tips

Researchers from Harvard Business School, Wharton, and the MIT Sloan School of Management have determined that venture capitalists like their pitches wrapped up in pretty packaging. If you’ve got a great idea but sense you’re not Adonis, consider hiring a male model to do the talking. Also of note, don’t even think about letting a woman make your presentation. Read more »

“I admire the move by the European Union to restrict the bonuses of that class of privileged civil servants called “bankers” — a recognition that the taxpayers have the right to control the income of those they subsidize and bail out, just as they set the salaries of other state-sponsored workers. Alas, bankers in their current status are an offense to capitalism; they are in a strange situation of having upside without downside, no skin in the game. As an additional insult to the taxpayer, bankers paid themselves the largest bonus pool of their history in 2010 — thanks to Troubled Asset Relief Program. If a banker wants to be free in his income, he should start his own hedge fund. Because hedge fund operators are invested in their funds; they typically have 50 times more risk as a share of their net worth than their largest customer.” [NYT]


[via @joecheckler]

“Drugs and personal excess will always be found on Wall Street (and in any profession that pays big bucks), but it’s been my experience that fraudsters are more often family men like Bernie Madoff — guys who methodically steal tens of billions without screwing a single hooker or snorting a single line of coke.” [NYP]

Bernard Madoff’s former computer programmers asked for payment in diamonds to continue aiding the con man’s $17 billion Ponzi scheme in 2006 after they became uncomfortable with their role, a jury was told. The “crazy” request from Jerome O’Hara and George Perez was turned down and the men were given salary increases and bonuses, Frank DiPascali, Madoff’s former finance chief, testified today in Manhattan federal court in the trial of the men and three other ex-colleagues. “Where the hell am I gonna get a bag of diamonds?” said DiPascali, who pleaded guilty in the case and is testifying in a bid for a lighter sentence. The programmers, who said they were “in a bit of a pickle,” agreed on a “fairly substantial percentage increase” to their salaries, he said. [Bloomberg]

Earlier this month, Common Sense Investment Management founder and CEO Jim Bisenius found himself ensnared in a sting-op designed (quite successfully!) to nail guys responding to online ads for hookers, who turned out in fact to be undercover cops. Yesterday, CSIM said in a statement that Big Jim’s “recent personal transgressions bear no reflection on…the quality of portfolio management” at the firm, and that Bisenius will “remain in his role as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer.” Now, some guy has chimed in to remind everyone that when you’re running a hedge fund, it’s important not to doing anything that could draw the attention away from your kick-ass returns, be it a messy divorce, shoplifting, texting while driving, or banging a whore. Read more »

“You’re a farmer. You can’t control the weather. When you make a Brunello, you have to follow a set of rules. One is no interference with nature. You can’t irrigate in a dry year. I happen to like traditional methods. I’m kind of old school. If you’re someone who balks at following rules, you can still make wine, but you can’t call it a Brunello. You might want a vineyard in Napa Valley instead.” [BusinessWeek]