transcripts

Over at the New Yorker today, you will find a long piece exploring the coming undone of the hedge fund formerly known as SAC Capital, now Point72 Asset Management, at the hands of a trader formerly known as Ajai Thomas, now Mathew Martoma. Although nearly a dozen ex-SAC employees have been charged with and convicted of securities fraud over the last several years, it was really the work of work of Martoma, accused in November 2012 of orchestrating “the largest insider trading scheme ever” and found guilty last spring, that was the straw that broke the embalmed shark’s back. Particular details to note:

* While SAC has a history as an extremely cutthroat place to work, where the “down and out” clause means traders are cut loose swiftly and without hesitation, and insults from on high are in no short supply, it was no match for the household of Martoma’s youth, headed by a guy who could teach Steve Cohen a thing or two.

When Martoma’s father first came to America, he was admitted to M.I.T., but he could not afford to attend. He retained a fascination with Cambridge, however, and prayed daily that his oldest son would go to Harvard. Martoma graduated from high school as co-valedictorian, but he ended up going to Duke. Shortly after Mathew’s eighteenth birthday, Bobby presented him with a plaque inscribed with the words “Son Who Shattered His Father’s Dream.”

* Steve Cohen has continued his long and storied tradition of displaying once-living things in boxes at the 72 Cummings Point Road headquarters.

S.A.C. was a notoriously intense place to work. Its headquarters, on a spit of land in Stamford, Connecticut, overlooking the Long Island Sound, are decorated with art from Cohen’s personal collection, including “Self,” a refrigerated glass cube, by Marc Quinn, containing a disembodied head sculpted from the artist’s frozen blood.

* That anecdote that circulating a while back about how Martoma had fainted on his front lawn when approached by the Feds? It wasn’t the mere sight of them, or some sort of line about how they knew he’d been trading on material non-public information that caused him to collapse, but rather this: Read more »

Did the revelation that Martoma, who at the time went by the surname Thomas, created fake transcripts and sent them to judges with whom he was seeking clerkships and then tried to pass the whole thing off as a joke that he blamed on his brother, make Martoma/Thomas look bad? You bet. Did the jury nevertheless find him guilty strictly based on the evidence that he convinced a little old man to give him confidential drug trial results and broke a host of securities laws on the way to orchestrating the most lucrative insider trading scheme ever? That’s what people who did graduate from law school are going with: Read more »

1. He’s not convinced the government proved he committed securities fraud. 2. He feels pretty strongly that the revelation he created fake Harvard Law School transcripts that were accidentally sent to judges, with whom he was seeking prestigious clerkships, made him look bad. Read more »

So, there was a slightly awkward segment at the end of Street Signs this afternoon, wherein Erin Burnett had to cut a bitch (/guest) who was apparently “being a prick even by finance/CNBC standards.” Read more »