As you may have heard, Albany is currently debating whether or not to lay a $50 million tax upon the asses of certain hedge fund managers. Though nothing is set it stone yet, said managers are none too pleased with the proposal and have aired their grievances in public. Sensing friction on the home-front, Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell has jumped all over the situation. Earlier this month she conveyed, in her own words, a "simple yet heartfelt message" (which was "Connecticut welcomes you") and now she's hoping to win the boys over with raw meat, having invited Timothy Selby, president of the New York Hedge Fund Roundtable, and all of his friends, to an "intimate" steak dinner.
"I am personally inviting you and a few of your colleagues to meet with me," Rell wrote, adding, "We have much to discuss! The meeting will be intimate, direct and private," she confided. The powwow is set for Aug. 2 at The Water's Edge at Giovanni's in Darien. Rell called it "a lovely place where we can talk further about Connecticut's advantages and the needs of your industry."
So, these efforts are somewhat admirable. Of course she wants more hedge funds in her state. But if Rell is serious about this, she's going to have to do a lot better than T-bone. For starters, I think it goes without saying that some of Connecticut's more notable asset managers should be at the dinner in some capacity, whether its serving as entertainment, wait staff or otherwise. And, I'm pretty sure the scales could be significantly tipped in CT's favor if Rell were to announce that she's ordered the state development authority to build a series of office towers around a certain local establishment. These are just my suggestions though. If you have other ideas, feel free to toss them out now.