Like a lot of hedge fund managers, Dan Kamensky is a bit, uh, let’s say high-strung. Struggling emotionally and physically after leaving Paulson & Co. to set up his own shop, Kamensky sought help from a psychologist, a sleep specialist and executive coach. He began to meditate in the middle of the day. And it worked!
He began to feel healthier and more relaxed, he says. He enjoyed family time again, playing games like Scrabble and doing crossword puzzles.
What’s more, he needed it more than ever, because the perfidious scumbags who owned Nieman Marcus—whose distressed debt Kamensky’s Marble Ridge Capital owned quite a lot of—were really pissing Kamnesky off, taking the failing retailer’s one valuable asset and putting it out of the reach of creditors like Kamensky.
“It’s like someone takes your wallet out of your back pocket on the subway and stares you right in the face while doing it,” he said.
Worse still, the delicate support system Kamensky had built had been snatched away by the pandemic.
Staying at his Long Island home because of the pandemic, he worked in a cramped bedroom that he had converted into an office. A puppy once relieved himself on Mr. Kamensky’s foot during a business call. Sometimes, after working late into the night, Mr. Kamensky slept in the same room.
It became difficult to work with his coach and consult with colleagues. “Everything became more ad hoc,” he says.
Like, for instance, his hasty effort to save a deal he’d painstakingly and frustratingly worked on and fought for over two years. Hasty and illegal, since he—a member of Neiman’s unsecured creditors’ committee—tried to bully a bank—his own, as it turns out—not to make a higher offer for the preferred shares issued to him and his fellow creditors because he wanted them for himself. And so, this week, as the world reopens, instead of returning to the safe spaces of his office or a meditation studio, Kamensky will be going somewhere else, where quarantine rules still rule.
Mr. Kamensky reports to federal prison on June 18…. Upon entering prison on Friday, Mr. Kamensky faces weeks of solitary confinement in keeping with Covid-19 guidelines….
He wonders, if he had been in his office with colleagues around, would he have reacted so quickly and angrily.
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