This Week at SAC Capital: Tuna, Overstock.com and Goldman Sachs
It’s been a week since federal authorities filed insider trading charges against SAC Capital. So what’s been going on since? A lot of weird stuff. Or, to put it another way, it’s been business as usual.
Last Saturday, one day after SAC pleaded not guilty to the charges, founder Steven Cohen, the star of this Wall Street melodrama, hosted a posh soiree at his East Hampton palace. Thousands of dollars of fresh tuna was served to the few dozen in attendance.
The move isn’t all that shocking. Cohen has a history of celebrating his riches in the face of perceived instability. Earlier this year, when clients were withdrawing hundreds of millions in funds, Cohen was busy buying $100 million Picassos and new vacations spots.
The day after the lavish party, Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne took out a full page ad in the Wall Street Journal, at the cost of $100,000, celebrating what he perceives as the destruction of Cohen’s life’s work. “I feel good. Shooting SAC Capital dead and throwing all of its employees into the streets is simply civilization scraping some dog--- off its shoe,” he later told Business Insider.
If that weren’t weird enough, on Wednesday, a little firm you may have heard of lent its public support to SAC. Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn acknowledged that the bank continues to do business with SAC, despite the charges. Cohn called SAC “a great counterparty.”
With investigators still breathing down his neck, facing a criminal indictment that no major firm has ever survived, an unflappable Cohen continues to do what he does best: make money, spend money and infuriate his detractors, all while garnering the support of those who benefit from his dealings. Business as usual indeed.
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Another casualty of stricter capital rules. Credit Suisse is in “advanced talks” to sell its private equity business. Chicago-based Grosvenor Capital Management appears to be the front runner.
Federal Reserve Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin is expected to be named deputy Treasury Secretary. She would be the highest ranking woman in the department’s history.
Wealth management startup Dynasty Financial Partners poached a full team of brokers from UBS to add to its New York office. They must be heavy hitters. Dynasty targets advisers with $300 million or more in assets under management.
The commercial real estate market is shrinking right alongside Wall Street. With banks getting smaller, landlords are stuck with 6.3 million square feet of unrented office space. Tech and media companies are moving in, but the progression is a slow one.
Goldman Sachs is reopening its Hong Kong dark pool trading platform, roughly four years after regulators shut it down.
Royal Bank of Scotland appears poised to name Ross McEwan, head of retail banking, its new chief executive. Regulators with the Bank of England need to sign off on the deal.
Buzz Around the Office
Years ago, West Coast hedge fund manager Bob Chapman was on his way to his first financial interview – at Salomon Brothers. He got into a horrible motorcycle crash on the way, careening through the back window of a pickup truck, covering his suit in blood and glass. He got up, dusted himself off and aced the interview.
List of the Day: Good Employees
Want to become a better employee? Try doing this.
- Be open to constructive criticism.
- Request feedback.
- Dress the part you want to play.