As is her wont, the Gray Lady appears faintly repulsed by these short, fat men and their vulgar accumulation of uninherited wealth, and immediately finds several experts who are happy to remind these upstart Gatsbys of exactly what they are: “To some degree it’s a very gigantic version of Las Vegas,” one economist says evocatively of the hedge-fund market, like there's something so flashy and vulgar and seedy and borderline illegal about it, you know? Except it's actually not illegal. “There is nothing wrong with it,” William H. Gross, the chief investment officer of the bond fund Pimco, tells the Times. “But it’s ugly.” The 'Times' sentiments exactly! The inclusion of Philip Falcone of Harbinger partners ($1.7 million), who recently bought a large stake in the Times and followed it up by purchasing Bob Guccione's monstrosity of a mansion, must have especially rankled the paper. Best remind him who's boss! “Like at the end of the Gilded Age and the Roaring Twenties, we are going the other way,” Gross tells the Times helpfully. “We are clearly in a period of excess, and we have to swing back to the middle or the center cannot hold."
Ooh! Who else is gilded and roaring? The list of top ten earners follows.
1. John Paulson, Paulson & Co. ($3.7 billion)
2. George Soros, Soros Fund Management ($2.9 billion)
3. James Simons, Renaissance Technologies Corp. ($2.8 billion)
4. Philip Falcone , Harbinger Capital Partners ($1.7 billion)
5. Kenneth Griffin, Citadel Investment Group ($1.5 billion)
6. Steven Cohen , SAC Capital Advisors ($900 million)
7. Timothy Barakett, Atticus Capital ($750 million)
8. Stephen Mandel Jr., Lone Pine Capital ($ 710 million)
9. John Griffin, Blue Ridge Capital ($625 million)
10. O. Andreas Halvorsen, Viking Global Investors ($520 million)