One imagines there are a lot of people at Renaissance Technologies who wish their work wasn’t helping Donald Trump destroy the country and planet. David Magerman is* one of them. He and his colleagues have been talking amongst themselves, mostly about co-CEO Robert Mercer. RenTech may not be Bridgewater Associates, but these kinds of things tend to get back to the boss.
“I hear you’re going around saying I’m a white supremacist,” Mr. Mercer said. “That’s ridiculous.”
You’ve got to admit that that’s a pretty mild response for such an accusation, but there it is. The two chatted—awkwardly, one would have to imagine—about politics. Magerman told Mercer that he had to stop “harming the country.” Mercer said he’d achieved his goal of keeping Hillary Clinton out of the White House and now would stop, more or less. And that was that, but then Magerman had to go tell the papers.
“His views show contempt for the social safety net that he doesn’t need, but many Americans do,” said Mr. Magerman, 48 years old, during an interview with The Wall Street Journal at the Dairy Café, a kosher restaurant he owns in Bala Cynwyd, Pa. “Now he’s using the money I helped him make to implement his worldview” by supporting Mr. Trump and encouraging that “government be shrunk down to the size of a pinhead….”
Mr. Magerman has one idea that would reduce the power of people like Mr. Mercer. He said he was thinking about reaching out to Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) to craft proposals to reduce speculative trading, which presumably would curtail Renaissance’s profits.
Now, Bob Mercer doesn’t like to see his name in the paper. In fairness, if we were a piss-hoarding, demerit-issuing billionaire who likes to play dress-up, we probably wouldn’t want to see our names in the paper, either. And he almost certainly doesn’t like to be written up in the paper as a source of inspiration to Elizabeth Warren, with who one of his own extremely well-compensated employees is proposing putting RenTech out of business. Well, we’re sure you can see where this is going.
“I’d like to think I’m speaking out in a way that won’t risk my job, but it’s very possible they could fire me,” he said….
On Thursday morning, after an online version of this story appeared, Mr. Magerman received a new phone call from Renaissance. A representative told Mr. Magerman that he was being suspended without pay and no longer could have contact with the company.