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NYT shines some sunlight on the worst of Wall Street

Posted By Barry Ritholtz On September 28, 2005 @ 1:47 pm In Financial Press | Comments Disabled

The NYT has been all over Wall Street lately: criticizing its product offerings (SPACs), mocking its hedge fund managers (too arrogant), trashing a well known mutual fund manager (excessively piggish).

If the NYT reports are accurate, we are not a pretty lot. While its tough to objectively label someone as too arrogant or piggish — these are such visceral emotional issues — the Times does not paint a pretty picture.

Consider these three tales:

•  ‘Super Mario’ Has a Super Headache [1]
Mario Gabelli is revealed as an overpaid fund manager, and gets trashed as a greedy majority shareholder who treats his minority shareholders exceedingly poorly.

Litigation to follow . . .

•  A Noted Poison Pen Starts a Hedge Fund Hiring Showdown [2]
Daniel S. Loeb runs the $3.6 billion hedge fund Third Point, and the NYT rakes him over the coals. Since I don’t know the man, I cannot attest to how accurate/fair the Times piece is; they seem to go out of their way to paint him as a pompous ass.

Citadel comes in for the wrecking ball also, with the NYT pointing out their unusual managment fee fluctuate, running as high as 6% (the typical hedge fund management fee is 2%).   

Crave Huge Risk? This Investment May Be for You [3]
SPACs: The latest Wall Street product are expensive and risky — but the tradeoff is that most are unlikely to succeed.

My experience is that Wall Street is filled with both heroes and goats, with pigs and weasels. While the Times is focusing on the seamy underside as of late, I know too many Wall Streeters who are conscientious, charitable, humble fellows.

Indeed, several firms dedicated a day of trading profits to Katrina victims (Cantor, Jeffries & Co, Rob Fraim, etc.). And of course, Todd Harrison’s Investing Rock Stars Guitar [4] is a terrific charitable venture.    

I guess for every Bull there’s a Bear, and for each of them there’s a pig . . .


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URL to article: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2005/09/nyt-shines-some-sunlight-on-the-worst-of-wall-street/

URLs in this post:

[1] ‘Super Mario’ Has a Super Headache: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/25/business/25mario.html?ex=1285300800&en=08e86c2c6b5276aa&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

[2] A Noted Poison Pen Starts a Hedge Fund Hiring Showdown: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/22/business/22hedge.html?ex=1285041600&en=135697136ca62305&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

[3] Crave Huge Risk? This Investment May Be for You: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/23/business/23insider.html?ex=1285128000&en=e07eecbf61d3a59a&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

[4] Todd Harrison’s Investing Rock Stars Guitar: http://www.minyanville.com/company/press.htm

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