Then provides baseless speculation by people who literally have no idea before concluding that eh, he could’ve done a better job.

As some of you may recall, back in March, Highland Capital Management founder and CEO James Dondero testified that he is “insolvent under Texas family law, if not according to normal accounting rules,” despite a 2010 tax return showing his adjusted gross income that year to be in excess of $36 million. The reason his finances were in question was because Dondero filed for divorce in September, and how much he owes his wife Becky is currently in dispute. Becky is “seeking enforcement of a prenuptial agreement guaranteeing her half of the couple’s community property, capped at $5 million,” plus “spousal support and interim attorney fees.” James, maybe you can glean, is hoping it will be less than that and perhaps even nothing. One thing that really didn’t help his case? A drinking buddy/former employee/former friend Dondero thought had his back taking the opportunity to speak out of turn!

Patrick Daugherty, a former senior portfolio manager at Highland who quit in October, testified that he met with James Dondero for drinks last month. “He told me his plan was to get his net worth down and pay her as little as possible,” said Daugherty, who was called to the stand by Becky Dondero.

That testimony was given on March 28th. On April 11– and please, do not think we suggest this is some sort of retaliation but clearly just a mere coincidence–, this happened: Read more »

As you may have heard, earlier today, people working in 2 World Financial Center were evacuated from the building after a suspicious package was flagged by security. Initial reports claimed it contained a grenade; obviously this was cause for alarm and would have continued to be had the NYPD determined it to be an actual grenade and not a “grenade-like novelty item,” mounted on a plaque with a sign that says “Complaint Dept. Pull Pin.” Now that it’s clear everyone is safe (and at least mildly buzzed), a few questions need answering. Read more »

An artist's rendering

Back in January, SAC Capital amassed a 5.3 percent stake in Domino’s Pizza, making it the fifth largest investor, at 3.2 million shares. While Cohen didn’t have any plans to meddle with management, behind the scenes he did do his part to enhance the brand, not only in an attempt to maximize profits but out of a love for bread, sauce and cheese. Little tweaks included: use of the DPZamboni as the standard delivery vehicle (it can do 150 on 95), product placement that involved getting Domino’s featured in a few pizza delivery-boy themed pornos, and tasking SAC employees with slapping slices out of the hands of anyone seen eating a competitor, putting a finger in their face and warning “that’s one” (after one you don’t want to know what happens). Things were good. REALLY good. They were double penetrating the market and Steve had big plans for the future. Unfortunately, SC’s had to significantly reduce his stake over the last few months, after what we’re assuming was a difference of opinion based on this: Read more »

As we learned yesterday, some of the material, non-public information Raj Rajaratnam has been accusing of profiting on came from former Goldman Sachs board member Rajat Gupta. In one particular instance, Gupta participated in a conference call with Lloyd Blankfein, who discussed specifics re: upcoming earnings, and dialed up Rajaratnam 23 seconds later to furnish his pal with exact numbers. As he was getting his information almost directly from the horse’s mouth, you can imagine his patience was tested when a Galleon analyst questioned its accuracy. Read more »

THEhotel at Mandalay Bay is home to Hubert Keller’s new restaurant, Fleur. The menu includes a burger priced at $5,000 (which comes with a $2,500 bottle of wine, so manage your expectations about what this mere $2,500 piece of meat will taste like now) and Fleur representatives optimistically believe they’ll sell 6 of these things this year. Read more »

In his opening statement this week, a lawyer for Milton Balkany, the Rabbi who tried to shake down SAC Capital’s Steve Cohen for $4 million, said that his client went after this particular hedge fund manager because he was “Jewish and rich.” Since obviously Cohen is not the only person on earth or even in the area with such characteristics, Balkany must have done his homework to figure out that Steve is not just rich but super fucking rich, and chose to go after a big kill rather than some pedestrianly wealthy citizen.

To that end, given that Cohen is extremely well-known on Wall Street but not as famous to the general population as, say, Jamie Dimon or Dick Fuld, one might figure that Balkany’s intel went deep. Likes, dislikes, reputation, and just generally, of course, that Steve Cohen = King. Grand High Poobah. Lord High Admiral. Archbishop of Stamford. You get the idea- but apparently Balkany did not, as evidenced in a transcript of a taped phone call that took place last January between SAC’s outside counsel, Martin Klotz, and the Rabbi, as part of the sting (SAC immediately went to the authorities after initially hearing from Balkany). Read more »

Say what you will about alleged Ponzi schemer Ken Starr, but the guy wasn’t stupid. He knew how to leverage his “friendship” with Blackstone co-founder Pete Peterson into big name clients for his scam operation and he kept them going for quite some time. Still, he apparently wasn’t the most perceptive guy in the bunch. As previously mentioned, he didn’t realize that obscenely flashy purchases and a high-profile, rather than laying low and not sticking out, might make people go, “hey wait a second…” and he apparently also didn’t realize that when you marry a stripper, known for her “pole-dancing prowess,” she might be proud of/want to publicly pat herself on the back over said skills.

Two days before his arrest for allegedly cheating clients out of $59 million, financial adviser Kenneth Starr presided at one of Harry Cipriani’s coveted front-room tables, with a view of the Plaza and Central Park, and grinned when his wife, Diane, protested, not very seriously, that she’d thought their third-anniversary dinner would be a private affair. Diane Passage, 34, was wearing a black Gucci dress with a scoop neck that kept slipping to expose more of her Brobdingnagian breasts than the designer had intended—only when she got home would she realize she had it on backward—but Starr, 66, was proud of his fourth wife’s provocative figure. He liked to brag about her pole-dancing prowess. Only when she brought up her past employment as a dancer at Scores strip club did he wince. Why, though? she would ask him. She had nothing to hide.

Yeah, and she’s probably pretty damn pleased with the fact that those moves were what landed her her big shot husband in the first place. Think, Starr, think! Read more »