Knowing When to Quit

This just made me laugh.

Lahde Quits Hedge Funds, Thanks `Idiots’ for Success (Update1)

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, who managed about $80 million, told clients he’ll be content to invest 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 broken.”

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 country.

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 graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in finance and holds an MBA from the University of California, Los Angeles. He worked at Los Angeles-based hedge fund Dalton Investments LLC before founding his own firm two years ago with about $10 million.

Lahde wasn’t available for comment. A woman at his firm, who asked not to be identified, confirmed the authenticity of the letter.

To contact the reporter on this story: Katherine Burton in New York at

Lahde Quits Hedge Funds, Thanks `Idiots’ for Success
Katherine Burton, Bloomberg, October 17, 2008


One Response to Knowing When to Quit

  1. T.J. Phoenix says:

    I just wanted to say I found your post because I was looking for more of his resignation letter. Thank you. I am always scanning the web for signs of humanity. This one, of course is a mixed bag of strangeness: cringeworthy behavior but also a bit of smiling on my part that the man has any humanity at all.

    I am, of course talking about the marijuana link.

    The proof that the links of true humanity and compassion are broken lies in the illegality of weed. (Probably other places as well, I am not going to distill humanities f-ups down to just this: but the illegality of a known healing plant, while alcohol is legal… when so many millions of hard working people illegally consume something that frequently is the only calming, relaxing and yes, comforting habit in their lives.

    Legalize marijuana, and we might save the planet.
    Why? Because everyone has to work really hard, all the time, and as the financial crash in the U.S. has shown that the old carrot to jeep us going never existed.
    We need a new carrot, because we are unispired, tired, pissed off, passive aggressive, burnt out, mocked, sold under the bus/bridge/traffic and wondering what comes next.

    Horror in all the video stores. (Who really takes their young innocents in there? Have you looked at the covers?
    Fighting and killing is not productive and is a wasteful use of the nearly limitless energy of human beings. Bagdad: an ancient and beautiful city, bombed into near oblivion. Is the alcohol, steroids and designer drugs really doing it for us as a collective race/creation? Does horror do it better than bunny stories and gathering berries in springtime?

    we could unite and combine… instead of tearing a part and stealing from and lying to one another on a nearly daily basis. So sure, peace, love, happiness and the memory of a certain John Lennon:

    “The War is over, if you want it to Be.”

    … in the meantime, try and remember, the next time you smell some “hippee weed”, don’t pass judgment, just ask them to share,

    Or as Gogol Bordello would say: “It’s not a crime.”

    Love that tune, link is here:

    “In the old times, it was not a crime.”


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