We all get a little distracted in August. The dog days of summer leave us bereft of interest in the banalities of work, and our minds wander to other things, yearning to explore topics that don't pay the bills.
So we can all see where Dan Loeb was coming from when he logged onto Facebook this week in search of engagement with something that had nothing to do with Third Point or Nestlé or Trump. And imagine Loeb's immense pleasure at seeing an alert that his hedgie rival, and newly-single billionaire, David Einhorn had updated his profile pic to convey his hip new playboy lifestyle:
While Einhorn might want that subtly-patterned jacket to whisper "Hey ladies," Loeb seems to have interpreted it with more of a "Help me!" vibe.
Who doesn't love some jocular joshing on the old Facebooks? Dan Loeb is a snappy dresser and Einhorn needs help being reborn onto the scene. And honestly if one middle-aged billionaire can't give sartorial aide to another middle-aged billionaire, what the fuck are we even doing here?
That is just some good hedgie fun, Facebook is happy place where nothing ever goes wrong and everyone's opinion is valued. Nothing can ever go wrong on Facebook, right Dan?
The hedge fund manager Daniel S. Loeb, a prominent supporter of charter schools and a major financial backer of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and congressional Republicans, accused the African-American woman who leads the Democrats in the New York State Senate of having done “more damage to people of color than anyone who has ever donned a hood.”
Mr. Loeb made the reference, apparently to the Ku Klux Klan, in a posting on Facebook in response to an article in The New York Times this week in which the Democratic leader, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, confronted Mr. Cuomo about prejudging her based upon race and gender.
“Thank God for Jeff Klein and those who stand for educational choice and support Charter funding that leads to economic mobility and opportunity for poor knack kids,” Mr. Loeb wrote, with “knack” apparently a typographical error for “black.” “Meanwhile hypocrites like Stewart-Cousins who pay fealty to powerful union thugs and bosses do more damage to people of color than anyone who has ever donned a hood.”
This will not end well...
After The Times reported on his Facebook remarks, Mr. Loeb deleted them late Thursday night.
“I regret the language I used in expressing my passion for educational choice,” he said in a statement. “I apologize to Senator Stewart-Cousins and anyone I offended. I have taken down the post from Facebook.”
What we have here is a guy well-versed in the hurly burly world of activist hedge fund management trying to weigh in on the septic cul-de-sac of political thought that is Albany, and doing it all on social media. Loeb clearly overstepped the bounds of taste here, and got so overly verbally aggressive that even Andrew Cuomo distanced himself from the post, but we think he learned a valuable lesson about spending too much time on Facebook; Don't. And you're too smart to be commenting on the lose/lose world of New York State politics.
We're also assuming that Loeb will now enter the gauntlet of public apology and acts of contrition. As Loeb begins that journey, might we appeal to David Einhorn to send Dan that fancy jacket of yours? We think it would look great on a man trying to humble himself on the public stage.