Monday, April 1, 2013

What's Really Behind Steve Cohen's Shopping Spree?

From Institutional Investors Alpha: Is SAC Capital Advisors’ Steven Cohen thumbing his nose at regulators? Soon after his firm agreed to write a $616 million check to the Securities and Exchange Commission as settlement for two insider trading cases, Cohen was reported as paying $155 million for Picasso’s world-renowned “Le Rêve” in one of the most expensive art deals ever. You'd think he'd spend some time kicking back and enjoying the painting. Yet there he is again, snapping up a prime oceanfront property in the Hamptons for $60 million, according to a Thursday report. Presumably some of this cash is coming from the $115 million or so he hopes to ring up from his duplex apartment in New York’s Bloomberg Tower, reportedly up for sale. The billionaire certainly one of the deep-pocketed hedge fund managers around, but the timing of the deals may be more than mere coincidence. Cohen seemed to be sending a not-so-subtle message to the authorities. As in, “Hey fellas, that was a rounding error.” Last year Cohen made more than twice what he agreed to pay the government. (Watch for Institutional Investor’s Alpha’s Rich List 2012, coming out shortly) The settlement is also slightly more than the $585 million that he earned in 2011. Indeed over the past three years Cohen has made roughly $2.3 billion, or nearly four times what he agreed to pay the government...

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