Cliff Asness Has A Dream, Which May Involve Wearing A Cape

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What drives a man who's made billions already to continue coming into the office every day in a quest to amass even more, particularly at a time when many are closing up shop? What drives him to keep going when he could comfortably retire to a beach on the coast of a country he could buy, and the one next to that, plus all their women and small boys? For some money managers, it's a matter of proving themselves to mommy or daddy, who never thought they were good enough. For others, it's the thing that makes them tick, with nothing else being a proper substitute for the feeling they get in their plums when they're playing the game. For AQR Capital Management founder Cliff Asness, the motivation can be summed up in two words: super hero.

As we have discussed previously, Asness is a longtime Marvel comic book collector who currently keeps his favorite action figures, Spiderman, Captain America, The Hulk and Iron Man, on the desk of his office in Greenwich, Connecticut. Captain America is his favorite, and he has a tattoo of the guy's shield on his right forearm. But for Cliff, this is more than a boyhood hobby. Since his days on Long Island, where he was "obsessed with little besides girls and comic books," Asness has clearly had a dream.

Cliff wants a super hero character to be modeled after him. And he thinks that if he makes one more dollar, if he does one more interview wherein he suggest being photographed in front of his dolls, someone will get the hint. And speaking of hints, without expressly saying it, many have been dropped re: what kind of elements Cliff thinks should be involved in-- and this name is not set in stone but let's just call him this for now-- Quant Man's bio.

For instance, his duties in life include protecting truth and eradicating lies, by fighting the vicious animal liars who tell them.

“His super-villains are intellectual dishonesty and ignorance,” Jonathan Beinner, a managing director at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and a former classmate of Asness, tells Bloomberg Markets magazine. “When someone offers an opinion that Cliff feels is incorrect or dishonest, whether it be related to investments, politics or pizza, he feels it is his duty to stand up, even if it’s not in his best interest.”

In addition to people who want to spread evil like universal healthcare.

He also takes a dim view of the administration of President Barack Obama, calling his economic team “Cossacks on a shtetl,” a reference to the Russian cavalrymen who sacked Jewish villages in Eastern Europe in the 19th century.

Like the Hulk, Quant Man has some rage tendencies that erupt when he's battling things like market volatility.

And Asness...who admits to a superhero complex...[also] admits to a temper: He’s knocked his ViewSonic computer monitor to the floor on three occasions, though it never broke. “Either they’re building good computer screens or my punch isn’t what it used to be,” he says.

That's because Quant Man is getting tired. He's starting to lose his strength, like an out of shape Hulk who can't even lift a car. How much thicker must this be laid on before someone moves their ass on the idea? Let's at least get a costume sketch by the end of the year.

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Cliff Asness Wants To Be Thanked For Paying Taxes, Is Pissed Cash For Clunkers Didn't Involve Killing Nazis

Something you may or may not know about Cliff Asness is that by day, he is a hedge fund manager but by night he is the second coming of his hero, Captain America. Like the Captain, the AQR founder believes his duty is to defend America, only instead of fighting Axis Powers, Asness's enemies are liberal Commie Socialists hell-bent on destroying this country. Because his shield has been in the shop for repairs for the past couple years, Cliff has been forced to use other weapons to pummel his foes, namely writing amazingly witty1 emails to his friends and colleagues about how much Obama et al suck. Most recently, Captain Asness circulated "Some Useful Definitions to Understand Our Modern Progressive World," a little glossary of unalphabetized terms he put together sure to cut his adversaries deeply. (The Captain also helpfully pointed out in a footnote that many of the definitions were "written sarcastically as a faux left-winger, [while] some [are] just conservative/libertarian interpretations of what the left really means," in case that was lost on his audience.) They include: - The 1% Definition: Those who pay more than 1/3 the total federal income tax and are never thanked for it. More generally, they are responsible for all evil in the world today (unless they work in Hollywood or hitech in which case they are “honorary 99%-ers” regardless of income, tax rate, and lifestyle). - Cash for Clunkers Definition: What we came up to replace World War II as stimulus. Many perfectly good cars destroyed, no Nazis defeated. - Rights Definition: A more extreme form of “entitlement” defined above. Note that modern usage throws out the long tradition of natural rights only of a negative nature, that is, the right not to have something done to you, for rights of a positive nature, that is, the right to certain goods and services, like health care, Apple products, and soy milk. Since, no matter how important these items are, these modern positive rights must still be produced and taken from others, essentially the word “rights” now often stands for a system of slavery and theft.2 Some Useful Definitions [PDF] 1Definition: ... 2The fuck?

Greenwich, Connecticut Nobody Threatening To Dethrone Area Hedge Fund Manager As Biggest Middle-Aged Superhero Fan In Town

Exhibit A: Friday morning at AQR, August 10. Cliff Asness glanced pensively at a candy-colored array of Marvel superhero figurines lined up along his east-facing window. Spiderman. Captain America. The Hulk. Iron Man. Comic book heroes of his boyhood days on Long Island.--The Quants, by Scott Patterson, page 100. On an August morning, Asness walks to his sun-dappled office windowsill and picks up a Captain America action figure. The hedge-fund mogul owns a panoply of action heroes, from the Hulk to the Silver Surfer, and the comic books that spawned them.--Bloomberg Markets Magazine, October 7, 2010 "Hedge funds charge far too much in general by claiming to be geniuses," says Asness, lounging on a sofa in his corner office, surrounded by foot-high plastic models of comic book heroes.--Fortune, December 19, 2011 As a child, Clifford Scott Asness gave no sign of his future as a Wall Street tycoon. He was born in October 1966 in Queens, New York. When he was four, his family moved to the leafy suburban environs of Roslyn Heights on Long Island. In school Asness received good grades, but his interest in Wall Street didn’t extend beyond the dark towers of Gotham in the pages of Batman. Obsessed with little besides girls and comic books, Asness was a listless teenager, without direction and somewhat overweight. At times he showed signs of a violent temper that would erupt years later when he sat at the helm of his own hedge fund.--The Quants, by Scott Patterson, page 12. “His super-villains are intellectual dishonesty and ignorance,” says Jonathan Beinner, a managing director at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and a former classmate of Asness. “When someone offers an opinion that Cliff feels is incorrect or dishonest, whether it be related to investments, politics or pizza, he feels it is his duty to stand up, even if it’s not in his best interest.” Asness admits to a superhero complex. His favorite Marvel comic book character is Captain America, who gains strength with the help of a secret serum and whose shield can be used as an indestructible weapon. Asness has an image of the shield tattooed on his left arm.--Bloomberg Markets Magazine, October 7, 2010 Exhibit B: The above is a rendering of a Batcave that will soon be built in the home of an unnamed Greenwich resident. When it is completed in Novemeber, the spread will include "a Batcomputer, Batmobile, Batsuits, 180 degree film screen, sound effects, gargoyles and even a Bat-themed elevator." The problem? This guy is not only infringing on Asness's territory as resident super hero obsessive/aficionado/scholar-in-residence/neighbor who dresses up and role-plays his character of choice but is apparently too cowardly to show his face or reveal his name so that Cliff might confront him. The other problem? Captain America doesn't have some kind of cool underground lair setup of his own. The only recourse? Someone spends the next couple weeks writing a series of fan fiction that describes his house, and then spends $20 million to have that built. Greenwich Resident Building $2 Million Batcave In Home [CTNews] Dark Knight superfan spends $2MILLION creating home cinema replica of Bruce Wayne's cave [DM]