Joe Dear is giving a pep talk to more than two dozen colleagues at the California Public Employees’ Retirement System. As Dear paces before his people on this July afternoon in Sacramento, he implores them to shake off the funk of the pension fund’s recent troubles.
Clifford Asness , who runs AQR Capital Management LLC, one of the world’s biggest hedge funds, says fellow fund managers gouge their clients by charging exorbitant fees for just tracking the markets. He also takes a dim view of the administration of President Barack Obama , calling his economic team “Cossacks on a shtetl,” a reference to the Russian cavalrymen who sacked Jewish villages in Eastern Europe in the 19th century.
Past the two Bentleys in the driveway and beyond the pool and mini water park, the home theater and a sports bar hung with enough memorabilia to equip a basketball team, Tom DeMark has his office -- a dark, wood- paneled lair with six computer screens.
A cowboy-hat-wearing robot with “Sell” emblazoned across its chest adorns a wall-length mural in the lounge of RGM Advisors LLC in Austin, Texas. Another robot, with “Buy” on it, wobbles toward a green Wall Street sign as two machines tote spark-emitting high-speed cables.