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Steve Cohen Is Totally Unfazed By Feds

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Perhaps, you thought, after his hedge fund had received a subpoena from the feds, and the FBI had raided the firms of a bunch of his former employees, and an analyst was asked to wear a wire while having conversations with him, all as part of the government's effort to behead him on live TV, that Steve Cohen would not be in the best of moods. That he would have retreated to the safe room underneath SAC's headquarters or cryogenically frozen himself inside a Bob's Big Boy statue and floated in space for 20-30 years, or until this whole thing blew over. Well- think again! He's in a great mood and he's out there, getting after it.

At Wednesday's private opening of the country's largest and most prestigious art fair, Art Basel Miami Beach, financier Steve Cohen showed no signs of being affected by the subpoena his $12 billion hedge fund, SAC Capital, received last week as part of a sweeping insider-trading investigation...Mr. Cohen, in jovial spirits and eager to chat about his fresh art acquisitions during the fair's VIP preview, was one of scores of New York collectors who snapped up works in the fair's initial hours—or, in his case, minutes.

He's dropping major coin on, among other things, art made out of cans.

Within five minutes of the 11 a.m. opening, Mr. Cohen had dropped into David Zwirner Gallery's booth, where he spent about $300,000 on Adel Abdessemed's "Mappemonde," a large-scale map of the world made from tin cans collected off the streets of Dakar. Within the next hour, he plunked down $180,000 for Tim Hawkinson's "Bike," a work of collaged inkjet prints, from Blum & Poe. "It was like boom—immediately," said Blum & Poe co-owner Jeff Poe.

He's making jokes (about himself).

By the time he got to the booth for Gagosian Gallery, where he inquired about the price of Takashi Murakami's "Yo Hakuin," Mr. Cohen couldn't help joking about his habits. "Let me ask you a question," he said to a reporter, turning around. "Do I have a bull's-eye on my back?"

Today, he's handpicking Cubans to fly up to CT to roll cigars for the SAC Holiday Party. Tonight? Salsa dancing. Never given it a try but why not? He's loving life right now. Tomorrow, if he's not too hungover, he's checking office space on Ocean Drive for a Miami outpost. Who knows what the rest of the weekend will bring, but he's open to anything (e.g. swinging by Miami Ink for his first tat). This insider trading investigation bull shit is the best thing you people could've done to him.

Art Basel Miami Off To Fast Start [WSJ]


Steve Cohen Bought Himself A Little Pick-Me-Up

As you may have heard, the last number of months have been a bit tough on hedge fund manager Steve Cohen. In November, one of his former employees, Mathew Martoma, was accused of orchestrating "the most lucrative insider trading scheme ever," in a criminal complaint in which Cohen was referenced as Portfolio Manager A. A week later, the Times lopped 21,000 square feet off his house. Earlier this month, he had the pleasure of setting the record for the largest insider trading fine ever, at $614 million, a sum that does not even put this whole thing behind him, as the settlement "doesn't preclude the Securities and Exchange Commission from pursuing Cohen himself in the future." So you'll excuse the Big Guy if he felt the need to indulge in a little retail therapy recently.

Art World's Reactions To Steve Cohen Woes Range From "I'm going to begging for change outside the Staples Center" To "NBD"

Time was, Steve Cohen told the Feds where they could go. No matter how much heat they put on him, the Big Guy would not burn. If they wanted to relentlessly circle him in an attempt to find evidence of insider trading, that was fine by Steve. But he wasn't going to act like he gave a rat's ass and he certainly wasn't going to wilt under the scrutiny or draw the blinds at Casa Cohen and curl up in a ball to cry. This time two years ago, despite SAC receiving a subpoena from the government, the FBI raiding the firms of several former SAC employees, and an analyst being asked to wear a wire while chatting him up, Cohen not only hopped on a private plane to attend Art Basel, but he did so with a smile on his face. ("Cohen," the Journal reported, was in "jovial spirits and eager to chat about his fresh art acquisitions," which included a "large-scale map of the world made from tin cans" that he bought in the first five minutes of the fair opening.)  And while one could argue that the heat on Steve has been cranked up quite a bit more since then, we assumed he was dealing with it in typical Steve fashion, and would make it to Miami like always. So it was particularly troubling to hear this: