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Julian Robertson's Dream Of Being Appointed Obesity Czar So Close He Can Taste It

He'll get his wish (and golden fat poker) yet.
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"It would be an honor."

In November 2010, hedge fund manager Julian Robertson appeared on CNBC. Ostensibly, he was there to talk about he markets and his illustrious investing career. But about halfway through the interview with Erin Burnett, he let it slip that while money managing is fun, at this point, he's dreaming bigger. “I would love to be the Obesity Czar,” Robertson told her.

Showing Burnett the back of the envelope calculations he'd done, Robertson estimated he could save the country $1 trillion if given the authority to "tax fat" and "tax sugar." Curtailing his side gigs as a den mother to the Tiger Cubs and stopping on grapes would be worth it. "I can't think of a more important job," he said.

At the time we threw out a number of special rights and duties Robertson would need to be an effective Obesity Czar. They included: The right to approach anyone about to put a Twinkie in his/her mouth and slap it out of their hand, grab their chin and say, “That’s one. You won’t be happy if I have to come back." A golden pointer that he could go out into the streets with, poking any “offenders” and offering a knowing glance. And series of ads starring JR telling people, “A moment on the lips, forever on the hips."

And yet, the call never came. Four and a half years passed and Robertson probably figured his dream was just that: a dream. And then today? A sign:

Americans should pay taxes on sugary sodas and snacks as a way to cut down on sweets, though they no longer need to worry about cholesterol, according to scientists helping to revamp dietary guidelines as U.S. obesity levels surge...The panel released its report as the Obama administration seeks ways to fight obesity, which now affects more than one-third of American adults and 17 percent of children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “What we’re calling for in the report in terms of innovation and bold new action in health care, in public health, at the community level, is what it’s going to take to try and make a dent on the epidemic of obesity,” committee chairwoman Barbara Millen of Millennium Prevention in Westwood, Massachusetts, said in a telephone interview.

Tax on Sugary Foods Proposed by U.S. Panel to Fight Obesity [Bloomberg]

Related: Julian Robertson Wants To Wage A “Fight On Fat”

Related-ish: Julian Robertson Did Not Pay A Horse-Drawn Carriage 10 G’s To Take Him Home To Long Island One Night So He Could Pay NYC Taxes


Julian Robertson Made Mitt Romney An Offer He Could Refuse

And did! (Next time think about throwing in a tutorial on not letting The Man make you his bitch and some tales from the crypt to sweeten the deal.) Not long after Mitt Romney dropped out of the presidential race in early 2008, a titan of New York finance, Julian H. Robertson, flew to Utah to deliver an eye-popping offer. He asked Mr. Romney to become chief executive of his hedge fund, Tiger Management, for an annual salary of about $30 million, plus investment profits, according to two people told of the discussions. For Mr. Romney, who had spent the previous decade in public life forgoing any paychecks, the position promised to catapult him back to the pinnacle of American business and into the ranks of the stratospherically rich. Several friends and relatives urged him to accept. “Let’s put it this way,” said Mr. Robertson. “He could have made a lot of money.” But Mr. Romney was uninterested. Defeat, Introspection, Reinvention, Nomination [NYT]

Julian Robertson Likes Mitt Romney So Much He's Considering Letting The Governor Take Over The Number 1 Spot On Speed Dial

A slot previously held by a certain Home Depot founder who'd better step his shit up next time he's on CNBC. “I think people are getting to know the real Mitt Romney. I am thrilled that that is happening. He is really quite a guy. He is, in my opinion, intellectually and morally and managerially the man that is most qualified by far to be president of the United States. You're having a guy this afternoon that is a great hero of mine, but Mitt Romney is even better than Ken Langone...I think the campaign is going good. I think Governor Romney is really getting the American people to see the real Romney. That is what we have needed all along. I wish his family would expose itself more…I'd like to see Mrs. Romney, I would like to see the boys out and all of that more." Tiger's Robertson: hedge fund managers are scared [BloombergTV]