I'm Rich As Hell And I'm Not Going To Take It Anymore!

In a rant that would make Howard Beale proud, a hedge fund manager cashes in, drops out, and takes a swipe at AIG, Lehman, Bear Sterns, Harvard MBAs and Congress on his way out the door.

In the grand tradition of Dear John letters, anchor sign-offs and birdflip manifestos, Andrew Lahde has broken new ground.

The head of a Santa Monica based hedge fund bearing his name, Lahde quit the business after posting an 870% gain last year.  His good-bye letter to, well, everyone became a viral hit in the last two days as he took a victory lap by delivering a body blow to the deeply flawed system and people that allowed him to rake in more than his share.

From the letter:



" Recently, on the front page of Section C of the Wall Street Journal, a hedge fund manager who was also closing up shop (a $300 million fund), was quoted as saying, “What I have learned about the hedge fund business is that I hate it.”  I could not agree more with that statement. I was in this game for the money. The low hanging fruit, i.e. idiots whose parents paid for prep school, Yale, and then the Harvard MBA, was there for the taking. These people who were (often) truly not worthy of the education they received (or supposedly received) rose to the top of companies such as AIG, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers and all levels of our government. All of this behavior supporting the Aristocracy, only ended up making it easier for me to find people stupid enough to take the other side of my trades. God bless America."

 

And then, some advice:

 

"I will no longer manage money for other people or institutions.  I have enough of my own wealth to manage.  Some people, who think they have arrived at a reasonable estimate of my net worth, might be surprised that I would call it quits with such a small war chest.  That is fine; I am content with my rewards.  Moreover, I will let others try to amass nine, ten or eleven figure net worths.  Meanwhile, their lives suck.  Appointments back to back, booked solid for the next three months, they look forward to their two week vacation in January during which they will likely be glued to their Blackberries or other such devices.  What is the point?  They will all be forgotten in fifty years anyway.  Steve Balmer, Steven Cohen, and Larry Ellison will all be forgotten.  I do not understand  the legacy thing.  Nearly everyone will be forgotten.  Give up on leaving your mark.  Throw the  Blackberry away and enjoy life."

He also calls for the legalization of marijuana and for George Soros to form an alternative government.

 

Hat tip to New York Magazine.

 

Read the whole thing:

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2 Comments

  • Kyleigh Helfrich

    While the core of what Mr. Lahde is saying is true...greed did bring down the house so to speak...it's always amazing how one suddenly comes to this conclusion after they got rich and walked away. Its pretty easy to cast blame on all of the AIG, Lehman giants when you are not the one sitting in front of congress validating your actions. The current situation we are in is all about finger pointing. The CEO's, the shareholders even the current administration. This discussion is not one that we should be having. It should be about accountability which seems to be sorely lacking in all of the discussions on the current state of the economy. Followed by how we can prevent this from ever happening again. Or we can continue to point and watch the DOW drop....

  • Andrew Komarovski

    That is just so classical for people, who spend all their livies earning money, and when they feel they have earned enough, to stand up and say: "Hey, money sucks, I want to leave a legacy!".

    Where have you been, buddy, 20-30 years ago? I'll tell you where - busy being out there only for the money. And before you have it, you did not think or say it was wrong.

    Now, the problem is that being out there for the sake of money only really sucks. Just because people of such category, I'm sure, somewhere deeply inside of their souls understand that money is good, but it is not even a half of a healthy respectable human life.

    In an ideal world, people have their "big ideas" (it doesn't necessarily have to be a space flight to Venus, it can be any small thing that is truly "amazing and big and important" to that person) - something they life for, something they see a deep meaning in.

    Such "big ideas", unfortunately, can be found only when you are a child. When you are an old cynical man, having spent decades hunting for a bigger salary, your chances of becoming the next Newton, Einstein, Page, Ford, Gandhi are approaching zero.

    Bottom line here - money is niether good nor bad, it is just a substance that supports your living. But your leaving should be maintained to not in sake of maintaining your leaving. When you have your "big thing", a passsion, a meaning, a vision, only then you feel you can leave a legacy and you matter.