OLD Media Moves

Wolfe's hedge fund article "astonishingly bad"

May 1, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

Daniel Gross writes on Slate that the hedge fund article written by Tom Wolfe in the premiere issue of Conde Nast Portfolio is “terrible” and “lazy” and has many “uncheckable facts.”

Tom WolfeGross wrote, “Wolfe knows what motivates these new masters of the universe: ‘Hedge fund managers are possessed by a previously unheard-of status fixation.’

“That banal insight sets the stage for the rest of Wolfe’s story. He tells us that in their desperate search for cachet and recognition, the new masters of the universe behave like barbarians: the obnoxious Greenwich Little League dad; the guys who talk like they’re extras in 300 (‘we don’t eat what we don’t kill’); the guy who takes personal calls in a meeting; the ‘twinkie wives’ who pay surrogates to bear their children because they don’t want to mess up their bodies with pregnancy. But Wolfe’s examples don’t impress, because he doesn’t name names: It’s not clear if these characters and stories are real.”

Later, he added, “I’m sure there are some hedge-fund managers and private-equity magnates who look, dress, and behave like the ones Wolfe describes. But he’s painting with an incredibly broad brush, and much of it simply doesn’t ring true. For every grasping, snarling, self-promoting hedge-fund manager, there’s an anonymous guy just trying to make a living, or a public-minded financier: a George Soros, or a Joel Greenblatt, who is trying to remake a school in Queens.”

Read more here.

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