Hedge Funds Crowding The Ping Pong Trade


Earlier this week, we took a serious look at a sport beloved to a certain hedge fund in Stamford, CT: ping pong. Second only to trading and hunting humans, p-pong is the pastime that is often cited internally as the secret to this firm's success, the practice of which has made what started out as a 2-bit boiler room into the powerhouse fund it is today. A prescient call, as today Bloomberg has published an article quoting table tennis experts on ping pong being the hottest new thing in the business community.

“It’s like a real-life version of LinkedIn,” says founder Peter Farnsworth. “We’re bringing the business community together through pingpong.”

According to Alan Williams, of sports management firm North American Table Tennis, "Everyone who plays table tennis [will] live longer, be smarter, and be more attractive." While true, this affirmation did not please our hedge fund manager who, as we all know, is above all else a trend-setting icon, not a follower. He doesn't hop on bandwagons, he builds them from the ground up (see: skinny jeans) and the burns them down when others pile on, years later.

As such, we've been informed he's finished with pong, having destroyed all tables in the middle of his trading floor earlier today, and let it be known that anyone seen harboring paddles will have said accoutrement shoved where the sun don't shine, handle side out. Furthermore, at this moment, he's put his best team on the task of sussing out new ideas to once again regain the edge on recreational activities. We recommend brushing up on the following, which portfolio managers are said to be analyzing, so you can hit the ground running when he makes a final call.

* tetherball

* archery

* 52 card pickup

* chicken fights

* no holds barred Balderdash

* couples calisthenics

* Hacky sack

* Mancala

* cockfighting

* arm wrestling

* Foosball

* competitive slip and sliding


Jewish Ping-Pong Tournament Participant / Sixth-Year Goldman Sachs Vice President Is Looking For His Next Challenge

I just. Gillian Tett has a book called "Fool's Gold: The Inside Story of J.P. Morgan and How Wall St. Greed Corrupted Its Bold Dream and Created a Financial Catastrophe." It's a pretty good book about the creation and rise to prominence of synthetic CDOs, and I'm sure the subtitle isn't her fault, but it's always bothered me, because how exactly was the "bold dream" of creating synthetic CDOs "corrupted" into ... like ... selling more synthetic CDOs? If you think synthetic CDOs are a Bad Thing, they were a Bad Thing at their creation. This is not an orphanage that was taken over by bandits and turned into a source of black-market organs. It was a financial derivative that was sold to people looking to buy financial derivatives. Similarly, Greg Smith spent twelve years flogging equity derivatives to "two of the largest hedge funds on the planet, five of the largest asset managers in the United States, and three of the most prominent sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East and Asia" and is just now discovering that they're designed to make money for his employer? I imagine his contacts at these hedge funds reading his op-ed today and being like "holy shit, Goldman was trying to make money off of us?" Wait no I don't. I'm pretty sure they wanted to make money too.*