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Steve Cohen On Tape: The Scorecard

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Several years back, SAC Capital manager Steve Cohen sat for two days of deposition as part of a lawsuit filed by Canadian insurer Fairfax Financial filed against a group of hedge funds that included SAC. At one point, Cohen was questioned about insider trading, his fund's policy on insider trading, and his personal views on insider trading, as reported by Reuters at the time the transcripts were unsealed. Recently, PBS obtained video footage of the deposition and published it today, perhaps wanting to wait for a really good time in Cohen's life to do so. Is it even more awkward to watch Cohen discuss rules about insider trading than simply read what he said? You betcha! Is it the most awkward thing to ever watch Cohen do on tape? Including the time he appeared on an English version of the talk show “Cristina" with his second wife to talk about his first? Let's find out.

    The Deposition
  • When asked if he was familiar with insider trading rule 10b5-1, Steve stumbled and then said, "You'd have to explain it to me.": 3 points
  • Questioned several times about whether all SAC employees must "strictly adhere" to the firm's insider trading rules or whether they could use some discretion, a combative Steve says "I'm not going to change my statement" multiple times and tells the lawyer "we could be here all night if you want.": 5 points
  • When asked whether he's ever taken it upon himself to "read the rules on insider trading," he said "I rely on my counsel" but later says, "I might've read 'em, I just don't remember.": 4 points
  • Faced with the hypothetical as to whether or not it would be okay for a portfolio manager to short a stock, based on the information that a reporter is about to write a negative story about a company Steve remains silent for an uncomfortably long period of time while contemplating the question - 25 seconds in fact, a lot of seconds when you're just sitting there waiting for him to answer: 12.5 points (.5 points per second)

Total: 24.5 points of awkward

    The Talk Show
  • The episode was entitled: "He Acts Like Her Husband, Too": 5 points
  • The subject matter of the show was men who have remarried but "won’t break free of their exes.": 3 points
  • Cohen says, on television, that he "stopped sleeping with Patricia after [he] got engaged to Alex.": 5 points
  • The audience provided audible boos, hisses, and cheers, as talk show audiences tend to do: 4 points
  • Again, it was a talk show: 5 points
  • ...that wasn't even Maury or Sally Jessy Raphael: 3 points
  • ...and was canceled after 1 season: 2 points

Total: 27 points of awkward

In the end it appears that while quite awkward, and made even more awkward by the timing of its release, the taped depositions do not top the episode of "Cristina." Had the former not been edited to leave out the part in which Cohen's attorney goes absolutelyape shit on Fairfax's lawyer for addressing Cohen as "Stevie," we'd obviously be looking at a very different outcome.

Exclusive: Watch Billionaire Steven Cohen Stumble Over Insider Trading Rules [PBS]
Earlier: Steve Cohen...On A Talk Show; SAC Capital Lawyer Martin Klotz Showed Enormous Restraint In Not Dealing With This Guy By Driving Him Out To The Pine Barrens; You Won’t Be Questioning Anyone After Your Voicebox Is Removed


The Feds Are Struggling To Understand Why Mathew Martoma Won't Just Turn On Steve Cohen Already, God Damn It

"We have been remarkably successful in convincing persons to cooperate with the government, and provide evidence to us, and in court of law," SEC director of enforcement Robert Khuzami said during a press conference the day the government went public with its charges of insider trading against former SAC Capital employee Mathew Martoma. To the untrained ear, Khuzami probably appeared to be speaking to no one in particular, just sending a general message to any would-be criminals out there that once the government got to their co-conspirators, it'd be all over. No one wants to do time, and everybody flips. To those who've been following Operations Perfect Hedge, though, and have watched the Feds' relentless pursuit of Steven A. Cohen,  it was obvious they were sending a clear message to the Big Guy: "We got ya boy, and ya goin' down." And since its track record of getting people to turn on their colleagues and in some cases, their best friends (see: Noah Freeman/Donald Longueuil, and these guys, and these guys, and this guy) really has been "remarkably successful," and since Martoma has a wife and two young kids and his whole life ahead of him, Khuzami and Co. probably assumed they had this one in the bag. But not so.