Last November, Matthew Tannin and Ralph Cioffi's days were made when, in a in a flash of prosecutorial incompetence, the dream team who ran the two ridiculously named Bear Stearns funds-- High Grade Structured Credit Strategies Fund and High Grade Structured Credit Strategies Enhanced Leverage Fund-- were acquitted on charges of conspiracy, securities and wire fraud, and dodged 20 years each in the big house. There was no problem whatsoever with the fact that they'd painted a rosy picture to their investors as the bottom fell out of the credit market and they moved their own money out of the time bomb which ultimately cost clients $1.6 billion and, in fact, the jury was so impressed with how the team conducted their business that many indicated 12 ready and willing investors await. Before he was proven innocent, however, Cioffi had to do a little unloading of assets, the most valuable ones being a house in Southampton, one in New Jersey (he and his wife are now in a rental) and his prized Ferraris. Now he tools around in his wife's Honda and if you thought that'd be a source of depression, you thought wrong. Cioffi says it's a great little car.
His choice of automobile has changed, too. "All young men growing up want to see the day when they can afford a sports car of some sort. I was lucky enough to achieve that," he said. "Now it's just a phase of my life that's over." He says he enjoys driving his wife's Honda Pilot. "I would recommend it to everyone, downsizing and simplification. One thing you learn is that one can get by with a lot less than one thinks we need."