Hedge Fund Manager Who Spoke To Goats In French Picks Up New Side Gig

Mark Spitznagel, whose plan to revive Detroit's economy via extremely sophisticated goats was ruined by narrow-minded city officials, will be doing a little political work for Rand Paul.
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Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has appointed Mark Spitznagel, the hedge fund manager, as a senior economic adviser as he seeks the Republican presidential nomination...In addition to limiting the role of the government in the markets, Mr. Spitznagel has had other ideas on how to bolster the economy. Last year, he brought 18 goats to a blighted neighborhood in Detroit to help clean it up. Part of his plan was to employ local residents to take care of the goats, which he hoped to increase to 60 in total. But the plan was thwarted by city officials who argued local laws prohibited animals from grazing on city property. Within 48 hours the goats were back on a truck, destined for the butcher. [Dealbook, earlier]

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Greenwich, Connecticut Nobody Threatening To Dethrone Area Hedge Fund Manager As Biggest Middle-Aged Superhero Fan In Town

Exhibit A: Friday morning at AQR, August 10. Cliff Asness glanced pensively at a candy-colored array of Marvel superhero figurines lined up along his east-facing window. Spiderman. Captain America. The Hulk. Iron Man. Comic book heroes of his boyhood days on Long Island.--The Quants, by Scott Patterson, page 100. On an August morning, Asness walks to his sun-dappled office windowsill and picks up a Captain America action figure. The hedge-fund mogul owns a panoply of action heroes, from the Hulk to the Silver Surfer, and the comic books that spawned them.--Bloomberg Markets Magazine, October 7, 2010 "Hedge funds charge far too much in general by claiming to be geniuses," says Asness, lounging on a sofa in his corner office, surrounded by foot-high plastic models of comic book heroes.--Fortune, December 19, 2011 As a child, Clifford Scott Asness gave no sign of his future as a Wall Street tycoon. He was born in October 1966 in Queens, New York. When he was four, his family moved to the leafy suburban environs of Roslyn Heights on Long Island. In school Asness received good grades, but his interest in Wall Street didn’t extend beyond the dark towers of Gotham in the pages of Batman. Obsessed with little besides girls and comic books, Asness was a listless teenager, without direction and somewhat overweight. At times he showed signs of a violent temper that would erupt years later when he sat at the helm of his own hedge fund.--The Quants, by Scott Patterson, page 12. “His super-villains are intellectual dishonesty and ignorance,” says Jonathan Beinner, a managing director at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and a former classmate of Asness. “When someone offers an opinion that Cliff feels is incorrect or dishonest, whether it be related to investments, politics or pizza, he feels it is his duty to stand up, even if it’s not in his best interest.” Asness admits to a superhero complex. His favorite Marvel comic book character is Captain America, who gains strength with the help of a secret serum and whose shield can be used as an indestructible weapon. Asness has an image of the shield tattooed on his left arm.--Bloomberg Markets Magazine, October 7, 2010 Exhibit B: The above is a rendering of a Batcave that will soon be built in the home of an unnamed Greenwich resident. When it is completed in Novemeber, the spread will include "a Batcomputer, Batmobile, Batsuits, 180 degree film screen, sound effects, gargoyles and even a Bat-themed elevator." The problem? This guy is not only infringing on Asness's territory as resident super hero obsessive/aficionado/scholar-in-residence/neighbor who dresses up and role-plays his character of choice but is apparently too cowardly to show his face or reveal his name so that Cliff might confront him. The other problem? Captain America doesn't have some kind of cool underground lair setup of his own. The only recourse? Someone spends the next couple weeks writing a series of fan fiction that describes his house, and then spends $20 million to have that built. Greenwich Resident Building $2 Million Batcave In Home [CTNews] Dark Knight superfan spends $2MILLION creating home cinema replica of Bruce Wayne's cave [DM]

Area Hedge Fund Manager: Leave Harry Alone!

As you may have heard, earlier this week the lovable scamp that is Prince Harry of Wales got in a bit of hot water when he was photographed ass naked in Las Vegas, with a bunch of equally ass naked ladies, following some sort of swim meet with Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte. Those photographs, some of which involved a billiards table and pool cues, were subsequently run on the covers of various newspapers and the Queen, being none too pleased, told her grandson to get on the first flight back to London (apparently in a tone so scary he knew she meant business and "did not mingle with other passengers," instead remaining "in the upstairs cabin of the 747" to think about what he'd done). While it's unclear what kind of punishment the Queen has in mind, or if she's yet delivered the sort of tongue lashing generally reserved for naughty Corgis and her subjects at RBS, in the meantime many have come to the prince's defense and advised the old lady to back off, like the hedge fund manager the Times found on the tube who thinks the Queen should relax and have a good laugh about it. She'd be doing the same thing if Prince Philip ever gave her a weekend off. Among people surveyed at random in central London, including subway commuters reading about the Las Vegas incident on the front page of the tabloid the Evening Standard, the verdict was mostly thumbs-up. “I think it’s quite funny,” said John Daniels, 46, a hedge fund manager. “I’m sure most people would like to be doing exactly the same thing, especially in Vegas. This is his own private time and people shouldn’t be taking photographs of him.” For Prince Harry, Vegas Exploits Didn't Stay There [NYT]