Staten Island

Not-so-poor old Warren Buffett is taking a beating: First, Marc Andreessen went for the low blow re: bitcoin. Perhaps staggered by the epithet, or perhaps unable to see the “Welcome to New York City” signs on the Outerbridge Crossing from the top of Berkshire Hathaway HQ in Omaha, or perhaps having failed to memorize all 6,000 Dairy Queen locations, or perhaps thinking (correctly) that Staten Island doesn’t look much like New York City, or perhaps taking sides in a contentious non-debate about whether in fact Staten Island should make like the Crimea and secede, a position supported by dozens of Staten Islanders and many more beyond its shores, for whom the city’s fifth borough lost its utility upon the closing of the Fresh Kills Landfill in 2001, or perhaps simply making a minor mistake, the Blizzard purveyor has committed a faux-pas tailor-made for the modern outrage industry. Read more »

I suppose in like 1985 there were people who worked on Wall Street and un-self-consciously ate cheeseburgers for breakfast, got shoeshines at their desks, went to strip clubs every night, and slammed down their phones hard enough to break them, but my assumption is that in 2013 any remaining “stereotypical Wall Street behavior” is mediated through popular culture. Some people go into finance with the goal of having a memoir that reads exactly like Liar’s Poker,1 and no one wears contrast-collar shirts because they look good. You wear them – if you do (do you?) – because you saw them in that movie.

Former Diamondback Capital analyst and insider trader Jesse Tortora actually wrote this:

In 2009, Tortora e-mailed a group that included Abbasi and Adondakis: “Rule number one about email list, there is no email list, fight club reference. Rule number two, only data points can be sent, no sarcastic comments. Enjoy. Your performance will now go up by 100 percent in 09 and your boss will love you. Game theory, look it up.”

Look it up, yo. That’s also from Bryan Burrough and Bethany McLean’s amazing Vanity Fair article on the endless pursuit of Steve Cohen, and while the fact that Tortora and his crew of cheeseballs called themselves “Fight Club” has been reported before, the fact that Tortora had to remind them of it BY SAYING “FIGHT CLUB REFERENCE” AFTER HIS FIGHT CLUB REFERENCES is new to me and makes me ashamed to be a human.

Why did these tools insider trade? Read more »