understandings

If you are a hedge fund manager who goes by the name Steven A. Cohen, there are a few things you really don’t want to hear first thing in the morning. They include:

a) “You might not want to put that whiteboard marker in your mouth

b) “The fleeces are on back order”

c) “Your ex-wife is in the lobby”

d) “There’s a photographer here who said he’s been authorized to shoot you wearing a king’s robe and crown for a set of playing cards”

e) “You’ve been outmaneuvered for the Toledo Mud Hens. But I hear the Binghamton Mets may be available.”

f) “One of your former employees told the FBI you regularly trade on material non-public information.”

No one has sodomized anyone with any foreign objects lately, the supplier got the message (“That shipment will be here in the next hour or you’ll find out what it’s like to be dragged down the BQE via Zamboni”) loud and clear, Patty C is sitting this round out, photoshoots have been banned, and baseball in general can go fuck itself, so the mood at 72 Cummings Point Road today can likely be attributed to this:

A former SAC Capital Advisors LP portfolio manager told the FBI it was “understood” that those assigned to give their best trading ideas to founder Steven A. Cohen would provide him with insider information, according to an agent’s notes of the conversation. The former fund manager, Noah Freeman, pleaded guilty to securities fraud in February 2011 after speaking to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and federal prosecutors in New York in late 2010, in a so-called proffer session. Defendants use such sessions to determine whether to cooperate with the government against others. “At SAC Capital you were expected to provide your trading ideas to Cohen,” Freeman said, according to a Dec. 16, 2010, memo written by FBI Special Agent B.J. Kang. “Freeman and others at SAC Capital understood that providing Cohen with your best trading ideas involved providing Cohen with inside information.”

Doesn’t sound good! But before anyone launches himself into space in a rocket disguised as a Bob’s Big Boy statue, let’s stop to consider that: Read more »

Last Thursday evening, President Obama held a fundraiser at Daniel as part of his reelection campaign. There was Vodka Beet-Cured Hamachi with Horseradish Cream. There was Zucchini Pomponette with Fontina and Tomato Confit. There was Vanilla-Raspberry Gelée. But there was no Lloyd Blankfein and there was no Jamie Dimon, and there was no Dick Parsons. Some people interpreted the lack of JD and LB and other banking chiefs as indication that Wall Street is done with Barack Obama. Sure, he still has some big names backing him (like Daniel attendees Marc Lasry, Robert Wolf and Mark Gallogly) but the absence of Lloyd and Jamie, who, ironically, Obama was once so close with that his pet name for was “zucchini pompette,” seemed to suggest a broader trend and evidence that the rumors Wall Street had “abandoned” Mr. President were true. And while some big names, like Dan Loeb and Steve Cohen, who previously backed Obama in ’08 have made no secret about dropping him (and over the weekend likely inspired others to join them), others apparently continue to support BO. They just don’t want anyone to know about it.

Behind the scenes, it seems that many bankers are not running away from the president as quickly as some might suspect. While many of the biggest name financiers feel that they can’t publicly support Mr. Obama through campaign contributions the way they did in 2008 — “it would be bad for business,” one brand-name chief executive of a major bank acknowledged — some still plan to vote for him.

Which normally would’ve stung but this time around is all well and good with the President and his team, ’cause it goes the same way. They don’t want anyone to know about Obama’s relationship with Lloyd, Jamie, et al either. They don’t even want to risk Obama being tagged in a picture with LB, for fear of the message it might send. Read more »