little known facts

Joey Ramone wasn’t just a punk when it came to his finances. Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo revealed Wednesday that the late rocker was also a savvy stock picker. “[Joey] used to e-mail me all the time saying, ‘Maria, what do you think about AOL? What do you think about Amazon?’ ” Bartiromo told Shepard Smith. But, “I didn’t realize it was the real Joey Ramone . . . I was answering him back . . . giving him my take on things, and he called me one day and said, ‘I want you to come down to CBGB’s, I wrote a song about you.’ I said, ‘What, Joey? I have to get up tomorrow morning at 4 a.m.! I can’t be at CBGB’s at midnight.” Ramone’s 2002 ode included the lyrics, “What’s happening on ‘Squawk Box?’ What’s happening with my stocks?” Bartiromo said, “I’m so mad I didn’t go that night because when he sent me the video . . . singing that song . . . most people don’t know what a savvy investor Joey was. He knew what he was doing.” [NYP]

Something that’s never got much mention in the press is that in addition to their formidable investing savvy, many an employee of SAC Capital has been behind some of the greatest upsets in sports history. February 11, 1990. Tokyo, Japan. Buster Douglas versus Mike Tyson, Douglas is 35:1 underdog. Douglas prevails. Why? I can’t say his name but ask anyone who was there and they’ll tell you the story of a young pup from the Stamford back office whose fluffing skills between rounds Douglas to this day credits with his win. Summer Olympics 2000. Sydney, Australia. Rulon Gardner defeats Alexander Karelin. Rulon Gardner’s victory at the Sydney Olympics is the greatest upset in wrestling history. Gardener had no wins on the Olympic level, whereas Karelin had been undefeated for the last decade. Who gave Gardener some last minute tips on his Half Nelson? SAC’s head of HR at the time. March 1991. NCAA semifinal game, Duke versus UNLV. UNLV was heavily favored and hadn’t lost a game all year. Who snuck into the locker room at half time and promised the Blue Devils “hookers on the house– and these won’t talk” if they pulled out a W? A trader from SAC, always ahead of the curve. Super Bowl III, 1969. New York Jets defeat Baltimore Colts. Who convinced the entire stadium to do a topless wave the likes of which the NFL had never seen, which in turn got the team from New York pumped like no other? Who consulted on Johnny Weir’s 2010 Olympic ensembles, even throwing in a hand at the sewing machine at the last hour? Who said MORE NETTING when everyone else said less? You know the answer to all those things.

Which leads us to next year’s NBA championship. You probably thought the New Jersey Nets didn’t have a shot, right? Wrong! Not now that they’ve got this secret weapon.

Think of Milton Lee as a technical investor. Except instead of analyzing stocks or commodities, he is analyzing basketball players. A former Wall Street equities trader who has done stints at ING and S.A.C Capital, Lee has joined the refurbished New Jersey Nets as the team’s director of basketball operations. His job is to crunch the statistics of Nets players, looking not just at their scoring percentages but also at their defensive efforts and where on the court they are most successful at hitting the net.

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