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:
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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:

The opening of Art Basel Miami Beach, under way here this week, looked like the start of the most glamorous doorbuster sale in history, with thousands of V.I.P.’s streaming into the convention center wearing high-end resort casual, ready to rummage through more than 200 of the world’s most prestigious galleries. Among the shoppers were prominent collectors like Peter Brant, the newsprint executive, who strolled with the actor Owen Wilson. At the Gagosian Gallery booth, P. Diddy gave a hug to the casino mogul Steve Wynn beside a $2 million sculpture by Roy Lichtenstein. But one notable titan of this realm was missing: Steven A. Cohen, the hedge fund billionaire, who in less than six years has acquired one of the market’s richest troves, with works by Manet, Monet, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst, to cite just a few.

Other people slightly worried about what the absence of the Big Guy means include gallery owner Timothy Blum, who would put himself at a 9 on the freak out scale re: the possibility of Cohen getting nailed.

“It’s disconcerting,” said Timothy Blum, co-owner of Blum & Poe, a gallery in Los Angeles. “We’re talking about a lot of liquid,” he added, meaning money. “A lot of liquid. I’ve never calculated it out, but he’s responsible for a significant percent of our business.”

On the opposite end of the spectrum is this guy, who apparently thinks that being implicated in an insider trading case is akin to being charged with violating alternate side of the street parking rules.

“I don’t mean to sound cavalier but there is this sense at this point that this is much ado about nothing,” says Todd Levin of the Levin Art Group, an art consulting firm. “If there were actual allegations by the S.E.C. and those turned into actual charges and if it actually went to trial, then we’d have something to talk about. Until then, I don’t think anyone is paying attention to this.”

A Hedge Fund Titan Is Missing At The Art Fair [NYT]
Earlier: Steve Cohen Is Totally Unfazed By Feds

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Steve Cohen Needs To Go Stress Shopping, STAT

In objective terms, worse things have happened to Steve Cohen than the news he received today. The charges against Mathew Martoma re: allegedly masterminding the largest insider trading scheme ever during his time at SAC. Friday's arrest of high-ranking employee Michael Steinberg. The $614 million he needs to personally pony up to settle with the Securities and Exchange Commission (which he may not even be allowed to do without an admission of guilt). The slanderous claim his house clocks in at a mere 14,000 square feet. The circling of federal investigators who want him bad. And yet presumably none of that compares to today's hit, which must have him in a fury that only the purchase of the Mona Lisa can assuage.

New York Times Finds A Weird Way To Kick Steve Cohen When He's Down

As you may have heard, things have not been going tremendously well for Steve Cohen of late. Two days before Thanksgiving, the government went public with its case against a former SAC Capital employee, Mathew Martoma, who it accused of masterminding the largest insider trading scheme ever. Cohen was neither charged nor mentioned by name in the criminal complaint, but he did make an appearance playing the role of "Portfolio Manager A," a part we have previously mentioned one does not want to portray, if it can be avoided. Then on Wednesday, it was disclosed that SAC had received a Wells notice, indicative of the SEC's plan to sue the fund and if that wasn't enough, sources also claimed investigators are considering naming Cohen personally in the suit, to boot. So things are not exactly going his way right now and what he could really use is a break. The government dropping all charges against Martoma and publicly stating it will stay out of the Big Guy's business forever starting right this second seems out of the question but even some small act of kindness would probably help. Allowing him to pass you on 95. Telling him he looks nice today. Asking, "Have you been working out?" Sending him humorous YouTube videos with a sweet note like, "Hang in there, bud. You're in my thoughts..." On the flip side, you know what he doesn't need? Wildly libelous claims that it's going to take a lot more than a "Correction" to forgive.

Steve Cohen Gives 215 Million (And Counting) Fingers To The Universe

In the news this week you will find two stories of men soothing what ails them through retail therapy: that of Friday Night Lights writer Buzz Bissinger, who confessed in the pages of GQ to spending over $600,000 at the House of Gucci in a leather fetish/bondage binge that resulted in him coming to own 'eighty-one leather jackets, seventy-five pairs of boots, forty-one pairs of leather pants, thirty-two pairs of haute couture jeans, ten evening jackets, and 115 pairs of leather gloves' and Steve Cohen, who will not be held down by SEC settlements topping half a billion dollars or bulls-eyes on his back. Earlier this week it was reported that the SAC Capital founder had picked up Picasso's Le Rêve for $155 million as "a gift to himself" and now he's got a place to put it:

What Does A Phone Dedicated Exclusively To Receiving Calls From Steve Cohen Look Like?

Past the two Bentleys in the driveway and beyond the pool and mini water park, the home theater and a sports bar hung with enough memorabilia to equip a basketball team, Tom DeMark has his office -- a dark, wood- paneled lair with six computer screens. The office abuts the master bedroom of his Scottsdale, Arizona, home, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its December issue. It has to, DeMark says, because he often gets up after midnight to scrutinize charts of stocks, bonds, commodities and currencies to see if his numerical system for predicting their behavior is working. Since he started in the investment business in 1971, DeMark has advised some of the biggest names on Wall Street, men such as Paul Tudor Jones and Leon Cooperman. He’s a consultant to Steven Cohen, founder of SAC Capital Advisors LP, which manages $14 billion, and John Burbank, founder of $3.4 billion Passport Capital LLC. SAC and Passport each own a piece of DeMark’s company, Market Studies LLC. DeMark has a phone on his desk that’s dedicated to Cohen. Seems like the obvious possibilities are: a) b) c) d) e) other Follow-up question: how many other people have Steve-only phones? Surely DeMark is not alone. DeMark Fibonacci Charts Embraced by Cohen Lure Investors [Bloomberg Markets Magazine]

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.

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...because they're about their last! SAC Capital Advisors founder Steven Cohen is the front-runner to purchase the Los Angeles Dodgers. Reports earlier this week indicated that Cohen's bid for the baseball team was a couple hundred million dollars less than that made by former baseball executive Stan Kasten and Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson. But Cohen's bid now matches the Kasten-Johnson offer of $1.6 billion—and at least half of Cohen's purchase price would come in the form of cash. Indeed, Cohen, who last month bought a small stake in the New York Mets, which he would have to give up if approved to buy the California team, may already be planning for the Dodgers' future. He has reportedly spoken with former Major League manager Tony La Russa about taking the team over under a Cohen regime. [FinAlternatives]