Nothing Exists

Yamaoka Tesshu, as a young student of Zen, visited one master after another. He called upon Dokuon of Shokoku.

Desiring to show his attainment, he said: “The mind, Buddha, and sentient beings, after all, do not exist. The true nature of phenomena is Emptiness. There is no realisation, no delusion, no sage, no mediocrity. There is no giving and nothing to be received”.

Dokuon, who was smoking quietly, said nothing. Suddenly he whacked Yamaoka with his bamboo pipe. This made the youth quite angry.

“If nothing exists”, inquired Dokuon, “where did this anger come from?”

George Soros

On Terror: “How can we escape from the trap that the terrorists have set us?” he asked. “Only by recognizing that the war on terrorism cannot be won by waging war. We must, of course, protect our security; but we must also correct the grievances on which terrorism feeds…. Crime requires police work, not military action.”

On the Bush Administration: “An open society is a society which allows its members the greatest possible degree of freedom in pursuing their interests compatible with the interests of others,” Soros said. “The Bush administration merely has a narrower definition of self-interest. It does not include the interests of others.”

On the Bush Administration: “The supremacist ideology of the Bush Administration stands in opposition to the principles of an open society, which recognize that people have different views and that nobody is in possession of the ultimate truth. The supremacist ideology postulates that just because we are stronger than others, we know better and have right on our side. The very first sentence of the September 2002 National Security Strategy (the President’s annual laying out to Congress of the country’s security objectives) reads, ‘The great struggles of the twentieth century between liberty and totalitarianism ended with a decisive victory for the forces of freedom and a single sustainable model for national success: freedom, democracy, and free enterprise.'”

On Philanthropy: “I’m not doing my philanthropic work, out of any kind of guilt, or any need to create good public relations. I’m doing it because I can afford to do it, and I believe in it.”

On Stock Market Bubbles: “Stock market bubbles don’t grow out of thin air. They have a solid basis in reality, but reality as distorted by a misconception.”

Looking for a job

—–Original Message—–
From: Alan Lewis
Sent: Tuesday, March 22, 2005 11:34 AM
To: Daniel Loeb
Subject: CV

Daniel,

Thanks for calling earlier today. Enclosed is my cv for your review. I look forward to following up with you when you have more time.

Best regards,

Alan

Alan D. Lewis
Managing Director
Sthenos Capital Ltd.

—–Original Message—–
From: Daniel Loeb
Sent: 27 March 2005 23:08
To: Alan Lewis
Subject: RE: CV

what are your 3 best current european ideas?

Daniel Loeb
Managing Member
Third Point LLC

—–Original Message—–
From: Alan Lewis
Sent: Monday, March 28, 2005 1:03 AM
To: Daniel Loeb
Subject: RE: CV

Daniel,

I am sorry but it does not interest me to move forward in this way. If you wish to have a proper discussion about what you are looking to accomplish in Europe, and see how I might fit in, fine.

Lesson one of dealing in Europe, business is not conducted in the same informal manner as in the U.S.

Best regards,

Alan

—–Original Message—–
From: Daniel Loeb
Sent: 28 March 2005 09:50
To: Alan Lewis
Subject: RE: CV

One idea would suffice.

We are an aggressive performance oriented fund looking for blood thirsty competitive individuals who show initiative and drive to make outstanding investments. This is why I have built third point into a $3.0 billion fund with average net returns of 30% net over 10 years.

We find most brits are bit set in their ways and prefer to knock back a pint at the pub and go shooting on weekend rather than work hard. Lifestyle choices and important and knowing one’s limitations with respect to dealing in a competitive environment is too. That is Lesson 1 at my shop.

It is good that we learned about this incompatibility early in the process and I wish you all the best in your career in traditional fund management.

Daniel

—–Original Message—–
From: Alan Lewis
Sent: Monday, March 28, 2005 4:08 AM
To: Daniel Loeb
Subject: RE: CV

Daniel,

I guess your reputation is proven correct. I have not been in traditional fund management for more than eleven years. I did not achieve the success I have by knocking back a pint, as you say. I am aggressive, and I do love this business. I am Half American and half French, and having spent more than half my life on this side of the pond I think I know a little something about how one conducts business in the UK and Europe.

There are many opportunities in the UK and Europe, shareholder regard is only beginning to be accepted and understood. However, if you come here and handle it in the same brash way you have in the U.S. I guarantee you will fail. Things are done differently here, yes place in
society still matters, where one went to school etc. It will take tact, and patience (traits you obviously do not have) to succeed in this arena.

Good luck!

Alan

—–Original Message—–
From: Daniel Loeb
Sent: 28 March 2005 10:23
To: Alan Lewis
Subject: RE: CV

Well, you will have plenty of time to discuss your “place in society” with the other fellows at the club.

I love the idea of a French/english unemployed guy whose fund just blew up telling me that I am going to fail.

At Third Point, like the financial markets in general,”one’s place in society” does not matter at all. We are a bunch of scrappy guys from diverse backgrounds (Jewish Muslim, Hindu etc) who enjoy outwitting pompous asses like yourself in financial markets globally.

Your “inexplicable insouciance” and disrespect is fascinating; It must be a French/English aristocratic thing. I will be following your “career” with great interest.

I have copied Patrick so that he can introduce you to people who might be a better fit-there must be an insurance company or mutual fund out there for you.

Dan Loeb

————————————————

From: Alan Lewis
To: Daniel Loeb
March 28 2005

Hubris.

————————————————

From: Daniel Loeb
To: Alan Lewis
March 28 2005

Laziness.

—————————–

New Yorker article: http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2005/04/18/050418ta_talk_mcgrath

Maximising Industry Profit by Collusion

One strategy that firms in an oligopoly might consider is to form a cartel, in which they agree to operate as if they were one firm (a monopoly). In the typical cartel arrangement, all the firms in an industry agree that, as a group, they will produce the same output and charge the same price for the industry’s product as would a monopolist who controlled the industry. This will maximise the industry’s economic profit, which can then be divvied up on some mutualy agreeable basis.

This seems like a perfectly acceptable way for firms in an oligopoly to operate. There are only two problems with it:

1. Collusion to restrain trade and the forming of cartels, typically, is illegal.

2. If firms cheat on the agreement, the strategy will not work.