hedge fund managers

  • 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
  • News

    Securities And Exchange Commission Makes Good On Promise To Sue Phil Falcone

    And as promised, Falcone will be fighting the charges. He wants to “borrow” $113 million […]

    / Jun 27, 2012 at 2:42 PM
  • News

    Cliff Asness Wants To Be Thanked For Paying Taxes, Is Pissed Cash For Clunkers Didn’t Involve Killing Nazis

    Something you may or may not know about Cliff Asness is that by day, he is a hedge fund manager but by night he is the second coming of his hero, Captain America. Like the Captain, the AQR founder believes his duty is to defend America, only instead of fighting Axis Powers, Asness’s enemies are liberal Commie Socialists hell-bent on destroying this country. Because his shield has been in the shop for repairs for the past couple years, Cliff has been forced to use other weapons to pummel his foes, namely writing amazingly witty1 emails to his friends and colleagues about how much Obama et al suck. Most recently, Captain Asness circulated “Some Useful Definitions to Understand Our Modern Progressive World,” a little glossary of unalphabetized terms he put together sure to cut his adversaries deeply. (The Captain also helpfully pointed out in a footnote that many of the definitions were “written sarcastically as a faux left-winger, [while] some [are] just conservative/libertarian interpretations of what the left really means,” in case that was lost on his audience.) They include:

    – The 1%
    Definition: Those who pay more than 1/3 the total federal income tax and are never thanked for it. More generally, they are responsible for all evil in the world today (unless they work in Hollywood or hitech in which case they are “honorary 99%-ers” regardless of income, tax rate, and lifestyle).

    Cash for Clunkers
    Definition: What we came up to replace World War II as stimulus. Many perfectly good cars destroyed, no Nazis defeated.

    Rights
    Definition: A more extreme form of “entitlement” defined above. Note that modern usage throws out
    the long tradition of natural rights only of a negative nature, that is, the right not to have something
    done to you, for rights of a positive nature, that is, the right to certain goods and services, like health
    care, Apple products, and soy milk. Since, no matter how important these items are, these modern
    positive rights must still be produced and taken from others, essentially the word “rights” now often
    stands for a system of slavery and theft.
    2

    Some Useful Definitions [PDF]

    1Definition: …
    2The fuck?

    / Jun 27, 2012 at 2:28 PM
  • News

    Securities And Exchange Commission Still Hung Up About The Time Phil Falcone Borrowed Money From A Gated Fund To Pay Personal Taxes

    Remember the time Harbinger Capital Partners founder Phil Falcone was a little short on cash, and decided to “borrow” $113 million from a fund in which redemptions had been suspended in order to pay personal taxes? Unfortunately for Big P, the SEC does. (The regulator also recalls he time he allegedly played favorites with Goldman and allegedly manipulated some markets.)

    Philip Falcone, the billionaire founder of Harbinger Capital Partners LLC, faces a lawsuit from U.S. regulators as soon as this week over claims he improperly borrowed client funds to pay his taxes and gave preferential treatment to Goldman Sachs Group Inc., according to two people familiar with the matter. Falcone, 49, may also face a market manipulation claim related to trading in bonds of MAAX Holdings Inc., said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter isn’t public. The Securities and Exchange Commission voted to authorize enforcement staff to file the case, the people said.

    While perhaps not the best news Falcone has received in a while, it likely does not come as a surprise, as the SEC has been talking about the aforementioned offenses since last December (when they tried to get him banned from the securities industry). Either way, Phil, who should probably just not going home tonight unless he wants an earful, is planning to “contest to the suit.”

    SEC Said To Authorize Lawsuit Against Harbinger’s Falcone [Bloomberg]

    / Jun 26, 2012 at 3:03 PM
  • Look Into My Eyes

    Hedge Fund Manager Who Faked His Own Death Has A Few Theories About Other Famous Murders, Real And Imaginary

    Remember Samuel Israel III? For those with short memories, SI3 is a former hedge fund manager who faked his own death in June 2008 with the help of his girlfriend, Debra Ryan, who later wrote an article explaining her actions by noting that she and Israel had “a blazing sex life” that was hard to walk away from (Ryan shared colorful anecdotes that included all the times Israel would “[jokingly] sneak up on her, once while wearing sunglasses on his penis”). For Israel’s part, he had pretended to kill himself, incorporating a line from M*A*S*H into his fake suicide note, in an attempt to avoid the prison stay that was coming his way, on account of having taken Bayou Group investors for more than $450 million. At the time, he became something of a minor celebrity, whose business card, prominently featuring an egret, was auctioned off on eBay but since ultimately being sentenced to twenty years behind bars we’d heard nary a peep from the guy. Luckily, Andrew Ross Sorkin recently flew down to Butner, North Carolina for a little chat and it’s a good thing he did because Israel had a lot he wanted to get off his chest. After offering ARS an “orange Life Saver,” discussing his own version of a playoffs beard (“Mr. Israel…was wearing a tan prison uniform with his hair grown out, a mass of silver and brown curls sprouting from the sides of his bald head. ‘I’m never going to cut it until I get out,’ he exclaimed”), and talking Ponzi schemes, SI3 got down to the real matter at hand.

    About halfway through, the interview turned bizarre when Mr. Israel, on the verge of crying, announced: “I took a man’s life. I shot him twice.” I asked for more details. The story is recounted in “Octopus,” but the author, Mr. Lawson, doesn’t appear to believe it. In the supposed slaying, Mr. Israel describes himself defending a known con man, Robert Booth Nichols, who claimed to have once worked for the Central Intelligence Agency and has since died. Mr. Nichols was undertaking a secret trade at a German bank and was ambushed outside by a cockeyed “Middle Eastern guy.” Mr. Israel says he shot the ambusher in the hip and then in the head. He looked at me, shaking, and said, “I’ve seen someone with their head blown off maybe two feet back — as close as I am to you.” Mr. Israel recognized my skepticism. When I asked him what happened to the body, he said, “Bob made a couple of calls.” Again, I looked at him quizzically. “These people can do anything. They can get rid of a body,” he said. “Come on,” he added, looking at me as if I didn’t understand. “They can kill presidents.”

    I wasn’t sure what he was talking about. “The J.F.K. thing,” he said. He went on to tell me that he had videotapes of Kennedy’s assassination and that one was stolen by the F.B.I. “I know it makes me look like a crackpot,” he said. “But I know it’s real. Look into my eyes — I don’t care if people think I’m crazy.”

    Egrets.

    A Con Man Who Lives Between Truth And Fiction [Dealbook]

    / Jun 26, 2012 at 2:34 PM
  • News

    Hedge Fund Manager Wants 35 Percent Of Ex-Wife’s Shoe Collection For Reasons Not Entirely Clear

    Daniel Shak is the founder of SHK Management, a hedge fund that reportedly “pulled the plug on its sole investment, spread trades on Comex gold futures,” last year. Daniel Shak is also the ex-husband of Beth Shak, who he divorced three years ago and is now suing for allegedly hiding assets in an attempt to cheat him out of settlement money. The assets in question? Twelve hundred pairs of designer shoes, which Shak claims his former wife “hid” from him in a “secret room.”

    The way DS sees it, the footwear collection, which includes “Christian Louboutins and other high-end designer shoes” is worth approximately $1 million and he wants at least 35 percent. The way Beth Shak sees it, this is crazy (“I’m shaking my head over this whole thing,” she told reporters. “He is saying he didn’t know the closet in our master bedroom existed”) and she doesn’t understand why her ex is going after her shoes now. At this time there appear to be a few possible explanations:

    a) Daniel is raising money to re-launch his fund (he told the Journal, after liquidating SHK in January 2011, that he’d be “trading again in a few weeks,” though it’s unclear if that happened).
    b) He’s got gambling debts to repay (“A poker lover himself, he was reached at a card table yesterday but declined to comment”).
    c) He and John Mack are going to sell them out of the back of a truck.
    d) He just really appreciates women’s shoes.
    e) Other

    Hedgie sues poker pro ex-wife over her 1,200-pair designer shoe collection [NYP]
    Related (…?): Hedge Fund SHK Liquidates, Rattles Gold Market

    / Jun 25, 2012 at 11:25 AM
  • Hedge Funds

    Chuck Schumer’s Gonna Have To Do A Lot Better Than Dinner If He Wants A Piece Of Cliff Asness

    Earlier today, Politico ran a story titled “Can Chuck Schumer win back Wall St. for Democrats?” Apparently the New York Senator recently “embarked on a fence-mending campaign with senior Wall Street executives, many of whom have grown furious with the Democratic party,” in a charm offensive that has included “holding private dinners [including one put on by Pershing Square manager Bill Ackman], organizing high-end fundraisers for Democratic candidates and quietly pressing for super PAC donations.” According to Politico, “the outreach appears to be working: Hedge fund and private-equity executives have held six different fundraisers for Democratic challengers and senators at Schumer’s request, sources say.” Some financial services employees, however, are not so easy. Take Cliff Asness for example. The AQR manager happened to read the piece and here’s what he had to say about it:

    From: Cliff Asness
    Sent: Tuesday, June 19, 2012 01:08 PM
    To: AQR lieutenants, other top hedge fund managers
    Subject: Can Chuck Schumer win back Wall St. for Democrats?

    Good title question. Only if Wall Street is so f—ing stupid as to defy credulity, honor, and morality. So, yeah, probably.

    Best line: “Chuck Schumer is pro-business”. Yeah, ones that buy him off in explicit crony-capitalism, but he wants to regulate and tax to death ones that don’t. Don Corleone was also pro-business. You guys say this stuff with a straight face huh?

    C

    p.s. Sorry about the multiple emails, merging lists (though that is probably not the thing that upsets people)

    While the above response should come as a shock to exactly no one, we don’t think Schumer should give up on Asness so easily. The guy just wants to be wooed. Start with some limited edition action figures, add some $700 bottles of wine, and go from there.  You whip out a Mego Elastic Batman, he’s listening. You show up with a a matching Captain America shield tattoo but instead of on your forearm it’s on your face? He’s nominating you for President. You’re welcome.

    / Jun 19, 2012 at 4:18 PM
  • Hedge Funds

    2010’s Best Performing Hedge Fund Manager’s Next Big Investment Idea Involves Becoming A Landlord

    Don Browstein is a former philosophy professor, the founder of Structured Portfolio Management (named the best performing hedge fund in 2010, after returning 49.5 percent and 134.6 percent in 2009), a guy who supposedly once told a trader “The only way you can leave this firm is in a body bag” while brandishing a baseball bat, and the person tenants will have to answer to if next month’s rent is one day late.

    Don Brownstein’s Structured Portfolio Management LLC plans to start a fund to buy and rent out homes. The firm, based in Stamford, Connecticut, may introduce the fund to investors within weeks, Brownstein said in a letter to clients dated June 12, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg News. He didn’t say how much capital has been raised or targeted. “There will be a significant transformation in the way in which single family homes are owned and occupied in the United States,” Brownstein said in the letter. The strategy is to acquire homes through distressed sales and rent them out profitably, perhaps to the former owner, then “sometime in the not distant future, sell the houses and reap a profit from a recovery in prices.”

    Brownstein Plans Funds To Buy, Rent Out Homes [Bloomberg Brief]

    / Jun 19, 2012 at 1:43 PM
  • News

    Eddie Lampert Bids Greenwich Adieu

    Eddie Lampert is relocating ESL Investments to Miami, according to a regulatory filing today. The […]

    / Jun 12, 2012 at 12:48 PM
  • News

    Larry Robbins Is Off The Market, Back In Neighbors’ Good Graces

    Hedge-fund mogul Larry Robbins, founder of Glenview Capital Management, is getting married to former dancer […]

    / May 31, 2012 at 4:49 PM
  • News

    Plan D: A Hostile Takeover Of The Newark Bears

    “Major League Baseball has approved three potential buyers to review the financial records of the […]

    / May 29, 2012 at 2:30 PM
  • Hedge Funds

    Yahoo! RésuméGate, Day 7: Third Point Is Not Enjoying This At All

    In fact, Dan Loeb and Co. find this “embarrassing episode” painful to watch.

    Dear Board of Directors:

    Six days have passed since Yahoo! acknowledged the fabrications in Chief Executive Officer Scott Thompson and Director Patti Hart’s resumes. Since then, the following has occurred: (i) shareholders have been told that Mr. Thompson’s errors were “inadvertent”, (ii) Mr. Thompson made a classic “I’m sorry you feel that way” non-apology without actually accepting responsibility, (iii) Ms. Hart announced she will not seek re-election to the Board presumably due to her leadership of the botched CEO hiring process but intends to serve out her term, and (iv) the Board has formed a special committee to conduct a “thorough review” into Mr. Thompson’s academic credentials.

    It appears very clear to us – and to many corporate governance experts, Yahoo! employees, and fellow Yahoo! shareholders – that Mr. Thompson’s fantasy degree was in no way an “inadvertent error”. The evidence shows he had been using false credentials for years. Mr. Thompson’s “apology” was clearly insufficient and it seems that the only thing he actually regrets is that he has been caught in a lie and publicly exposed. Without any explanation or accountability, Yahoo! has been left to flounder under a discredited leader for an undefined period. So, after six days, we must ask – what is this Board waiting for?

    It seems farcical to us that the Board will most likely spend more time deliberating over whether Mr. Thompson should be fired than it did properly vetting whether he should have been hired. The necessary investigation into whether certain senior executives and Board Members knew of Mr. Thompson’s deceptions before hiring him should not delay decisive action over his ethical breaches.

    Third Point has over $1 billion invested in Yahoo! and we take no joy in witnessing this carnage. This Board’s unchecked value destruction must stop once and for all. Therefore, we once again call upon the Board to immediately (i) place Third Point’s entire slate on the Board replacing Mr. Thompson and Ms. Hart, (ii) appoint an interim CEO—we would suggest CFO Tim Morse or Head of Global Media Ross Levinsohn (assuming neither had any knowledge of Mr. Thompson’s fabrications) and (iii) allow Third Point nominee Michael Wolf to Chair the Search Committee for a new permanent CEO (Mr. Wolf will waive the $15,000 fee that Ms. Hart received for her work as Head of the Search Committee last year, which we expect she will promptly disgorge).

    This is the only way for Yahoo! to move past this embarrassing episode.

    Sincerely,
    Daniel S. Loeb
    Chief Executive Officer
    Third Point LLC

    / May 9, 2012 at 11:57 AM
  • News

    Memo To Yahoo: Dan Loeb Will Personally Shake Out ALL The Skeletons In Your Closet If He Has To

    As you may have heard, Third Point Management is currently waging a proxy battle against Yahoo, of which it owns 5.81 percent. Last September, the hedge fund and its founder, Dan Loeb, wrote a letter to the company’s board of directors entitled “The Failures of Yahoo’s Board of Directors Necessitate a Significant Infusion of Fresh Board Talent,” in November it demanded two board seats in order to rest the ship from a bunch of bumbling incompetents, and in February, it said actually, make that four seats. Unfortunately, Yahoo resisted. Which is why yesterday, Loeb and Third Point were forced to enter into the record some damning evidence showing current YHOO CEO Scott Thompson to be a dangerous, dangerous liar, the likes of which the search engine would be wise to sever ties.

    Specifically, Third Point revealed that contrary to statements made on SEC filings, Thompson? Did not graduate from Stonehill College with degrees in both computer science and accounting but only the latter. The reason Third Point knew this to be true was because it Googled Stonehill College and found that the school did not even start offering computer science degrees until 1983, well after the time Thompson graduated. So, a liar and a liar who can’t even be bothered to cover his tracks to boot. Oh, but the résumé chicanery did not stop there. Yahoo director Patti Hart, Third Point, went on to reveal, also had her own little C.V. “error” to speak of. Whereas Ms. Hart claimed to have graduated from Illinois State University with degrees in marketing and economics, in fact, merely earned a bachelors in business administration and specialized in marketing and econ.

    Yahoo, which yesterday confirmed the résumé duplicity, clearly needed no further substantiation that these two were academic frauds. Third Point and Loeb knew this much to be true. AND YET. As of 2PM today, a whopping twenty-four hours after their lies caught up to them, they remain employed by the company. So now this is happening because apparently some people need to be put on a deadline:

    Dear Board of Directors:

    Yahoo!’s initial response yesterday to Third Point’s identification of material inaccuracies in both CEO Scott Thompson’s and Director Patti Hart’s educational record was insulting to shareholders. We assume that these initial statements were attributable to Mr. Thompson and were not made with the Board’s approval. While we appreciate the Board’s statement late last night that it would conduct an investigation, unfortunately, for this Board and this Company, it is too little and months too late.

    To assert that years of inaccurate SEC filings, website biographies and, most likely, D&O questionnaires and curriculum vitae (including, presumably, the CV provided to Yahoo! when Mr. Thompson reached out for the job) were “inadvertent” is, in our view, the height of arrogance. Mr. Thompson and the Board should make no mistake: this is a big deal. CEO’s have been terminated for less at other companies. The Company’s Preliminary Proxy Statement filed on April 27, 2012 (at page 22) states that the “minimum qualification for service as a director of the Company are that a nominee possess…an impeccable reputation of integrity and competence in his or her personal and professional activities.”

    Furthermore, Yahoo!’s response “confirming” that Ms. Hart “specialized” in Marketing and Economics, rather than having earned her degree in such subjects (as Ms. Hart has asserted in filings for years) is a similar canard. A “specialty” is not a major. It is not a “minor”. We don’t know what it is, but we do know that like Mr. Thompson, Ms. Hart has been misrepresenting her actual degree to the investing public for years. Again, we hope that the Board does not accept this feeble attempt at “spin” as a justification for Ms. Hart’s misrepresentations.

    Irreparable damage to Yahoo!’s culture will continue every day that the Board allows Mr. Thompson and Ms. Hart to remain at the helm of the Company after having clearly demonstrated that they lack even the “minimum qualifications for service as a director of the Company.” Mr. Thompson, in particular, cannot possibly have any credibility remaining with the all-important Yahoo! engineers, many of which earned real – not invented – degrees in computer science. Moreover, permitting Mr. Thompson and Ms. Hart to stay with the Company after apparently violating the Code of Ethics sends a message to all Yahoo! employees that a different set of rules applies at the top.

    Third Point, Yahoo!’s largest outside shareholder with over $1 billion invested, called yesterday for an immediate investigation if our assertions were true. The Board appears to have acceded to this demand. Its response must be swift and decisive. In that regard, Third Point will consider it grounds for further action if the Board does not take the following steps by Noon EDT on Monday, May 7th:

    1) Publicly reveal the process by which it vetted Mr. Thompson as a potential CEO candidate. This disclosure should include the release of all minutes of any meeting at which Mr. Thompson’s candidacy was discussed and any reports or other materials upon which directors relied to evaluate Mr. Thompson’s candidacy.

    2) Disclose whether any Board member, including Maynard Webb, who has long-standing ties to Mr. Thompson, and Ms. Hart, who headed the Search Committee, was aware of Mr. Thompson’s deception prior to receipt of Third Point’s letter yesterday.

    3) Provide shareholders with all information regarding the director nomination process, including the so-called “skills matrix” referred to in the Company’s preliminary proxy statement, which the Board purportedly used to determine the qualifications of various candidates, including Third Point’s nominees.

    4) Terminate Mr. Thompson for cause immediately given his demonstrable unsuitability to remain Chief Executive Officer and a director of Yahoo! and accept the resignation of Ms. Hart for similar reasons.

    Finally, we urge the Board to stop wasting valuable company resources and drop its resistance to placing the Third Point nominees on the Board. We are prepared to join immediately. Once on the Board, our first tasks will be to work with the remaining Board members to find Yahoo! a new leader with the qualifications and integrity to lead the Company and install best practices of corporate governance. The Company can ill afford to continue this misguided fight with its largest outside shareholder while it has so many other fires to put out. There has been enough damage already.

    Sincerely,

    Daniel S. Loeb
    Chief Executive Officer
    Third Point LLC

    So, take the weekend to mull it over and while you’re at it, consider gathering documentation of other potentially false claims such as:

    1. His first-place finish in his 3rd grade spelling bee (do you really think a future Stonehill grad would know how to spell ‘abhinaya’?)

    2. That he bought Apple stock at $76/share (RIGHT)

    3. That he can bench 285 (sure)

    4. That he graduated high school (just don’t know)

    5. His circumcision (do you want to get to the bottom of this guy or not? If he lied about comp sci, who knows what else he’d lie about)

    Third Point Demands Yahoo C.E.O. Be Fired by Monday [Dealbook]
    Loeb Asks Yahoo To Fire CEO By Monday [MarketWatch]

    / May 4, 2012 at 3:00 PM
  • News

    May 3: Soros Wakes Up To Find Horse’s Head In His Bed?

    2005-2010: George Soros has a relationship of debatable seriousness depending on who you ask with a woman named Adriana Ferreyr. (According to Ferreyr, it was a “serious and meaningful relationship,” while according to Soros, things were “on-again, off-again and non-exclusive.”) Ferrreyr is promised her “dream apartment” on East 85th Street.

    Summer 2010: Several days after the contract on the apartment is signed, Soros “heartlessly dumps” Ferreyr, which means no dream apartment for her.

    Approximately a week later: The duo “briefly reconcile for a romantic night together.”

    A few hours later: Soros “whispers in Ferreyr’s ear” that another woman, Tamikoa Bolton, is living in her apartment. Ferreyr expresses strong displeasure at this fact. Soros supposedly slaps Ferreyr across the face and attempts “to strike her with a glass lamp, narrowly missing.”

    August 2011: Ferreyr demands $50 million for broken promises re: dream apartments, makes allegations re: lamps.

    Later in August 2011: Soros strongly denies accusations, refuses to pony up squat.

    February 2012: Ferryr refuses to settle for $250,000, court date is set for early May

    April 30, 2012: OH NO, HE DI’INT:

    Billionaire George Soros made a rare public appearance with his younger girlfriend, Tamiko Bolton, hours before a court date with his ex, Adriana Ferreyr. Soros, 81, and Bolton, 39, were photographed together at a Paley Center screening of “The Intouchables” Monday night, marking the first time they’ve stepped out in public as a couple. Bolton resides in the $1.9 million apartment which Ferreyr says Soros promised her, and which she’s suing over. Soros and Bolton’s sudden public appearance, meantime, seemed like a statement (or a show of unity) the night before a hearing in Manhattan Supreme Court.

    May 1, 2012: [Guessing] Bolton shows up to the courthouse with Soros sipping coffee out of china from the apartment and wiping her hands on the monogrammed towels (“AF & GS”) that mistakenly delivered the week after she moved in.

    May 3, 2012: ???

    Soros And Gal Pal Step Out [NYP]

    / May 3, 2012 at 4:18 PM
  • News

    David Einhorn Will Just Put It Out There That A Salad Every Once In A While Won’t Kill You

    Directed at no one in particular but if a certain jelly donut-addicted Fed Chair has […]

    / May 3, 2012 at 11:46 AM
  • News

    Try This For A Financial Sanction: Phil Falcone Isn’t Going Anywhere

    But Mr. Falcone and the SEC appear divided on two crucial questions, according to people […]

    / Apr 12, 2012 at 3:56 PM
  • News

    Area Hedge Fund Manager Takes President’s Breath Away

    From the front lines:

    From: Whitney Tilson
    Sent: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 11:20 AM
    Subject: My column: “A millionaire for higher taxes”

    In DC, just chatted with Obama and stood behind him at his press conference re the Buffett rule. Just published the column below on the Washington Post web site.

    As I shook his hand beforehand, I said, “Hi Mr. President, I’m Whitney Tilson of Democrats for Education Reform. We were early supporters of yours and I just wanted to thank you and Arne Duncan for the incredible work you’re doing.”

    His eyes lit up and he said, “I remember your early support. We’re making progress but we still have a lot of work to do.”

    I said, “We’ll keep fighting for you” as he was hustled out of the room to start the press conference.

    / Apr 11, 2012 at 6:25 PM
  • News

    Breaking: Person Tries To Hide Assets From Estranged Spouse In Divorce Court

    Highland Capital CEO James Dondero knows what we’re talking about.

    Highland Capital Management LP Chief Executive Officer James Dondero testified in a divorce proceeding that he’s insolvent under Texas family law, if not according to normal accounting rules. Dondero, 49, told Texas state court Judge David Lopez in Dallas yesterday that the 2008 financial crisis took his debt- investing firm “to a state of insolvency and we’ve been juggling liquidity since that.” Highland Capital assets under management fell to $23 billion by Jan. 1 from $39 billion at the end of 2007. “The last three, four years have been negative to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars,” Dondero said. The money manager said his annual income is “a million, two.”

    […]

    Highland Capital Management LP Chief Executive Officer James Dondero testified in a divorce proceeding that he’s insolvent under Texas family law, if not according to normal accounting rules. Dondero, 49, told Texas state court Judge David Lopez in Dallas yesterday that the 2008 financial crisis took his debt- investing firm “to a state of insolvency and we’ve been juggling liquidity since that.” Highland Capital assets under management fell to $23 billion by Jan. 1 from $39 billion at the end of 2007. “The last three, four years have been negative to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars,” Dondero said. The money manager said his annual income is “a million, two.”

    Highland Capital Chief Tells Divorce Judge He’s Insolvent [Bloomberg]

    / Mar 29, 2012 at 4:10 PM
  • News

    New York Mets Might Want To Savor Their Time Under The Tutelage Of Steve Cohen

    …because they’re about their last!

    SAC Capital Advisors founder Steven Cohen is the front-runner to purchase the Los Angeles Dodgers. Reports earlier this week indicated that Cohen’s bid for the baseball team was a couple hundred million dollars less than that made by former baseball executive Stan Kasten and Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson. But Cohen’s bid now matches the Kasten-Johnson offer of $1.6 billion—and at least half of Cohen’s purchase price would come in the form of cash. Indeed, Cohen, who last month bought a small stake in the New York Mets, which he would have to give up if approved to buy the California team, may already be planning for the Dodgers’ future. He has reportedly spoken with former Major League manager Tony La Russa about taking the team over under a Cohen regime.

    [FinAlternatives]

    / Mar 15, 2012 at 6:09 PM
  • News

    For Every Week George Soros’ “Nurse” Doesn’t Vacate The Apartment Promised To His Ex-Girlfriend, The Price Goes Up $5 Million

    George Soros offered to pay his Brazilian bombshell ex-lover Adriana Ferreyr $1 million to settle […]

    / Mar 14, 2012 at 1:14 PM
  • birds

    This Is A Story About The Obstacles Ray Dalio’s Former Assistant Faced In Shipping A Bird The Boss Had Stuffed And Mounted After It Was Shot By A Client

    It was a particularly windy day in Westport, CT and I delicately placed the mounted bird in my passenger seat, gingerly wrapping the seat-belt around its midsection without mussing the feathers. Carrying the bird in and out of the post office and several shipping stores became more hilarious each time. People stared. I smiled back. Finally though, when I’d reached the last place in the area that I could try before getting back to the office on time, I wasn’t going to take ‘no’ for an answer. The clerk gave me a look of disbelief when I placed the bird on the counter and I said, “I need to ship this to Japan.” He just laughed at me. I then looked at him sternly and said, “This is no laughing matter. This bird needs to make it to Japan in flawless condition or I will lose my job.” The guy looked back at the bird and then back at me. By then I had used my acting skills and summoned some tears. Finally he agreed to try and crate the bird for shipment. I still don’t know to this day if it made it past customs, but I was satisfied that I had not given up on my task. [Dealbook, related]

    / Mar 13, 2012 at 3:38 PM
  • News

    Ken Griffin Would Love To Spend All His Time Figuring Out How To Keep His Funds Above Water But Someone Has To Make Sure America Stays Awesome

    “I spend way too much of my time thinking about politics these days because government is way too involved in financial markets these days,” he said in a rare interview. He later added. “Part of my sensitivity to these issues is that I now live in the middle of a hyper-regulated industry, where not only is government affecting how capital markets work, or how banks work, but (the government) is punishing savers.” The 43-year-old hedge fund manager said he has invested more time than ever before on politics since the financial crisis of 2008 nearly crippled Citadel. The firm’s two flagship funds have since recovered, surpassing their so-called highwater marks this year…”I think (the ultra-wealthy) actually have an insufficient influence,” Griffin said in an interview at Citadel’s downtown office. “Those who have enjoyed the benefits of our system more than ever now owe a duty to protect the system that has created the greatest nation on this planet.” [Chicago Tribune, related]

    / Mar 12, 2012 at 2:44 PM
  • Hedge Funds

    Hedge Fund Manager/Singer-Songwriter Dan Loeb Pens Protest Song For Today’s Oppressed

    Last evening at Columbia College Dan Loeb, among others, was given the John Jay Award […]

    / Mar 8, 2012 at 2:00 PM
  • News

    When Sonia Jones Says Flow Into Sun Salutation, Paul Tudor Jones Says How High

    These days, Sonia Jones, at 44, is a walking advertisement for the physical benefits of […]

    / Mar 5, 2012 at 1:27 PM
  • News

    Photo Of George Soros In His Workout Gear Raises More Questions That It Answers

    [New York Times] 1. What does he bench? 2. Would it have killed the photographer […]

    / Mar 5, 2012 at 10:27 AM
  • News

    Personal Assistant Wasn’t Stealing From Her Hedge Fund Boss She Was Stealing From Her Hedge Fund Boyfriend, Says Personal Assistant In Her Own Defense

    The Mets have received commitments from billionaire hedge-fund investor Steve Cohen and six other investors […]

    / Feb 23, 2012 at 10:49 AM
  • News

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