Hedge fund managers failed to capture the populist zeitgeist of the tea party in Tuesday's midterm election. In the tri-state area — what one would guess to be a sympathetic electoral market for hedge fund types — Harry Wilson, formerly of Silver Point Partners, and Scott Sipprelle, formerly of Copper Arch Capital, both failed to capture the seats they sought. Wilson was running for New York State Comptroller, while Sipprelle made a run at a House seat in New Jersey.
However, after yesterday's election, the view from inside the rarefied world of hedge funds will not remain unrepresented in the US Congress. Sort of.
In what may be a great countercyclical indicator of hedge funder popularity at the polls, Michael Grimm, a former FBI agent, won a congressional seat held by an incumbent Democrat on Staten Island.
What makes the election of an FBI agent a symbol of anti-hedge fund manager populism at the polls, you may ask? Well, Grimm may be best known at the FBI for going undercover as a corrupt hedge fund manager to bust fraudsters. I quote from his campaign website:
"It was during his tenure with the Fraud Squad that Grimm started his undercover career, resulting in him being the first FBI Agent to successfully infiltrate Wall Street Operation Wooden Nickel was arguably one of the most successful White Collar undercover investigations in the history of the FBI. As part of the investigation, Grimm maintained a deep undercover role as a hedge fund manager for almost two years while obtaining evidence against more than 50 individuals committing frauds spanning the spectrum from stock manipulation and currency scams to money laundering."
Grimm is also a Marine and a combat veteran.
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