Steve Cohen Is Selling Some Art For No Reason

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Mr. Cohen is now parting with about $80 million worth of blue-chip art at the important auctions that begin next week at Sotheby’s and Christie’s. It is the largest single group of artworks he has sold at one time and includes top examples of paintings and sculptures by Brice Marden, Rudolf Stingel and Cy Twombly, along with previously reported Warhols and a Gerhard Richter. “We’re in a robust market, and we are actively managing the collection,” said Sandy Heller, his longtime art adviser...Lawyers for SAC and federal prosecutors are putting the final touches on a settlement that, in addition to the guilty plea, will include an agreement for the fund to stop managing money for clients as well as to pay penalties of about $1.2 billion. Combined with $616 million in government fines assessed this year in two related civil cases, SAC will have paid penalties of more than $1.8 billion. Because Mr. Cohen owns 100 percent of SAC, that money will effectively come out of his pocket. People close to Mr. Cohen, who were not authorized to speak, say that the art sales from his fabled collection are not an effort to raise money for his mounting fines and legal fees. Even after his fines are paid, Mr. Cohen will still have billions of dollars in the bank. [NYT]

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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.