Saturday, October 18

Andrew Lahde, hedge-fund manager

Wire: BLOOMBERG News (BN) Date: 2008-10-17 19:47:59
Andrew Lahde Quits Hedge Funds, Thanks `Idiots' for His Success

By Katherine Burton
Oct. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Andrew Lahde, the hedge-fund manager
who quit after posting an 870 percent gain last year, said
farewell to clients in a letter that thanks stupid traders for
making him rich and ends with a plea to legalize marijuana.
Lahde, head of Santa Monica, California-based Lahde Capital
Management LLC, told investors last month he was returning their
cash because the risk of using credit derivatives -- his means
of betting on the falling value of bonds and loans, including
subprime mortgages -- was too risky given the weakness of the
banks he was trading with.
``I was in this game for money,'' Lahde, 37, wrote in a
two-page letter today in which he said he had come to hate the
hedge-fund business. ``The low-hanging fruit, i.e. idiots whose
parents paid for prep school, Yale and then the Harvard MBA, was
there for the taking. These people who were (often) truly not
worthy of the education they received (or supposedly received)
rose to the top of companies such as AIG, Bear Stearns and
Lehman Brothers and all levels of our government.
``All of this behavior supporting the Aristocracy, only
ended up making it easier for me to find people stupid enough to
take the other sides of my trades. God Bless America.''
Lahde told clients he'll be content to manage his own
money, rather than taking cash from wealthy individuals and
institutions and trying to amass a fortune worth hundreds of
millions or even billions of dollars.
``I do not understand the legacy thing,'' he wrote.
``Nearly everyone will be forgotten. Give up on leaving your
mark. Throw the Blackberry away and enjoy life.''

Request for Soros

He said he'd spend his time repairing his health ``as well
as my entire life -- where I had to compete for spaces at
universities, and graduate schools, jobs and assets under
management -- with those who had all the advantages (rich
parents) that I did not.''
He also suggested that billionaire George Soros sponsor a
forum in which ``great minds'' would come together to create a
new system of government, as the current system ``is clearly
Lahde ended his letter with a plea for the increased use of
hemp as an alternative source of food and energy that segued
into a call for the legalization of marijuana.
``Hemp has been used for at least 5,000 years for cloth and
food, as well as just about everything that is produced from
petroleum products,'' he wrote. ``Hemp is not marijuana and vice
versa. Hemp is the male plant and it grows like a weed, hence
the slang term.''

`Innocuous Plant'

He added, ``The evil female plant -- marijuana. It gets you
high, it makes you laugh, it does not produce a hangover. Unlike
alcohol, it does not result in bar fights or wife beating. So,
why is this innocuous plant illegal? Is it a gateway drug? No,
that would be alcohol, which is so heavily advertised in this
Lahde said the only reason marijuana remains illegal is
because ``Corporate America, which owns Congress, would rather
sell you Paxil, Zoloft, Xanax and other addictive drugs, than
allow you to grow a plant in your home without some of the
profits going into their coffers.''
Lahde wasn't available for comment. A woman at his firm,
who asked not to be identified, confirmed the authenticity of
the letter.

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--Editors: Larry Edelman