Yes, we were quite shocked too, to find that Portfolio (yes, that Portfolio) seems to have an occasional penchant for investigative journalism. Or perhaps they are just more tolerant of reading SEC filings and the like than we have been of late. But who can resist a juicy tale of unexplained millions in payments to former Microsoft employees, divorce filings, insider trading, politically motivated SEC coverups and, best of all perhaps, John Mack?
A separate facet of the S.E.C. investigation looked into whether Morgan Stanley C.E.O. John Mack had fed inside information to Samberg about a planned General Electric acquisition of Heller Financial, a lender to businesses. Samberg's hedge fund had bought Heller shares and shorted G.E. stock in advance of the announcement, and made $18 million on the trading, the S.E.C. said.
The Mack aspect of the case hit the headlines because the S.E.C. fired the government lawyer investigating the allegations, Gary Aguirre. Aguirre claimed he was fired for insisting on subpoenaing Mack, a move which he said higher-ups at the S.E.C. overruled because of Mack's connections and political clout.
The S.E.C. denied that, but a joint investigation by the Senate judiciary and finance committees in August 2007 sided with Aguirre and sharply faulted the S.E.C. for failing to pursue the case, including the evidence concerning Zilkha and Samberg's Microsoft trading.
Pequot's Puzzling Payments [Portfolio]