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Economic Prosperity Comes from a 'Level Playing Field': CEO

Wednesday, 11 May 2011 | 2:04 PM ET

Economic prosperity comes from open markets and a "level playing field," James Dinan, chairman and CEO of York Capital Management, told CNBC Wednesday.

Raj Rajaratnam, confronted by media as he leaves the Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Court House at 500 Pearl Street after being found guilty of 14 charges against him on May 11, 2011 in New York City. After eleven days of deliberation a jury convicted Rajaratnam with all 14 counts of securities fraud and conspiracy.
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Raj Rajaratnam, confronted by media as he leaves the Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Court House at 500 Pearl Street after being found guilty of 14 charges against him on May 11, 2011 in New York City. After eleven days of deliberation a jury convicted Rajaratnam with all 14 counts of securities fraud and conspiracy.

"When the original indictment [of Raj Rajaratman in November of 2009 for securities fraud and conspiracy] was issued, it was not good news, obviously, for the [hedge fund] industry or the markets in general," Dinan said.

Raj Rajaratnam, Galleon Group hedge fund founder, was found guilty on all 14 conspiracy and securities fraud charges of insider trading on Wednesday.

"Obviously, the jury ruled on the evidence they heard and hopefully we'll continue to have the most vibrant and open capital markets in the world," he added.

"You can make enough money, you can add enough value, by basically playing on that level playing field. I expect we have to make absolutely no changes whatsoever. [York Capital's] culture is clearly one of playing within the rules."

In addition, Dinan is upbeat about the market. "At the ground level, companies are really engaged, deals are happening. You saw Hertz just make an unsolicited bid for Dollar Thrifty ... last week Conagra went public in a hostile bid for Ralcorp."

York Capital Management has a 17 percent stake in Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group.

Hedge Fund Titan & the SALT Conference
Discussing the impact of the Rajaratnam guilty verdict on the hedge fund community and future investment strategies, with hedge fund investor, Jamie Dinan, York Capital chairman/CEO.

In addition, he said, "companies want to get bigger. They have the ability to borrow money very cheaply right now. The cost of debt is a lot cheaper than the cost of equity right now, and that's going to continue to add a lot of support in activity in the equity markets."

He added, "The trend is basically up at this point. Yes, there are some incidental-type issues out there but we don't think it will derail this global recovery that we're watching right now."

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