In his brand-new novel, Gary Shteyngart chronicles the fall of a rich hedge fund manager on the run via his past in addition to the law after his fund collapses.
To many, the character of Barry Cohen in Shteyngart’s brand-new novel, “Lake Success,” will bear some resemblances to hedge fund titans like Steve Cohen or Bill Ackman. in addition to Barry Cohen is usually the latest in a long line of fictional Masters of the Universe who are held up for public scorn – via Gordon Gekko inside movie “Wall Street” to Tom Wolfe’s Sherman McCoy in “Bonfire of the Vanities” to Bobby Axelrod in Showtime’s series “Billions.”
although in an interview with CNBC, Shteyngart said Barry Cohen isn’t based on 1 person – although a collage of various hedge fund managers he met in addition to spent time with over four years of researching the book.
“I take characters, I put a bunch of influences inside meat-grinder in addition to we chop the item all down,” he said. “Obviously there are some influences like Valeant. although also someone like (Martin) Shkreli pops up,” he said referring to the disgraced hedge fund manager in addition to pharmaceutical company Valeant, which recently changed its name to Bausch Health. Both Shkreli, who ran Turing Pharmaceuticals, in addition to Valeant gained notoriety in addition to congressional inquiries for dramatically hiking the prices of life-savings drugs.
Shteyngart is usually famous for his prescient, thoroughly reported novels. His last novel, “Super Sad True Love Story,” delved into Silicon Valley in addition to the effects of technology in addition to predicted a wave of class-based brand-new York protests similar to Occupy Wall Street.
Shteyngart said he decided to write about hedge fund executives because as a Manhattan resident, they dominated the social scene in addition to economy.
“I looked around my neighborhood in Manhattan in addition to I realized I didn’t know anyone,” he said. “All my friends had been priced out long time ago. Who’s left? I commenced talking to them in addition to I realized everyone worked at a hedge fund or private equity or if you were actually poor, an investment bank.”
inside book, Barry Cohen’s life begins to fall apart after a failed investment in a pharma company called “Valupro,” which bears a striking resemblance to Valeant. Valupro is usually described as putting shareholders before customers, shrinking R&D costs in addition to generating profits by raising drug prices in addition to doing corporate inversions.
In describing what hedge fund managers actually do to make their millions (in addition to sometimes billions), Barry explains:
“Hedge funds are a story about how we’re going to make money. They are about being smart, gaining access, associating with someone great … You are bringing your investors something far more elusive than a metric. You’re bringing them a story of how great you’ll be together.”
After the stock collapses in addition to Barry gets implicated in an insider trading scandal, he leaves his wife in addition to son in addition to their Manhattan penthouse, ditches his wallet in addition to phone in addition to takes a Greyhound bus across the country to re-discover “his tender young self.”
Shteyngart said that will the hedge-fund world is usually a lot like his former high school.
“I went to Stuyvesent High School, which is usually a math in addition to science nerd school in Manhattan, ” he said. “There we were obsessed about our GPA. I still remember mine, 88.694. in addition to these guys are obsessed about their basis points on their Bloomberg monitors. So for me the item almost felt like a complete continuation of that will.”
Shteyngart said that will when the item came to his own investing, many of the hedge funders gave him the same advice: “They said don’t invest with me. They said buy low-cost index funds.”
Asked about the subject of his next project, Shteyngart said he’s leaning more toward Moscow than Greenwich.
“I was born in Russia, so Russia’s liaison with our current government is usually something I want to look into.”