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Daniel Loeb

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Rock and Roll Is Recession-Proof

In today's digest of good economic news: Hedge funds get back on the plus side, Nate Silver applies his magical mind to the economy, and rock and roll plays so loud it can't even hear the recession.

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Video: A Look Inside 15 Central Park West

15 Central Park West Fifteen
We've been intrigued by the spectacularly luxurious residential building at 15 Central Park West for quite some time now. And we have some questions. For example, sure, Daniel Loeb may have plunked down $45 million on one of the penthouses, and Sandy Weill may have dropped $42 million on the other one, but what about the rest of the building? You know, the apartments that aren't duplexes with terraces and the ones that aren't occupied by people like Sting and Trudie Styler. Who lives there and shares the pool and the "motor court" with Sandy and Danny? Thankfully, New York's genius real-estate reporter, S. Jhoanna Robledo, wrangled her way into the building (they'd never let us in; Chris is too fat, and Jessica wears white after Labor Day) and brought back video from the inside. Click above to see a fabulous three-bedroom, including herringbone hardwood floors and a bathroom so amazing that, if you were in a hotel, you would totally use the wall phone to call your mom and tell her how fancy it was, while sitting on the toilet. Inside 15 Central Park West

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Daniel Loeb Gets His Dream House

Loeb
Notoriously prickly hedge-fund manager Daniel Loeb has finally closed on his $45 million penthouse at 15 Central Park West. The five-bedroom, five-bathroom (plus two half-bathrooms!) apartment on the 39th floor is 10,674 square feet, and that's not including the 709-foot wraparound terrace. It also comes with access to a 75-foot lap pool, around which Loeb can hobnob with neighbors Sting, Denzel Washington, and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein; a screening room; English-oak-paneled library; formal dining room (with a private in-house chef); climate-controlled wine rooms (keep your Gewürztraminer chilled!); and a general sense of extreme self-satisfaction, especially if you pay for it in cash, as Loeb did. One issue, though: Loeb's views of the park will be obstructed by views of Sandy Weill's $42.4 million apartment. Well, even the rich sometimes suffer, a little. 15 CPW ALERT! Loeb's $45 M. 'Panorama' [NYO]

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Hedge-funders Use Their Skills for Good, Not Evil

Hedge
Here's a heartwarming holiday story. Today's Times profiles Holden Karnofsky and Elie Hassenfeld, two 26-year-olds who quit their jobs at a Westport hedge fund to start a foundation that puts charities through a rigorous cost-benefit analysis and then rates them on their effectiveness. It's called GiveWell, and it's apparently causing quite a stir in the nonprofit community. Yes, they sort of sound like they might be kind of jerks — one blog calls the way they communicate with charities "breathtaking" in its audacity ("Here's, arguably, a 26-year-old punk, who doesn't know what he doesn't know, telling legions of veteran do-gooders that they are possibly, indeed probably, wasting their time and their donors' money!"). And, yes, the Times is a little effusive about how they gave up their massive hedge-fund salaries for "a lot less pay" (according to the Times, they each receive a salary of $65,000). And, yes, we suspect that a Harvard grad called "Holden" might have a little backup somewhere. But that is not the point. The point is this: Wouldn't it be nice if all finance folks used the qualities inherent to them — arrogance, aggression — to doing something good? Yeah, we're looking at you, Dan Loeb. Two Young Hedge Fund Veterans Stir Up the World of Philanthropy [NYT] Who Wants Holden Karnofsky's Money? [The Agitator]

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