Hedge Fund Inside Trader Summarizes The Confusion Of A Greedy Decade

Monday, November 21, 2011 08:09
Hedge Fund Inside Trader Summarizes The Confusion Of A Greedy Decade

Tags: fraud

Disgraced hedge fund manager Chip Skowron's unbridled self-interest even cost the kings of inside trading at the Galleon Group $1.5 million. 

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But his former corporate masters at Morgan Stanley say he owes them $37 million that he received in salary after he sold his firm to them back in 2006.


Unlike the inside traders at Galleon, Skowron used his sources to dump shares before bad news hit, leaving the institutions on the other side of the trade holding the bag.


His activities saved his fund at least $30 million but are now costing him a five-year term in jail.


Skowron's description of how all the money corrupted him is worth contemplating.


"I was not aware of the changes that were happening in me that blurred the lines between right and wrong," he testified. 


"I allowed myself to slip into a world of relativism where the ends justify the means."


That "do whatever it takes" philosophy is often admired in ambitious people, but when it fails, there's nothing left to keep their behavior in check. 


They bribe insiders to get them material information first. They suggest lying in court is OK. 


And they cheat the people they trade with.


A more clinical definition of a "blurred" sense of right and wrong is sociopathy.


Bad actors in the industry remind us time and again that it can be learned if there's enough money on the table.

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