Insider Monkey landed its first big interview with a hedge fund rock star, David Einhorn. We are a small finance blog with limited means, so this was really huge for us. Our AT&T cell phones have spotty service, not very reliable for a phone interview. We decided to use our “land line” which is really a VOIP service from Time Warner that costs a negative $2 dollars.
We were very nervous, not knowing if our phone line would go blank. We also didn’t know whether Einhorn will stick to our prearranged schedule. He could also leave a couple minutes into the interview. So we had to ask the most pressing questions early in the interview. Here were the possible candidates for the first questions:
1. Tell us where the S&P 500 index will end 2011. Every financial journalist is asking this question to any fund manager they can find with a pulse. This must be the time of the year when fund managers can successfully predict where the stock market is heading.
2. Which stocks should we buy without paying you 1% management fee and 20% of the profits? Seriously, we don’t want to pay you but we want to get your advice. By the way, do you happen to be a doctor? I have this dull pain on the right side of my ribcage…
3. How can we turn $30,000 into $1,500,000 in 18 months? There are so many websites promising huge returns in short periods of time, why should we invest our money with someone who can only return 21% a year for the past 15 years?
4. What is the easy solution for poverty, hunger, and the Middle East conflicts?
No, we didn’t ask any of these questions. There was something more important, more pressing than these questions we needed to ask. There are thousands of Einhorn fans out there who may have wanted to show their appreciation for David Einhorn by sending their underwears (preferably clean). People do that. Musicians, rock stars get sent that sort of stuff all the time. So we had to ask:
IM: Over the past two weeks, have you received any men’s underwear in the mail?
David: (laughing out really really loud)….No, not yet. That’s a good thing.
A great sense of humor runs in his family, and it’s written about to a good extent in Fooling Some Of The People All Of The Time. Thanks, David, for taking the time out to talk to us.
We’ll have more posts re: our Einhorn interview coming up shortly.