What you are about to read is not a fable. Steven A. Cohen, the founder of SAC Capital who has topped the SEC’s most wanted list for over a decade, is looking to open the firm’s doors to more law enforcement – with pay!
Now operating a family office known as Point72 Asset Management, Cohen is actively recruiting former prosecutors and agents from the FBI in an apparent attempt to permanently rid the firm of the bad actors and culture that made it synonymous with insider trading, according to the New York Times. As a reminder, eight former employees have either pled guilty or been convicted of the charge and Cohen is still facing a civil suit over his “failure to supervise.”
Whether it’s “window dressing,” as one analyst supposed, or a legitimate attempt to establish a culture of ethics and, you know, stop committing crimes, can be debated. But the firm is looking to hire either way.
The only problem is that none of the fish are biting. The Times is reporting that, despite promises of huge hedge fund-like salaries, none of the agents or prosecutors who have been contacted have shown any interest. When you spend the better part of a decade trying to put someone behind bars and failing, you don’t feel like working for them, apparently. Time will tell, but you have to figure someone will be brazen enough to jump the fence for a hefty paycheck.
Cohen’s latest maneuver follows several other similar attempts to clean up the organization, or at least its image. Point72 set up a bonus program aimed at rewarding ethical employees, pulled a bonus program that may have encouraged insider trading, hired a new compliance chief and brought on a software maker to improve internal surveillance, all within the last few months.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the realm of the rich and eccentric, Bill Gross took part in his first major interview since leaving Pimco in a cloud of dust. He was asked a blunt (but kind of fair?) question: are you “a little bit crazy?” He said “no.” So there’s that.
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Are Insider Trading Laws Loosening? (WSJ)
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Buzz Around the Office
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Yes, the story of the 17-year-old student who reportedly made $72 million in the stock market during his lunch breaks was completely made up. He’s never bought a stock. Ever.
Quote of the Day: “Bond people are boring sometimes. I think the vast majority of the public understands exactly who I am.” – Bill Gross