During the years of 2005-2009, I had the amazing experience of being a sommelier at Veritas Restaurant. At this time Veritas, arguably, had the best restaurant wine list in the US. I opened more great wines during those four years than I will probably ever open again in my career. One gentleman that opened more than half of those amazing wines was a hedge fund manager. He was a common fixture at the bar and had a deep love for old burgundy. He preferred large formats, which meant he would usually need help drinking the wine, a role I was happy to take on. He also loved Crif Dogs, which we would have delivered for him late in the evening. One night, over a few B.L.T. Dogs and a magnum of Domaine Leflaive Batard-Montrachet 1986, he starts eyeing the vertical of Henri Jayer. It was a producer he had had before, but only a few times. This was also the spring of 2007 and Mr. Jayer had passed away only a few months earlier. After a bit of discussion, he decides to go with Vosne Romnee Cros Parantoux 1985, a steal at $5,000. This was the first, and at this point in my life, the only time I’ve ever had this wine. To say the wine was magical would be an understatement, and Crif Dogs have never tasted the same… [Eater]
Which Hedge Fund Manager Likes To Pair His $5,000 Bottles Of Wine With A Couple Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs?By Bess Levin
So you’re Cliff Asness, and you’re in Washington for dinner with a couple of buddies, one of whom happens to be Republican congressman Paul Ryan. Just you, some bros, a nice meal, a little chat about monetary policy and the debt ceiling negotiations.
And you’re feeling pretty good, maybe because you just saw the Atlas Shrugged movie for the fifth time and bought the special John Galt action figure, so you splurge on a couple of bottles of the best wine you can get your hands on. Unfortunately you’re in D.C., so you’re stuck with the Jayer-Gilles 2004 Échezeaux, not a slouch exactly but kind of unsubtle and maybe a bit too young to drink. (Burghound: 89-92, drink 2012+, “Strongly reduced, however the big, rich, generous and powerful full-bodied flavors are deep, well-muscled and extremely long, all wrapped in an impeccably well-balanced finish. This definitely has the best material of any wine in the range and if it can add more complexity over time, it could surprise to the upside as it is definitely impressive.”)
So NBD right? You’d think so. But then some possibly drunk lady, who turns out to be Rutgers business professor Susan Feinberg (she teaches a course called “Love and Money”), starts snooping on your table. She sees the label and consults the wine list, where she finds out that it runs $350 a bottle. And then she breaks out her Ph.D.-level math skills:
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Dominique Strauss-Kahn Enjoyed A Light Lunch Of Fish And White Wine After (Allegedly) Assaulting Hotel MaidBy Bess Levin
Both the defense and prosecution would like to use the meal to make their cases. Read more »
“I’m happy to do it because I think it’s going to demonstrate my innocence,” Kinnucan said of the request for information. Will he be happy with all the other fun stuff the feds likely have in store for him after he refused to wear a wire while conversing with SAC Capital, notified his clients of the investigations, and instead of choosing to put a lid on it, pimped his story out to the highest bidder(s)? Stay tuned!
So! As previously mentioned, federal authorities are wrapping up a little project they’ve been working on for the past three years involving alleged insider trading, hedge funds, that sort of thing. The government claims the probes could “eclipse the impact on the financial industry of any previous such investigation” and that charges may come before the end of this year and perhaps as early as this week. Naturally it’s unclear as to exactly who the Feds are hoping to name as participating in the passing or receiving of material, non-public information but some educated guesses can be made, based on the accosting of one analyst, Jonathan Kinnucan.
Kinnucan, the founder of boutique firm Broadband Research LLC, was “sipping wine on his front porch in Portland, Oregon” when two men in suits popped out of a gray sedan and quite aggressively accused him of sharing inside information with his clients (hedge and mutual funds, mostly). They threatened to arrest him but then, changing to a friendly tone, suggested that things could be made better for Kinnucan if he did them a favor. “We think you can help us,’” he recalls. “There is this guy in particular we are after,” he remembers them saying. “We want you to have a conversation with him and record it.” Read more »
A Suggestion For Anyone Looking To Recognize Vikram Pandit For Doing Okay To Fairly Decent Job With CitiBy Bess Levin
Running Citi for the last two and half years has been, let’s just call it, something of a thankless job for Vikram Pandit. He’s been cut down by fellow CEO’s, on several occasions one analyst in particular has left him bound and gagged on the floor of his office, and the board shit all over his horticulture ideas. Plus, there’s been the matter of the US government coming in and thinking it’s running the place. All in all, Uncle V’s tenure has been no picnic, especially considering the fact that 1) this was not the gig he signed up for (that one being $1 billion to sit around and tell Zoe Cruz jokes) and 2) no one’s even thought to maybe pat him on the back for the place not going out of business, which it almost shockingly did not. So it was nice to see Euromoney name him Banker of The Year, an award they bestowed upon him for doing “a pretty good job” with Citi. You know what would’ve been even nicer? Read more »
So here’s what really’s pissing off Davos attendees. It’s not some bankers’ behind-the-door plotting. It’s not the endless convos about whether breaking up the banks is a good or a bad thing and it’s not how to help Haiti.
Nope. None of those trivialities. What people are really angry about is that this year -just like last – there won’t be a wine tasting, which has historically been the “highlight of the forum.”
As mentioned a few weeks back, Bill Ackman decided to hold an intimate little auction on December 8 to unload his “guest apartment” at the UWS’s Majestic, after moving up the block to the Beresford at 211 Central Park West. Ack-boy said he would be playing the auctioneer himself and “provide some excellent wines for participants” in an attempt to get someone to lay down in the ballpark of $950,000. Sadly, the pad apparently only went for “about $320,000,” which has got to hurt, as Ackman bought the place for $450,000 in 2007 and put in $250,000 in renovations. Next time, try Tequila (that’s code for: roofies + steal the checkbook. Don’t be a puss. You’ve got the balls to pitch a 1-stock fund, you can do this. I’ll help).
We’re currently engaged in a carbon footprint reduction offset program. Whenever someone tells us that they are trying to reduce their carbon footprint, we attempt to increase our own. The idea is that our offset makes their reduction pointless, so they should just quit trying.
We kind of forget why we started doing this. But if we ever quit and join the footprint reduction fad, at least we’ll know where we should get our wine. After the jump, a map showing you where your most carbon efficient wine comes based on where you are.
Institutional Investor published its annual ranking of the highest paid hedge fund managers today. There are no suprises. John Paulson came in first with $3.7 billion, followed by George Soros with $2.9 billion, James Simons with $2.8 billion, Philip Falcone with $1.7 billion and so on and so forth (backing up the truck was Viking Global Investors’ O.Andreas Halvorsen with a measly $520 million). Pretty much what you were expecting all along, right? Right. What you probably weren’t expecting, however, is the news that No. 2, Jorges Soros, has announced plans to take some of last year’s income and get into the vino business. He’s already bought up some land in Napa for a vineyard to be named at a later date, and is apparently circulating marketing materials to qualified investors interested in getting in on the fun. DealBreaker has obtained said materials. Find them after the jump