About.com Chief Steps Down As New ‘Times’ Investors Eye Internet AssetsFINANCE
• Scott B. Meyer, the chief of About.com, said yesterday that he would step down next week, on the heels of news that Scott Galloway and his merry band of vagilantes were going to try to pressure its parent company, the New York Times, to change the way they handle internet operations. [NYT]
• Two former Wall Streeters take responsibility for insider trading. [WSJ]
white men with money
Citigroup Trader Andrew J. Hall Has Castle, Is SchnabulousEvery once in a while, The Wall Street Journal renews our faith in the Street and, indeed, humanity by profiling one of the few eccentric and wonderful folks who float among or above the wretched, amoral meatheads, and Andrew J. Hall is such a man. The British-born commodities trader and head of a “secretive unit” at Citigroup known as Phibro, 57-year-old Hall has made a killing in the last few years off long-term oil futures, the Journal tells us, and this is despite the fact that, most afternoons, he leaves the office to row or practice calisthenics with a ballet teacher. He’s also one of the world’s top collectors of contemporary art — not that his neighbors in Southport, Connecticut, were particularly impressed by that when he tried to install an 80-foot-long concrete sculpture on the lawn of his Greek Revival home. Hall ended up giving Etroits sont les Vaisseaux to the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, which is too bad because it would have looked nice on the lawn at Schloss Dernberg, the nearly 1,000-year-old castle he owns in Germany. But his material possessions aren’t the only reason we would like Hall to procure the necessary papers to adult-adopt us. According to the Journal, “He recently staged a lavish exhibit in his German castle of works by U.S. artist and filmmaker Julian Schnabel.” In the book accompanying the show, Hall opined that “many in the art world have tried to ignore” Mr. Schnabel, despite his obvious awesomeness. See? He’s a man after our own heart.
Trader Hits Jackpot in Oil, As Commodity Boom Roars On [WSJ]
early and often
Some Claiming Hussein- and Race-Baiting Strengthen ObamaThe last few days have brought back discussion of Barack Obama’s race and heritage in a way not seen since South Carolina. On Monday, of course, a photo of Obama trying on traditional Somali clothing circulated. Then, in the Cleveland debate two days ago, Tim Russert grilled Obama over the endorsement of Louis Farrakhan and the praise lavished on Farrakhan by Obama’s pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright Jr. Finally, John McCain has been trying to disassociate himself from the fearmongering tactic of dropping Obama’s Muslim-sounding middle name, Hussein, carried out separately by talk-radio host Bill Cunningham and, in a press release yesterday, the Tennessee Republican Party. Into this burgeoning mess wade our pundits.