June 9, 2006

"Peace, Love and Higher Returns."

Hedgestock:
This week, on spacious lawns surrounding a turreted, gargoyle-encrusted mansion north of London, thousands of hedge fund managers and the bankers and lawyers who love them gathered for their own alternative festival, called Hedgestock....

The Who, who played at Woodstock, headlined Hedgestock, and the band's guitarist, Pete Townshend, now 61 years old, did, in fact, do his trademark windmill guitar moves....

Unlike the perfectly polished, traditionally dressed and generally suave investment bankers who top the food chain in big banks, hedge fund managers have carved out a niche as the finance industry's iconoclasts. They do yoga; they buy modern art; they're often socially awkward.
I wonder if, in every area of economic activity, there is a subdivision that attracts the "socially awkward," the iconoclasts, and whatever the equivalent of a hippie is. For example, in law, it's got to be the law professors (and some subjects more than others).

11 comments:

P. Froward said...

"Hippies"?! They're doing something interesting, useful, and difficult. There's math involved. There are objective criteria for success.

That's not hippie. That's geek.

Dave said...

The few hedgies I've met have not been socially awakward.

Rich, maybe, but not socially awkward. Of course the small sample of hedgies I've met implies nothing about the population of hedgies at large.

PatCA said...

I live my financial advisors to be sober and judicious, reeking of years of experience and acumen.

A year or two from now, there will be articles about these hedge funds going belly up, with the press saying "who knew?"

Bruce Hayden said...

I would agree that it is more akin to geek than hippie. Of course, many lawyers are geeks and nerds at heart - the really popular kids in college didn't have the grades for law school. And, much of it is really a nerdy job. It is just that a couple of hundred thousand dollars a year covers that up for a lot of them.

That said, Ann does have a point - law profs are probably more likely to be happy at such a function than the average lawyer.

And "geek" doesn't work here, because I think the ultimate geeks in law are patent attorneys, and, on average, they aren't nearly as likely to enjoy this as are law profs.

Ron said...

What department would contain the most socially awkward academics?

Ann Althouse said...

Ron: Ironically, it's sociologists.

Hey said...

sociology? what about math, engineering, and physics?

I like thaht the answer is soc, since I'm so desperately not a fan of the discipline, but really? That's great!

As for the hedgies... $10M + a year takes care of a lot of social akwardness. It's also a business for the young, needing keen minds, long hours, etc. Not your typical financial plannner that patca seems to think is a good idea. What a pleb.

Ann Althouse said...

"Financial planner" -- I don't care what they look like or act like. I simply would not trust anyone with this title. The only thing you know for sure is that they will take some of your money. They might also make or lose you money. But you will have someone in your life who is definitely taking some of your money and who you have to worry about and who you will be angry with if it doesn't come out well. Better to keep the part of your money they'd take and do your best to make some money with your money. Or just spend it all so you won't have this problem.

Maxine Weiss said...

Susie Orman?

Peace, Maxine

PatCA said...

Oh, I wouldn't pay a financial advisor either. I meant sources I use for financial information.

Richard Fagin said...

Well law professorhsip, I agree, attracts ex-hippies, although to my good fortune, my con law prof. was way too old to have beeen a hippie and was known to appear at gun shows.

We mere socially inept people are attracted to patent law, with PhD physicists for clients. One of them, a relatively recent immigtant from China, has very poor spoken English skills. When he was unable, after several attempts, to get a publication file to write to a CD for me, I clearly heard him mutter, "Sh**!" under his breath.

Rich covers up for a lot of socially awkward as long as you bathe regularly.