Thought a little $18 million fine and a 5-year ban from the securities industry for her husband was going to keep Her Fabulousness in the shadows, shut off from the world, inside her speakeasy/closet? Think again! Read more »
Falone has let the money be a very public part of his life. To some the explanation is simple: Lisa Maria Velasquez. As a friend of Philip’s tells me, “He likes the insanity” [Vanity Fair]
If This LiqhtSquared Bet Goes According To Plan, Phil And Lisa Maria Falcone Will Be Able To Buy A Whole House Of Dancing Pigs- And Ones For Their Haters, TooBy Bess Levin
For the latest issue of Vanity Fair, reporter Bethany McLean got personal with one of our favorite hedge fund couples, Phil and Lisa Maria Falcone. If you’ve been keeping up with the travails of the Harbinger Capital founder and his wife, you know that despite living in a 25,725-square foot mansion on 5th Avenue (which was renovated to include a bar inside Lisa’s closet), a few billion or so in the bank, unparalleled eyes for fashion and Manhattan’s premier singing and dancing pig who can also play the piano, the last couple years have not been the easiest for the Falcones. Everywhere they turn they feel like people are beating up on them, taking shots. To their chagrin and bewilderment, New York “society,” for the most part, doesn’t accept Lisa and many of Phil’s investors, when they’re not being held by a gate, have run for the hills, causing Harbinger’s assets under management to drop from a peak of $26 billion to $7 billion and counting. Things have gotten so bad, in fact that, several months back, Falcone “almost took off the Ganesh charm- the elephant-headed Hindu deity that represents good fortune- that he wears around his neck.” As he told McLean, “I thought, You have got to be kidding. I get very superstitious.”
But he kept it on and why? Because 1) You have not seen the best of Phil Falcone yet:
“You take your lumps and get your bruises. you get knocked down. The key is getting back up,” Falcone says. “I’m already standing. I’m 48. It’s not even the second period of my career, and I’ve had a pretty good first period.”
And 2) Phil’s got a big bet in the works, one that he’s pretty sure will shut everyone up, about everything, if the elephant can pull through for him. You know the one. LIGHTSQUARED. Yeah. Just let it sizzle there, in the air. It’s going to be huge and then all you people are going to be begging to invest with the best.
“I think [the wireless bet] could be bigger than subprime for me,” he says.
You know what else it will rival? Hairbrushes. Read more »
Earlier this week it was reported that Harbinger Capital’s chief investment officer, Lawrence M. Clark Jr, had resigned to start his own fund. According to Reuters’ Matthew Goldstein and Emily Chasan, several other employees will have parted ways with Phil Falcone, though their departures were less than voluntary. Read more »
Today alone we’ve received two bad pieces of news re: bonuses. Expectations at JPMorgan are that they’ll be down 10-15% and at Morgan Stanley, nearly 30%. But! Employees at some firms– be they Goldman, hedge funds, whoever– must be expecting to fare better based on a little word from a little fella. Read more »
The last month or so has not been the best of times for Phil Falcone. Harbinger Capital’s flagship is down, Goldman Sachs, Blackstone and some others have pulled their money, investors have been giving him shit for borrowing $113 million from one of his funds (where redemptions had been frozen) in order to pay personal taxes, he had to put up his art as collateral to borrow even more cash (for what, it’s unclear), he’s being investigated by the SEC and every time he drives down the road he just wants to jerk the wheel into a god damn bridge abutment.
First, though, he’d like to put some rumors to bed, and in a profile with the Times yesterday, did just that.
* On the hideous suggestion he’s got a liquidity problem:
Mr. Falcone has been selling investments. He has unloaded stakes in Citigroup and The New York Times Company and a $650 million investment in Inmarsat, a British satellite company. All of this has led to speculation in the hedge fund community that Mr. Falcone and his firm are confronting a cash squeeze. If more investors withdraw money, the whispers go, Mr. Falcone could be in trouble. Nonsense, said Mr. Falcone in an interview in his office. “The last thing I’m thinking about in the morning is whether I have a cash-flow problem,” he says.
* On people not getting that he loaned himself investor money because he really needed it and not because he was just dicking around.:
A little more than a year ago, Mr. Falcone took a $113 million personal loan from the fund, a move that was vetted by his lawyers, he said. Mr. Falcone said a big chunk of his personal wealth is tied up in his own funds. “It’s not like I have $113 million in my checking account,” he said, chuckling.