owns a panoply of action heroes, from the Hulk to the Silver Surfer, and the comic books that spawned them.Bloomberg Markets Magazine, October 7, 2010

    “Hedge funds charge far too much in general by claiming to be geniuses,” says Asness, lounging on a sofa in his corner office, surrounded by foot-high plastic models of comic book heroes.Fortune, December 19, 2011

    As a child, Clifford Scott Asness gave no sign of his future as a Wall Street tycoon. He was born in October 1966 in Queens, New York. When he was four, his family moved to the leafy suburban environs of Roslyn Heights on Long Island. In school Asness received good grades, but his interest in Wall Street didn’t extend beyond the dark towers of Gotham in the pages of Batman. Obsessed with little besides girls and comic books, Asness was a listless teenager, without direction and somewhat overweight. At times he showed signs of a violent temper that would erupt years later when he sat at the helm of his own hedge fund.The Quants, by Scott Patterson, page 12.

    “His super-villains are intellectual dishonesty and ignorance,” says Jonathan Beinner, a managing director at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and a former classmate of Asness. “When someone offers an opinion that Cliff feels is incorrect or dishonest, whether it be related to investments, politics or pizza, he feels it is his duty to stand up, even if it’s not in his best interest.” Asness admits to a superhero complex. His favorite Marvel comic book character is Captain America, who gains strength with the help of a secret serum and whose shield can be used as an indestructible weapon. Asness has an image of the shield tattooed on his left arm.Bloomberg Markets Magazine, October 7, 2010

    Exhibit B:

    The above is a rendering of a Batcave that will soon be built in the home of an unnamed Greenwich resident. When it is completed in Novemeber, the spread will include “a Batcomputer, Batmobile, Batsuits, 180 degree film screen, sound effects, gargoyles and even a Bat-themed elevator.” The problem? This guy is not only infringing on Asness’s territory as resident super hero obsessive/aficionado/scholar-in-residence/neighbor who dresses up and role-plays his character of choice but is apparently too cowardly to show his face or reveal his name so that Cliff might confront him. The other problem? Captain America doesn’t have some kind of cool underground lair setup of his own. The only recourse? Someone spends the next couple weeks writing a series of fan fiction that describes his house, and then spends $20 million to have that built.

    Greenwich Resident Building $2 Million Batcave In Home [CTNews]
    Dark Knight superfan spends $2MILLION creating home cinema replica of Bruce Wayne’s cave [DM]

    / Aug 16, 2012 at 4:28 PM
  • Hedge Funds

    Who Wants To Help Jon Corzine Launch A Hedge Fund?

    According to Dealbook, the big guy is merely “weighing” whether or not he wants to […]

    / Aug 16, 2012 at 11:49 AM
  • News

    Woman Whose Ex-Hedge Fund Husband Demanded A Cut Of Her Shoes Just Rubbing It In His Face At This Point

    Back in June, hedge fund manager Daniel Shak sued his ex-wife, Beth, over assets he claimed she’d hid during the couple’s divorce. Said assets were Beth’s shoes, which Daniel alleged were kept in a “secret room” and were worth approximately $1 million, 35 percent of which he wanted. It was a bit unclear as to why he was going after the footwear collection three years after the two split (though using the proceeds to relaunch his fund was a possibility) but the heart wants what the heart wants. Anyway, today brings just a couple follow-ups on the Shaks, both of which are slightly more exciting for Beth than Dan.

    1. He won’t see a single pair of Loubs.

    A civil suit brought by poker professional Dan Shak against his ex-wife, fellow poker pro Beth Shak, regarding her extensive shoe collection was dismissed in a court in New York after Mr. Shak advised his attorneys that he didn’t want to pursue the issue any further…the opening arguments apparently doomed the case in the eyes of the male Shak. Ms. Shak testified to Judge Daniele that her shoe fetish grew as a response to repeated denials of emotional attention from Mr. Shak. “I would not call these shoes a collection, I would call them a sickness at a particular point in my life,” Beth Shak testified to Judge Daniele as she recounted how Dan Shak would refuse her attempts at romantic encounters, according to the Post.

    “I tried to get him to go to therapy with me, but it just didn’t work,” the Post quotes Ms. Shak as testifying. “I was so unhappy with my marriage that all I did was shop. There was nothing to our relationship…he and I had nothing.” Further into her testimony to the court, Ms. Shak stated that not only did Mr. Shak know about the shoes but even signed off on all the bills as they came before him. After a break following Ms. Shak’s testimony, Mr. Shak apparently had a change of heart regarding the lawsuit. His attorneys informed Judge Daniele that their client wanted to withdraw the case, which Judge Daniele quickly granted. Looking square at Mr. Shak as she dismissed the case, Judge Daniele is quoted by the Post as stating, “Well, thanks for wasting everybody’s time.”

    2. She’s going into the shoe business!

    Now that that the suit is over, Shak, who has an image of a pair of Louboutons tattooed just below her waist, is concentrating one what’s next — the launch her own line of shoes.

    Dan Shak Drops Lawsuit Against Beth Shak Following Opening Arguments [PND]
    Sexy Singles 2012: Beth Shak [Philly]

    / Aug 7, 2012 at 3:55 PM
  • Hedge Funds

    Greenlight Capital Is Sick Of Ineffective European Leadership, Rival Organizations Poaching Its Talent

    By early June the market had given back all of its first quarter gains, and […]

    / Jul 24, 2012 at 11:56 AM
  • "(weddings bar mitzvahs action sports etc.)"

    Whitney Tilson’s “Blogging/Writing” Diet Not So Restrictive That He Can’t Indulge In The Occasional 1,200-Word Product Review

    June 22, 2012: To ensure that I can focus intensely on in-depth company and industry analysis, I will adopt a much lower public profile and let my investment returns speak for themselves. Specifically, I will dramatically reduce my television appearances, interviews with the media, blogging/writing, and public speaking, both in the investment and philanthropic realms. I also plan to write letters to you quarterly rather than monthly (our bookkeeper will, course, continue to send you monthly statements).

    July 23, 2012:

    From: Whitney Tilson
    Date: Mon, Jul 23, 2012 at 5:43 PM
    Subject: My favorite gadgets: laptop, phone, cameras, printers

    I’m a total gadget fiend, usually upgrading my laptop, phone, pocket camera, and digital SLR camera to the latest models at least once a year. In the past month, I’ve upgraded all four to newly released models and am so blown away that I wanted to share my experience (plus two printer recommendations).

    In order of amazingness:

    1) My new laptop: the PC world FINALLY has slim, light, high-res-screen, quick-boot laptops (called ultrabooks) to rival the Macbook Air. I just bought the best of the lot, the ASUS Zenbook Prime UX31A. It’s light as a feather, boots in a few seconds, and has an AMAZINGLY high-res 13.3” screen (I don’t miss the 17” screen on my old laptop one bit). Here’s a good review of it: www.pcworld.com/article/255921/handson_asus_zenbook_prime_ux31a.html

    It’s only $1,080 on Amazon (more if you want a faster chip or 256GB of flash memory; I find 128GB is fine for a secondary travel computer): www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00863L2PK/tilsoncapitalpar

    2) My new smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S III, which just became available on Verizon. A couple of years ago, I added an iPhone to my Blackberry because I couldn’t give up the keyboard and found it impossible to type on the iPhone, but I didn’t like schlepping around two devices so when Verizon came out with Android phones with 30% bigger screens (plus 4G, which is MUCH faster), I junked both the Blackberry (good riddance! I had to use one in Europe last week and HATED every minute of it; until you switch, you have no idea of how awful Blackberries are) and the iPhone for the HTC Thunderbolt. No regrets, but the Thunderbolt is thick and bulky, the screen is nowhere near as good as the new iPhones, and the battery lasted maybe 1/3 of a day, so I always had to carry a spare.

    Thus, it was with great joy that I switched last week to the Samsung, which fixes all three of these problems: it’s super slim and light (while maintaining the large screen), the resolution appears to me to be just as good as the iPhone’s retina display, and the battery lasts most of a day with normal usage (still not great, but much better).

    In my opinion, this phone is much superior to the iPhone, but if you like your iPhone I wouldn’t switch until we see what the new iPhone 5 looks like. It’s rumored to be out this fall and have a bigger screen. If it’s also 4G on Verizon AND can work overseas (none of the current Verizon Android 4G phones can), then I might switch back to the iPhone. I also wouldn’t switch away from the iPhone unless you’re reasonably technologically savvy – the ecosystem isn’t quite as seamless (for example, it was quite a pain to transfer my music, esp my playlists, from iTunes on my computer to my new phone).

    3) I have three kids and take zillions of photos, so I’ve become an amateur digital photo junkie. I find that I need two cameras (given that I hate the crummy photos that camera phones take): a super-small pocket one to take with me everywhere (for 90%+ of photos) and a big digital SLR camera for special occasions when small cameras just don’t cut it (weddings, bar mitzvahs, action sports, etc.).

    Among pocket cameras, I’ve been a very happy user for at least two years of the Canon PowerShot S90, then S95, and most recently the S100, but the new Sony DSC RX-100 blows every other pocket camera out of the water (if you’re willing to pay an extra $300). It’s maybe 5-10% bigger than the S100, but still fits easily in a pocket – and the results BLEW my mind. I thought I was using a full-size SLR: no shutter lag, amazing many-frames-per-second action shots, brilliant pictures in low light without a flash, etc. Below is the review by the NYT’s David Pogue, who concludes:

    This is an ideal second camera for professionals. And it’s a great primary camera for any amateur who wants to take professional-looking photos without having to carry a camera bag.

    Of course, $650 is crazy expensive. You can buy a full-blown S.L.R. for that much.

    But every time you transfer a batch of its pictures to your computer, you’ll understand why you spent that money. You’ll click through them, astonished at how often it’s successful in stopping time, capturing the emotion of a scene, enshrining a memory or an expression you never want to forget. You’ll appreciate that the RX100 has single-handedly smashed the rule that said, “You need a big camera for pro-quality photos.”

    And if you care at all about your photography, you’ll thank Sony for giving the camera industry a good hard shove into the future.

    The quality of the camera is reflected in its price, however: the cheapest I could find it on the internet is $605 here: www.provantage.com/sony-dscrx100-b~7SNYG07U.htm. If that’s too expensive for you, go with the Canon S100 for $335 here: http://bestpricephoto.com/h/product_info.php/canon-powershot-s100-digital-camera-p-20660

    4) I also recently upgraded my digital SLR from the Nikon D5100 to the D7000, which is the highest end amateur camera in the Nikon line. The D5100 was buggy so I was pleased to be rid of it. The key with both of these cameras is to get the Nikkor 18-200mm lens – it’s 11x with digital image stabilization built in. It’s the only lens you need, so just buy the camera body plus this lens. The best price I found for the D7000 is $889 at: http://bestpricephoto.com/h/product_info.php/nikon-d7000-162-mp-digital-slr-camera-body-p-19926. The best price on the lens is $847 at: www.buydig.com/shop/product.aspx?sku=NK18200G2

    PS—I use and recommend the free Google photo software, Picasa (www.picasa.com), for cropping, editing, getting rid of red-eye, emailing photos (with the photos embedded, not attached), etc.

    Last but not least, printers:

    1) If you want to print photos, I highly recommend a specialized photo printer rather than using an all-in-one inkjet – the quality difference is HUGE. I haven’t upgraded mine in a while, but if I were to buy one, I’d just buy the latest model of my current one (the 4500), the Canon iP4920, which is a mere $80 (they get you on the paper and ink – don’t try generics): www.buydig.com/shop/product.aspx?sku=CNIP4920

    2) Complementing my photo printer in my home office is my color laser, the Brother MFC-9560CDW Multifunction Printer for $590 at: www.nextwarehouse.com/item/?999165. It’s a great scanner, copier, fax machine, and prints fast in color and B&W IN DUPLEX (two-sided), which is a must-have for me.

    / Jul 23, 2012 at 6:25 PM
  • Hedge Funds

    Raj Rajaratnam Basically Has Washboard Abs Now, Says Completely Objective Third Party

    Back in December, things were not going so well for hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam. For starters, he had just reported to prison to serve an eleven year sentence for insider trading, where there would be no April Fool’s day midgets or employees to tase or extra mayo to eat. Then there was the matter of the “unique constellation of ailments ravaging his body,” and the kidney transplant he was said to need. Finally, and not that there’s anything wrong with this, but if you’re a person who thinks looks matter, he was fat. It would have been enough to send Raj into an understandable a tailspin of sorrow and despair. And yet? It turns out the Galleon founder is not only doing great but looks good too. How good? While we have no photographic evidence, consider that an attorney who does not represent the guy and was ostensibly speaking to Bloomberg about a story involving Raj declining to answer questions about a tax shelter case could not help but steer the conversation to Big R’s new body.

    Rajaratnam, convicted last year of directing the largest hedge fund insider-trading scheme in U.S. history, was interviewed yesterday for about an hour and 45 minutes at the Federal Medical Center Devens in Ayers, Massachusetts. The deposition stems from a case involving a tax shelter Rajaratnam had invested in. He isn’t a defendant in the lawsuit. He refused to answer any of the more than 100 questions he was asked, invoking his right against self-incrimination under the U.S. Constitution’s Fifth Amendment, said Howard Kleinhendler, an attorney representing the plaintiffs. “He looked good,” Kleinhendler, of Wachtel Masyr & Missry LLP in New York, said today in a phone interview, adding that Rajaratnam appeared to have lost weight since the last time he saw him, in 2007. Rajaratnam, 55, has said in court papers that he has health problems including diabetes and will probably need dialysis and a kidney transplant. “He was in good spirits,” Kleinhendler said.

    You’d be in a good mood too if you could finally see your feet again. Guy could be in a Thai prison right now and he’d be happy as a clam.

    Rajaratnam Silent In Tax-Shelter Deposition, Lawyer Says [Bloomberg]

    / Jul 18, 2012 at 2:02 PM
  • Can't nobody hold me down

    Who Wants To Invest In Phil Falcone’s New Company?

    Harbinger Global Corp is coming to an exchange near you.

    Phil Falcone, the embattled billionaire hedge fund manager, has put together an unorthodox IPO that will see his hedge fund firm contribute assets valued at $350 million to a blank check company that will trade publicly. In the deal, a special purpose acquisition company that is expected to trade on Nasdaq and be known as Harbinger Global Corp., will acquire a majority interest in an MGM-branded hotel and casino development in Vietnam and a minority interest in an iron ore producer working in Brazil. Funds run by Falcone’s Harbinger Capital Management that are contributing the assets will get an ownership stake that could be as high as 96% in Harbinger Global and Falcone is slated to become executive chairman of the company. Falcone’s move to become closely involved in a publicly-traded company is audacious given that he is currently facing securities fraud charges from the Securities & Exchange Commission.

    Yeah, well, people also thought it was audacious for him to invite a burlesque dancing pig he barely knew to come and live with him and she turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to him, so.

    / Jul 11, 2012 at 1:38 PM
  • News

    If One More Person Gives Jamie Dimon Shit About The London Whale Leon Cooperman Is Just Gonna Snap

    JPMorgan disclosed on May 10 that it had a $2 billion trading loss because of […]

    / Jun 28, 2012 at 4:59 PM
  • Hedge Funds

    Former Paulson LP Pleased To See Her Ex Hasn’t Changed His Deadbeat Ways, Not That She Actively Looks In On Him And Would Take Him Back In A Heartbeat Or Anything

    As you may or may not have heard, the last 18 months have not been the best of times for John Alfred Paulson. His Advantage Plus fund was down fifty percent last year, he got screwed big time by a bunch of fake trees, his proclamation that 2011’s losses were but an “aberration” has not exactly been helped by the fact that AP was down 10 percent through May 2012, Morgan Stanley’s prime brokerage put Paulson and Co. on a list of firms it warns clients not to invest with, some investors ” have expressed their growing unease,” and others have called it quits. But! JP can take solace in knowing that at least one LP, and probably more, are so not over him.

    New Mexico, which stuck by Paulson through last year’s growing losses, pulled its $40 million investment in the first quarter. “From time to time, I do check on John Paulson to see whether we did the right thing,” said Joelle Mevi, the state’s chief investment officer. “And I see that we did.”

    No word on whether or not New Mexico downs two bottles of wine and then logs onto Facebook to stalk Paulson’s page and mutters “skank” under her breath when she sees JP with more attractive LPs but it seems prett-ay obvious.

    John Paulson’s Returns Falter Again; Investors Fret [Reuters]

    / Jun 28, 2012 at 2:21 PM
  • News

    SEC: Phil Falcone Has A Lot Of Wisdom To Impart, Re: How To Be A Fraud

    “Today’s charges read like the final exam in a graduate school course in how to […]

    / Jun 27, 2012 at 3:10 PM