Namely, did Ace Greenberg's million dollar donation in 1998 to New York City hospitals, which paid for Viagra prescriptions for homeless men, reflect poorly or favorably on Bear Stearns? JC ponders this and other questions on the subject of the down on their luck getting it up via spokesman Charlie Gasparino, an expert on the sex habits of the destitute, in The Sell-Out:
Ace would always be the guy who marched to his own drumbeat. It's what made him a media darling; the press loved his mannerisms, from the magic tricks he performed on the trading desk to the fact that he answered his own telephone calls. Cayne saw the dark side of Greenberg's personality; it's why he never doubted the sexual harassment story.
As crazy as Cayne seemed, Greeberg could match him in being off the wall. It was, after all, Greeberg who had once donated $1 million to a hospital so homeless men could enjoy sex by having access to free Viagra. He had made a splash of it, making the announcement in the New York Times without alerting Cayne, who first heard it when he picked up the paper in the morning and nearly hit the ceiling.
"Are you fucking kidding?" Cayne screamed at Greenberg after reading the story.
"A million bucks so homeless men can jerk off? How does this make the firm look? How does this make me look?" Cayne snarled before slamming down the telephone.
Oh, he was good and riled up then for sure. Where does this Ace guy get off? Nobody and I mean nobody jerks off the homeless without Jimmy Cayne's say so first, right?! Damn right, JC thought to himself, before sitting down on his pot couch to take the edge off things. But seriously, how did this make Bear look? Maybe what enraged JC had less to do with tainting Bear's image than the fact that the donation made him look bad because he didn't think to do it himself and beat AG to the punch?