Shark Bite Capital of USA or Possibly the World
On the local beach that I run and surf at in Florida, a surfer was bit by a shark on the arm last week. He was fairly close to shore and while it could have been much worse, this event was definitely unsettling. I’ve been told its better to go out to surf in groups, as sharks are less likely to attack a group. Florida is apparently also the “Shark Bite Capital of the World” – a fact I would have liked to have known prior to taking up surfing there. But, let’s face it, I would have gone surfing anyways.
That Hedge Fund Shark
This past week also happened to be “Shark Week” on the Discovery Channel. So, I had sharks on my mind.
Last summer I had been to the Gagosian Gallery in NYC to see “Myth Explored, Explained, Exploded” by Damien Hirst (photo). The work of art contains a smaller shark in formaldehyde solution. This reminded me, of course, of the large Damien Hirst shark of hedge fund lore.
“The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living” by Damien Hirst was originally a 14 – foot tiger shark preserved in formaldehyde. Steven Cohen, head of SAC Capital — now Point72 Capital, purchased it in 2004.
In June 2006, The Telegraph reported that Cohen’s shark, due to the way it had been preserved, was rotting. The NY Times in a 2006 story, “Swimming With Famous Dead Sharks” by Carol Vogel, covers the actual replacing of the shark by Hirst in graphic detail – an entertaining read. According to the NY Times article, the original 14-foot shark was replaced with a 13-foot shark and Steven Cohen paid for the replacement. It was on display at the Metropolitan Museum of art for three years starting in October 2007 and at the Tate Modern in London in 2012.
SAC Capital was a client of mine and when I went to its Stamford, CT headquarters for meetings, there was always amazing art on display, both outside and inside. But, unfortunately, the famous shark of hedge fund lore eluded me – I did not see it.
While I do not believe that Cohen’s shark is on public display currently, you can see another large shark art piece by Damien Hirst. The Unknown Bar at The Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas displays Hirst’s “The Unknown (Explored, Explained, Exploded)” behind the bar. It is a 13-foot tiger shark in formaldehyde.
Don’t Give Up
It is summer and I hope you never need this, but just in case:
Outside Magazine: How to Survive 75 Hours Alone in the Ocean. The article is about Robert Hewitt, a navy diving instructor with 20 years in the service and covers a dive gone wrong and “Hewitt’s progressive deterioration over the next four days and three nights, how he survived, and what took place after his eventual rescue.”
“Still, sh*t sometimes happens. And if it does, the other big lesson to keep in mind is that in defiance of the physiological models, Rob Hewitt survived for an astounding 75 hours alone in the cold water. If you find yourself out there, don’t give up.” – Alex Hutchinson
Alex Hutchinson, also wrote the book: Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance.
Do you have an Uncharted Course story – reach out if:
You have seen Steve Cohen’s shark, have been to the Unknown Bar in Vegas and seen its shark, have a shark week story, have an ocean adventure story. Or, just let me know what you think of this note. You can reach me at: email@example.com