Cayne's Up In Smoke Over High Finance

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by ASusilovic, Nov 3, 2007.

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    Click to enlargeNovember 2, 2007 -- Jimmy Cayne's reputation is taking a hit over reports he's inhaling pot at the age of 73.

    After the Wall Street Journal dropped the bombshell claim that the Bear Stearns chief gets high at the end of the day while competing at his beloved out-of-town bridge tournaments, the jokes immediately began wafting across Wall Street trading floors.

    "You hear 'em all," said one trader who knows Cayne. "High finance . . . don't take Viagra with it . . . what a dope."

    Cayne once invited a woman at a tournament into a men's room where they shared a joint, the report said, quoting people who had said they'd also turned on with him at other joint-passing sessions.

    Going along with the jokes, Cayne told CNBC: "It's unbelievable. The phones are ringing off the hook and everyone wants to play golf with me now."

    Even as Cayne issued firm denials of any pot use, the e-mails and snickering on the Street persisted.

    A note from one trading firm smirked, "What's next, stocks and bongs?"

    Although investors have seen nearly $8 billion evaporate from Bear's stock value over the firm's surprising downward spiral in recent months, there doesn't appear to be any outcry for his ouster - especially as Cayne has increased the value of the company's stock sixfold since he moved to the top more than a decade ago.

    Insiders at Bear Stearns said Cayne had a complete grasp of the firm's mortgage meltdown problems all summer, despite his frequent absences while playing golf or attending long bridge tournaments.

    As compensation lawyer Alan Sklover, who often represents CEOs and Wall Streeters, said: "Firing him? It won't happen. Everyone reports to him."

    :D :D :D