Over the last 10 months or so, the relationship between hedge fund manager Phil Falcone and his investors has not exactly been mutually satisfying. Not that they've been keeping a list but, if pressed to get into specifics, Harbinger Capital clients might cite a few reasons why they've been less than thrilled with Falcone of late such as: 1) The lackluster returns in Harbinger Capital’s flagship, which have in no way mimicked the highs of 2007. 2) That time he told reporters his investors are idiots. 3) The fact that he's come to adopt a loose definition of the term 'hedge,' and put a whole lot of their money in a wireless venture that the universe seems hell bent on making sure never even has the chance to cause GPS interference. 4) The note those who requested their money back received in July, informing them that rather than getting cash, they'd be the lucky recipients of illiquid LightSquared equity. And then there would be the incident about which they really get pissy, and where things started to go down hill: 5) The time Phil choose to "loan" himself $113 million from a gated fund in order to pay personal taxes. Today, however, brings word that should do a lot to smooth ruffled feathers. On points 1-4, not much to say there. No one changes in a day. But! On point 5? Big progress. Huge.
Philip Falcone controls a billion-dollar hedge fund but couldn’t cough up $192,182 to pay the city taxes he owes on his two Upper East Side homes. Falcone and his wife, Lisa Marie, failed to pay their semiannual tax bill on July 1 and owe a total $201,101 with interest on the two East 67th Street properties, city records show.
Whereas the old Phil would've just "borrowed" the money from investors again, the new Phil knew that would be a big no-no. If this isn't a sign of growth, we don't know what is.
Tax-deadbeat billionaire [NYP]