John Paulson sat at his desk, staring at the office supplies that were all but making a mockery of him. The gold pens. The gold paper clips. The gold-plated keyboard, identical to the ones that he’d decreed everyone in the office have, too. He’d ordered them last year, along with the gold staplers, gold tape dispensers, gold paper weights. As his analysts were begging him to dump his holdings, he was directing his secretaries to get rid of everything in the office that didn’t reflect his position–nay, his feelings– for the precious metal that wasn’t nailed down to the floor. And how had gold repaid him? How had it treated his fund? By losing something like 10,000% and spitting in his face. And yet he still would not budge. Not when gold lost him hundreds of millions. Not when his friends, people who really cared about him, took him aside and said, “I’m telling you this as a friend: she’s out there making a fool of you.”
But now, as he stared at the keyboard, all he could think was how much he hated gold. He had a right mind to kick her to the curb, and that’s exactly what he was going to do. Paulson shot up out of his chair and raised his arm to sweep the keyboard, the pens, and the paper-clips into his, yes, gold-plated waste paper basket, with one cleansing motion, when a trusted adviser came bounding through the door.
“P!” he shouted. “You’re not going to believe this.” Read more »
At least one person isn’t happy about the pending insider trading settlement between the government and SAC Capital Advisors LP and isn’t afraid to make that known — anonymously. In an anonymous email to U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain, who is presiding over the criminal portion of SAC’s settlement, the critic had harsh words for the Justice Department and SAC’s billionaire founder Steven A. Cohen. “LTS, you must be tough like [Judge] Rakoff, kill the plea deal now that SAC trader Mathew Martoma is convicted to force DoJ to put Steve Cohen behind bars,” the person wrote. “His billions were made by insider trading and stolen from investors.” [WSJ]
*Assuming you can’t get them imported to the joint.
When one becomes a multi-billionaire, there are a few questions he or she has to ask him or herself. The first is, will I still eat my food with my own two hands or will I have someone cut it and feed it to me? Will I put my pants on myself each morning, or would it be nice to be have someone dress me, French aristocracy-style? Will I walk around like I did before becoming a man or woman of immense wealth, or will I be carried, leaving my legs to be simply ornamental? The most important question, though, is this: in the hypothetical event that I sleep with a woman on and off for five years, promise her a “dream apartment” and subsequently inform her, moments after accidentally sleeping with her one last time, that I gave it to another woman, setting off a chain of events in which names are called, lamps are thrown, and all out wars are waged, will I at some point relent and give her what she wants or will I never, and I mean ever, back down, not even after she beats the shit out of me and my staff during a deposition more than two years after this debacle began? For George Soros, the answer to that question was apparently, “BRING IT, BITCH.” Read more »
Over at Dealbook today you will find an article by Matthew Goldstein and Alexandra Stevenson that takes stock of the government’s futile attempts to ensnare hedge fund manager Steve Cohen, in the wake of last week’s guilty verdict against one of his former traders, Mathew Martoma. According to Martoma’s attorney, his client was but a pawn/grain of sand in the Feds’ quest to nail Cohen for insider trading. While the conviction of Martoma was a win for Preet Bharara and Co in that it brought their record against accused insider traders to 79-0, things didn’t turn out precisely as they had hoped, as Martoma never turned on Cohen by revealing the damning details of a crucial 20 minute conversation the two had over the phone, before SAC began dumping its shares of Elan and Wyeth.
Will Martoma ultimately turn on Cohen in an effort to receive a more lenient sentence? It’s possible, though somewhat unlikely, as 1) He hasn’t up to this point and 2) His “testimony is not worth much to prosecutors now unless he has some email document, or other piece of physical evidence to support any version he would present of his conversation with Mr. Cohen. Plus, the revelations that he attached fake Harvard Law transcripts to his applications for prestigious clerkships did not exactly do wonders for his credibility. Obviously this is good news for Cohen, and adding to the ‘everything is coming up roses for the Big Guy’ column is the fact that, amazingly, people supposedly “still want to work [at SAC.]”
Which brings us to the most important part of Goldstein and Stevenson’s piece: the window it give us into one of the more vital and consequential tasks SAC employees find themselves performing daily: Read more »
Back in October, hedge fund manager Dan Loeb sat down at his desk to pen a letter to auction house Sotheby’s, wherein he informed management that, among other things, they don’t know dick about contemporary art. The Third Point founder went on to list the many ways Sotheby’s had failed shareholders, including “egregious examples of waste,” like a lunch at Blue Hill that cost “multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars,” lost ground to rival Christie’s, its sliding operation margin, and, finally, the continued employment of CEO William Ruprecht, to whom the letter was addressed. Naturally, Loeb offered his services re: fixing the place, writing that he would be happy to join the board and help recruit a few other directors who would come with the requisite “experience increasing shareholder value” and would generally know what they hell they were doing, unlike some people (no names: Bill Ruprecht). Read more »