Yesterday afternoon, the Wall Street Journal ran an alarming report: SAC Capital's number one fan, the guy who stuck by when no one else would, who swore there was no place he'd rather be than in the trenches with Cohen & Co, the one, the only, Ed Butowsky, had pulled his money from the hedge fund. For those failing to grasp the enormity of this move, the following are comments that Butowsky has made to the press re: SAC/Steve over the past several months:
- "I'm thinking of putting more money with him...Steve Cohen is the Michael Jordan of hedge fund managers...I'd be a fool to take money out." (May 22, 2013)
- "The very thought that people want to trash Stevie Cohen, who is one of the great legends in portfolio management, because of some allegations, shame of them. If it was me and I had to live through this stuff the last three years, I would tell everyone to go jump off a boat." (June 12, 2013)
- "I don't believe that criminal charges against the firm would impact Steve Cohen's traders and their ability to make money." (July 24, 2013)
- "Right now you have allegations. We've seen allegations and complaints many times that seem horrific and unbelievable only to find later that there's no support for it." (July 25, 2013)
- [After letting the quarterly deadline for client withdrawals come and go:] "I feel like Will Smith in 'I am Legend' when everyone else has died. I'm the last man standing...How quickly people are convicted in the public eye without a trial is shocking to me."(August 16, 2013)
- "The government says SAC has a culture of insider trading. What about a culture of working-my-a**-off? Because that’s what they’re doing at SAC." (August 28, 2013)
So to hear the news that Butowsky was not only out but that, as he told the Journal, "[doesn 't] go to bed with a Stevie doll" was downright shocking. Naturally we reached out last night for further comment.
Dealbreaker: Are there any other managers you feel as strongly about as you feel about Cohen? Who you would similarly go to bat for in the press?
Butowsky: Yes, I would stand up for what is right every single time. If anything anywhere happened where people are being characterized in one way, without proof, yes, I would stand up. I hate bullies.
Dealbreaker: Now that you're no longer an investor, do you think there's a possibility for going from being a client in Steve Cohen's life to a friend?
Butowsky: I would like to be friends. I need friends. I respect the hell out of anybody who works their butt off. I like achievers. I like successful people who become successful legally.
Dealbreaker: You say that you purposely haven't reached out to SAC (and have never spoken to Cohen) because they have enough on their hands. But don't you think Cohen would appreciate, if not a hug, than at least a call saying "I'm there for ya buddy"?
Butowsky: I don't know him so I don't know if he'd like it or not. I truly don't know how he'd feel about it. If I were in his situation, I'd appreciate a phone call. I haven't reached out because I don't want there to be a perception that I want or need anything from them. I just care about due process. I've thought about [calling him]. But I don't think so. What do I want for him? I want him to fight like crazy and allow whatever the real truth is to come out. By the way, I have gotten calls from people about this. There is so much emotion from people, calling and saying "Tip of the hat to you, way to go."
Dealbreaker: You've been vocal about your anger re: people assuming Cohen is guilty/pulling their money when he hasn't been convicted of anything. Have you ever considered printing up a shirt that says "F the court of public opinion" on the front and "Cohen" jersey-style on the back, and wearing it on your next TV appearance?
Butowsky: I haven't!
Dealbreaker: What if we had one made for you?
Butowsky: I would absolutely wear it.
Dealbreaker: Do you think Cohen has followed your support of him in the press?
Butowsky: I think he's well aware that there's someone out there who's said what I've said.
Dealbreaker: Prior to taking your money out, you said you felt like Will Smith in "I Am Legend." Which movie character do you most identify with now?
Butowsky: I feel like Nikita from the TV series Nikita. I feel like Nikita fighting against division and standing up for truth. That's what Nikita is all about.