Using the besieged ($31-a-share to $1.36 since 2007) Fortress Investment Group as a peg, Bethany McLean writes the obit for the hedge fund boom in the current issue of Vanity Fair.
Not a whole lot of new, startling detail in the piece (except that maybe Andrew Cuomo is a member of the glittery Core Club) but there’s some great detail on the high-living that came with the ridiculous Fortress’ top guys raked in.
“Edens has had an apartment on Manhattan’s Central Park West since his Lehman days, owns land in Montana, and bought an $18 million house on Martha’s Vineyard from J. Crew C.E.O. Mickey Drexler. Kauffman, who runs Fortress’s European business, bought into Michael Waltrip’s nascar team, valued recently at $86 million. Novogratz purchased Robert de Niro’s Tribeca duplex for $12.25 million—and then bought the apartment underneath to make a triplex. Briger built a 12,000-square-foot home in East Hampton in 2007 to add to his residence in Manhattan. A helicopter that is partially owned by Fortress, purchased before the company went public, sometimes shuttles Novogratz and Briger to and from the firm’s Manhattan offices. (The men say they reimburse Fortress for the expense.)”
Now, though, opines short-seller Jim Chanos in the piece, managers are starting to feel like ATMs, because clients who’ve been cleaned out in other areas are cashing out of the funds to get liquid.