August 16th, 2007

  • pgdf

Hedge Fund Fun and Games

Schadenfreude is an unjustly maligned emotion. Correctly experienced, it's a bracing tonic and moral spritzer.

No one except sociopaths feels pleasure at the suffering of the average joe. When we read about some homeless, unemployed mother of six, most of us feel pity. Okay, not Republicans, maybe. And when even a fairly well-to-do professional yuppie loses his or her job, we can generally summon up some compassion.

But when a hubristic dickhead who's enriched himself by what amounts to a massive con-job unproductive of any real wealth-generation save on paper goes down in a blood-bath, how can you not take delight? And also give thanks for the simplicity of your own life?

Such a delightful implosion happened recently to hedge-fund manager and Master of the Universe Jeffrey B. Larson. He managed to lose $1.6 billion of Other People's Money. Harvard alone took a $350 million hit.

You can read all about it here:

Now, isn't your schadenfreude gland pumping nicely? No matter how badly you screw up today, chances are you won't be in shit as deep as that surrounding Larson.

Congratulate yourself on the wisdom of your current lifestyle.
  • lizhand

"Why do you think they call it EVOLUTION?***"

I know where I was when I heard Elvis died, thirty years ago — at the old Atlantis (later the 930 Club) in DC. I wish I could remember who was playing — maybe there wasn't a band? — but that didn't really matter, because the only thing you heard that night was Elvis's voice echoing out of every cab radio, every bar, every jukebox in the city. Today I sifted through Youtube and was tempted by Elvis in Hawaii doing "Suspicious Minds." But when push came to shove, I went back to "Jailhouse Rock."

I sure as hell wouldn't kick him out of bed. Later, of course, there might not have been room in bed for both of us – but young Elvis? Whee doggie.

"*** Because it's really ELVISLUTION"


"USCG for Nantucket takes order out of Boston, the boats are officially assigned to Woods Hole, and the Coast Guard crews lived on Otis AFB. There is absolutely no way in hell that stories stay secret. These aren't real cutters, they're "Point Class" (Point Willow was there in the 90's) vessels with small crews or motorized lifeboats. The "Captains" are NCOs or low ranking officers, not the kind of men or women who have anything to lose keeping silly secrets."

"There are about thirty people assigned to Brant Point lighthouse and station associated with motorized lifeboat S&R, law enforcement, marine mammal protection, and CG Aux. They're a part of the Group/Woods Hole. Because they work S&R for the Vineyard as well, you don't assign them to assist the Secret Service, when they might have to called away as responders -- you assign assets from the larger group."

The anonymous person who wrote these two posts has a nice knowledge of the internet and knows nothing about Nantucket. He doesn't understand the way the island works and isn't inclined to. I probably know who it is, but that's irrelevant. Arguing against this sort of uniformed and specious logic is a waste of time. When Shiela Lucey retired, the ceremony was attended by every bigwig in the CG, such was the respect accorded her, despite her "lowly" status. Anonymous's statements about "You don't do this and that" are informed by ignorance and nothing more.

Likewise, the dog thing. Kerry's dogs may be simply photo op dogs or they may be beloved pets. That doesn't have any bearing on Heinz Ward's attitudes.

Likewise the A&P (the Grand Union), which is still called the A&P by everyone on the's useless for me to debate these points because people are going to believe what they want.

I don't know why people leap to the defense of the Clintons so fervently, because Hilary is a purely political animal...but it's their perogative. My view is that democrats and republicans are all pretty horrid, and I hope to be a long way off when the next president is inagurated.

But until then, hey, I get to say what I want too....