Skip to main content

Did Jimmy Cayne's Shitty Interpersonal Skills Accelerate The Downfall Of Bear Stearns? One Hedge Fund Manager, Who's Been In The News A Lot Lately, Says Yes

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Most people, Dick Fuld/Erin Callan/LEH shareholders notwithstanding, agree that porn star and Greenlight Capital founder David Einhorn is a very nice guy and an extremely decent human being. New York magazine's profile of the man of the hour corroborates the story, with anecdotes from Bill Ackman, who says he's "a super-high-quality human being," Greenlight employees who note that the firm is "run in a humane way," and those with whom Einhorny plays tennis, competing in "goofy, good-natured game[s] in which every halfway decent shot is loudly praised." So obviously he wasn't going to make things as easy for us, pull-quote-wise, when discussing Bear Stearns and the management team run by drug-using, card-sharking, responsibility-shirking Jimmy Cayne, as say, Bill Chapman or Daniel Loeb. It took some digging (that's biz speak for "reading the article"), but finally, on Page 4, we found it.

The credit basket went from 25 firms to six. The process wasn't perfect. Greenlight covered its short on Citigroup just before the stock took a major hit. But before long, the basket was down to two, Lehman and Bear Stearns. And though Bear was the one to go down, Einhorn believes Lehman barely escaped the same fate. "Other than the charismatic value of the leadership and maybe the popularity of the company," he says, "Lehman's exposures are worse than Bear's on an apples-to-apples basis."

We take this as tacit suggestion that Einhorn believes Bear could've been saved, or spared a while longer, if Jimmy Cayne hadn't been such an uncouth dick. (We'll be stalking him during his weekly court time at Grand Central to get the official word on whether or not our interpretation is correct.)
Other stuff that probably didn't help were excuses like this:

Dear Shareholders,
Because of what happened, I'm not going to make it in to work. You might think I'm just enjoying a summer day off in my backyard BBQing, but I'm really not.
I'm not sure if you saw my story on the local news so I've enclosed it below.

The Confidence Man [NYM]