Early on the morning of January 19th, Cody Herdman woke to the vibration of his smartphone alarm under his pillow. He immediately checked the finance app Robinhood for the trading price of a company called GameStop. Herdman, who is nineteen, is a freshman computer-science major at Dakota State University, where until recently he played center for the Dakota State Trojans football team, and he had been investing in the stock market for a month.
Robinhood, which offers zero-commission trading in stocks and cryptocurrencies, pitches itself as an enlightened version of Wall Street; its stated mission is to “democratize finance for all.” Herdman’s friend Chase Bradshaw had introduced him to trading on the app, which now consumed much of the time that he used to spend playing video games. Continue reading “Article: Robinhood’s Big Gamble”
In July, 2015, Patrick Byrne, the founder of the online discount retailer Overstock, delivered a twenty-minute talk at FreedomFest, the annual libertarian conference in Las Vegas. Other speakers included the venture capitalist Peter Thiel; John Mackey, the chief executive officer of Whole Foods; and the Presidential candidate Donald J. Trump.
Byrne’s talk, entitled “Turtles All the Way Down: How the Crypto-Revolution Solves Intractable Problems on Wall Street,” was a version of one he had given many times before. It touched on several of his interests, including the kind of liberalism usually referred to as libertarianism, the flaws in the structure of the stock market which make it vulnerable to manipulation, and how a blockchain-based financial system could eliminate those flaws. After the talk, a line of people waited by the stage to speak to Byrne. Continue reading “Article: A Tycoon’s Deep-State Conspiracy Dive”
Before he was known for an insider trading scandal, Steven Cohen was known as the “hedge fund king,” bringing sky-high returns to clients at his super successful firm, SAC Capital Advisors — and serving as an inspiration for the Showtime series “Billions.”
On October 30, 2017, the Richard Paul Richman Center for Business, Law, and Public Policy held a fireside chat with Sheelah Kolhatkar, author of Black Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street. In her book, Kolhatkar relives the challenges faced by federal prosecutors while investigating insider trading by SAC Capital, a hedge fund headed by Steve Cohen—a secretive, intense, and highly successful trader who made billions from short term investments and trading. Continue reading “Article: The Story of Steve Cohen and SAC Capital”
Scandal on Wall Street didn’t end with 2008’s financial crisis. New Yorker staff writer Sheelah Kolhatkar chronicles the rise and fall of the prominent hedge fund SAC Capital in a new book, Black Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street.
Sheelah Kolhatkar, a former hedge fund analyst, is a staff writer at The New Yorker, where she writes about Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and politics, among other things. She has appeared as a speaker and commentator on business and economics issues at conferences and on broadcast outlets including CNBC, Bloomberg Television, Charlie Rose, PBS NewsHour, WNYC and NPR. Her writing has also appeared in Bloomberg Businessweek, New York, The Atlantic, The New York Times and other publications. She lives in New York City.
Before becoming a journalist, she spent several years as a risk arbitrage analyst at two hedge funds in New York City. Sheelah holds an undergraduate degree from New York University and a M.A. from Stanford University. She lives in New York.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “An essential exposé of our times—a work that reveals the deep rot in our financial system . . . Everyone should read this book.”—David Grann, author of Killers of the Flower Moon
The hedge fund industry changed Wall Street. Its pioneers didn’t lay railroads, build factories, or invent new technologies. Rather, they made their billions through financial speculation, by placing bets in the market that turned out to be right more often than not.