Today is November 27th, 2018 and somehow there is a story in the "news" about Cliff Asness being mad online.
This is from an Institutional Investor post published yesterday and titled "AQR’s Cliff Asness Loses His Cool":
On Wednesday, the billionaire co-founder of AQR — a quantitative investment firm managing $226 billion — and Twitter raconteur engaged in heated argument on the social media platform with a user tweeting under the handle @Steinernomics.
“Asked and answered, you stupid fuck,” Asness wrote and retweeted an earlier comment, refuting a point made by @Steinernomics in the middle of a long thread.
We're not criticizing the author of the post. It is an objectively fun thing to nail a guy managing billions of dollars while he somehow finds the time to blast some troll on social media [hey , we're basically carnies selling peeps at the finance freak show over here], but when it comes to Cliff Asness maybe we should stop faux clutching our faux pearls when he says "Fuck" on Twitter and start giving Big Cliffy props for having the emotional honesty to say "Fuck" on Twitter. Cliff's been going batshit on Twitter for more than a decade, and it's time for us all to just admit that it's pretty awesome.
Cliff Asness is asset management's answer to Comic Book Guy from "The Simpsons," but that's what makes him great. Unlike his fellow billionaire uber-hedgies who cultivate some bullshit air of mystery, Cliff is a haughty nerd with a Captian America tattoo whose internet persona is the textual equivalent of a raw, open nerve. Asness is as liable to flame a finance troll as he is to malign a comic book adaptation or bitch about politics. It's sometimes galling to behold - maybe even more so if you're allocated with AQR - but fuck if it isn't refreshing.
We're no stranger to Cliff's reflexive need to chap everyone's ass on social media. Hey, he's has publicly lashed out at us on more than one occasion, something that many others in his position like to do very privately or through a whiny interlocutor. When Cliff calls us names, it's fun because he's the one talking. And that's especially true today. If anything, it's more fun giving Asness shit about building a Batcave in his basement, becasue he might answer back himself!
Through the prism of modern history, it's hard to argue that we're not through some kind of looking glass when it comes to the climate of beliefs versus fact. The world is aflame with conflicts of every type and everyone seems to be yelling at each other all at once. Do we really believe that the hyper-opinionated messianic alpha bros at the biggest hedge funds aren't saying in private what Cliff Asness has been saying online for more than a decade? And let's not even get into some bullshit argument about tact.
Instead of acting surprised that Asness goes HAM on Twitter literally all the time, we'd love to see stories about why Steve Cohen isn't taunting the SEC from his Gab account, or why Einhorn and Ackman aren't using their online personas to talk shit about their short positions. Hell, Dan Loeb should have posted an Insta story that portrayed a can of Campbell's tomato soup slowly bleeding out on a white table just to make a fun and catty point. We have no idea how Carl Icahn has been prevented from doing even more batshit stuff with his Twitter.
We live in the post-nuance era, and it's not changing anytime soon. So why not let the people that we've imbued with mystical money powers to go onto the modern marketplace of ideas and tell socialists to go fuck themselves?