As those well-educated in the life and times of Raj Rajaratnam know, pre-prison, the big guy loved to 1. Make trades based on material non-public information and 2. Play pranks on his employees at Galleon, like introducing them to a dwarf and claiming he’d been brought on to analyst small-cap stocks, and bet them thousands of dollars they didn’t have the stomachs or balls to stand at the back of a room and allow a Taser International executive to use their bodies to demonstrate what kind of heat the company’s latest products were packing. How else did Raj-Raj keep the yuks coming (in addition to asking junior female analysts researching Lululemon to don a pair of black spandex pants and walk back and forth across the conference room table in them so people could really get a good look under the hood)? According to a new book called The Billionaire’s Apprentice: The Rise of The Indian-American Elite and The Fall of The Galleon Hedge Fund, vetting potential employees in between lap dances and making male staffers wear g-strings played a part. Read more »
hedge fund managers
Insider Trading, Men Wearing Women’s Lingerie, Interviews While A Voice Over The PA System Asks Everyone To “Welcome The Lovely Porshah To Stage 3″: Just Another Day With Raj RajratnamBy Bess Levin
The Next Defendant To Chew Gum In U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan’s Courtroom Gets An Extra 6 MonthsBy Bess Levin
Anthony Chiasson, the co-founder of the hedge fund Level Global Investors, was sentenced to 6.5 years in prison today for illegal trading in two tech stocks…Throughout the hearing, Chiasson sat surrounded by his lawyers, chewing gum furiously. “What I keep coming back to is this crime, these crimes, were committed over a long period of time, over a time when you were already fabulously wealthy,” said Judge Sullivan. “I don’t know if I’ve ever sentenced someone as wealthy as you.” He added: “It’s hard to understand why someone would risk something like that.” Chiasson’s lawyers, meanwhile, reviewed the many good deeds their client had done in life, his role as a family man with two small children and the fact that he was an altar boy when he was 8 years old. When it came time for Judge Sullivan to deliver the verdict, Chiasson, 39, stood up and shoved his hands deep into his pockets, his jaw chomping away the whole time. After informing Chiasson that he would be spending 78 months in prison, Sullivan said: “You conducted yourself with dignity—except for chewing gum.” [BusinessWeek]
Have you often felt but never divulged, not to friends and certainly not to colleagues, that the one thing that’s missing from your job is a designated time to dance your ass off? There’s just something about trading that makes you want to move, no? You’re sitting there, buying, selling, yelling at your sales guy when all of a sudden, you get that urge, one that can’t be sated by some foot tapping and finger snapping. No, that isn’t enough. This is a itch that can only be scratched by jumping on your desk and shaking it, while disco balls descend from the ceiling, the lights dim, and house music starts blasting, like bham bham bhamb and boom boom boom.
Unfortunately, at this time, few firms1 have set aside the resources to fulfill these biological needs (nor have they even acknowledged the positive effect a daily shimmy would have on P&L). Happily, one needn’t suffer in silence any longer, according to an amazing piece of investigative journalism by the Times.
When lunchtime comes around, Laurie Batista often grabs a salad near the Flatiron ad agency where she works as an executive assistant and eats it at her desk. But shortly after noon on a sunny, 65-degree Friday in April, Ms. Batista, 31, jumped into a cab with three co-workers and headed west to Marquee, a nightclub on 10th Avenue. After waiting in a line that wrapped around onto 26th Street (and attracted the attention of the police, who wanted to know what was going on), she redeemed a drink ticket for a free cocktail of vodka and fruit punch. A half-hour later, she was wearing purple lensless Wayfarer-style glasses, waving a footlong foam glow stick and mouthing the words to Warren G’s “Regulate.”
Around her, hundreds of other revelers did similar things: a guy in Chuck Taylors moonwalked across the dance floor, a man in a hoodie threw up his hands to form the “W” that stands for the rap group Wu-Tang Clan. Strobe lights bounced off a giant disco ball. Sweat glistened on foreheads. “Gin and Juice” thumped. Cheers erupted. It was midday, but inside Marquee, it could have been 2 a.m. Ms. Batista was one of more than 300 people who attended the latest Lunch Break, a free midday party series whose hosts are Flavorpill, the online culture guide, and Absolut vodka. Introduced last summer, it is the most raucous of a group of lunch-hour dance parties starting up in New York City and around the world. The goal: get the screen-addicted masses to move and groove, often with the lubrication of alcohol. But don’t get drunk: this is not the three-martini lunch of yore (or lore), ending with secretaries being chased around a desk. And please, leave the business cards at the office. “Networking is fine, I’m a big networker myself, but it’s work,” said Sascha Lewis, a founder of Flavorpill. “Let’s just call this what it is: a fun, daytime party for people to enjoy themselves for an hour.”
Naturally, the unquenchable demand presents an opportunity for a hedge fund manager–especially one who feels the impulse himself and was not prepared to allow societal norms or retail security forces hold him down. Read more »
Hedge Fund Manager Will Not Be Denied In His Quest To Move The Sacramento Kings To Seattle, Until The NBA Formally Denies Him Later This MonthBy Bess Levin
Chris Hansen has a dream. Read more »
Confidential To J.C. Penney: Lock Up Your Light, Cheap, Practically Disposable, And Most Importantly Throw-able Lamps!By Bess Levin
Financier George Soros has bought a 7.91% stake in J.C. Penney Co., a vote of confidence in the beleaguered retailer as it tries to reverse a deep decline in sales. Soros Fund Management LLC disclosed in a regulatory filing Thursday that it had acquired 17.4 million Penney shares. [WSJ, related]
Time was, Warren Lichtenstein and Annabelle Bond, pictured at left, were the best of buds. Now? Warren might not even take a gander at the photos Annabelle has spent a lot of time and effort posing for. Read more »