Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Thursday, February 18, 2010

How The Hedge Funders See The Rest of Us

The NY Daily News has details of a sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit filed against Philip Falcone, hedge fund manager and founder of Harbinger Capital:

A billionaire hedge fund chief and his shapely socialite wife are being sued for sexual harassment and discrimination by their gay former house manager.

William Gamble alleges that he was subjected to repeated come-ons from Lisa Maria Falcone, the wife of the man listed as No. 296 on the 2009 Forbes list of the world's richest people.

Gamble, 47, worked less than two months in 2008 for Harbinger Capital Partners founder Philip Falcone and his wife - but contends that was enough time to face "unwelcome and unsolicited sexual overtures" from the sexually revved-up lady of the house.

The suit says Philip Falcone used anti-gay slurs before hiring Gamble to manage the couple's five homes - including a 10,000-square foot Manhattan spread on E. 67th St. - from a cramped office once occupied by the Falcones' pet pig.

Gamble saved his sharpest arrows for Lisa Maria Falcone, alleging that she drunkenly shoved her hands down his pants and suggested that he needed a "good f---" to go straight.

"[Gamble] became highly disturbed and physically ill as a result of this incident," the suit says.

Falcone, nicknamed the Midas of Misery for making hundreds of millions of dollars off the misery of others, has also been sued by his former partner for allegedly cheating him out of $63 million dollars.

But if you think he's all Gordon Gekko, think again. He's a big charity guy and sits on several education-related boards (see here and here), though even at the charity gigs he tends to put himself before others.

For instance, here he is pushing his way into a charity photo-op over a bunch of underprivileged kids.

What a swell fellow! So glad he is part of the education reform movement! So glad he's making more money than god off the misery of others!

And the wife - wow
. What can you say about a woman who sexually harasses a gay employee and says all he needs to go straight is a "good f---" from her?

But as bad as Falcone and his wife seemed to have been in the past, this lawsuit is the first time we know of that he has been quite literally accused of treating a pig better than an employee.

And given this guy's track record, that's saying something.

Now the NY Post has been doing lots of rubber room stories alleging that all the teachers there are perverts and criminals and as I noted in an earlier post, Joanna Molloy of the NY Daily News extrapolated from the stupidity of one or two teachers that all "teachers are getting dumber."

So if the Post and the News can extrapolate depictions of all public school teachers from just a few bad eggs, should we extrapolate from Mr. Falcone's alleged behavior and treatment of employees, business partners and people who have the unfortunate luck of being in front of him at photo ops that all hedge fund managers/education reformers are crooked, egomaniacal, homophobic creeps?


  1. Well, I for one won't hold my breath waiting for the tabloids to run with this one.

  2. Thanks for the required reading. It's close to David Brooks article in the nytimes about power elites. Brooks makes a good point that power elites are still the con-men they always were even though he doesn't come right out and say it.

  3. Anon,

    I think Bobo makes some good points, but he's part of the problem. He says society privileges technocrats over those who can empathize with others. That's true - but so does he. He supports Bloomberg for that very reason. He initially supported Obama for that same reason.

    Next, Bobo, big test score for tenure supporter, says this:

    "Now people respond to ever-faster performance criteria — daily stock prices or tracking polls. This perversely encourages reckless behavior. To leave a mark in a fast, competitive world, leaders seek to hit grandiose home runs. Clinton tried to transform health care. Bush tried to transform the Middle East. Obama has tried to transform health care, energy and much more.

    There’s less emphasis on steady, gradual change and more emphasis on the big swing. This produces more spectacular failures and more uncertainty. Many Americans, not caught up on the romance of this sort of heroism, are terrified."

    What the fuck does he think tracking teacher test scores is other than trying to force teachers to respond to ever-faster performance data or be fired.

    You know, Bobo is not the worst of the right wing press. But he says things that make me scratch my head. This column is one of 'em.

    Thanks for sharing it though, I wouldn't have seen it otherwise and it does give me an idea or two for a future post.