We have a saying here in New York, “Better an Einhorn than a Wilpon.”
OK, no one is actually saying that out loud yet but everyone was thinking it when news broke about a successful hedgie getting involved with the New York Knicks of Major League Baseball.
I don’t know that David Einhorn‘s $200 million stake in the Mets will amount to much in terms of influence but we can only hope so. The New York Post chronicles Einhorn’s rise from a $900,000 hedge fund to a billionaire titan to a new stakeholder in the New York Mets…
After graduating summa cum laude with a government degree from Cornell University in 1991, Einhorn went to work as a Wall Street analyst.
By 1996, he had launched Greenlight with just $900,000 — more than half of it from his parents, who run a Wisconsin mergers-and-acquisitions firm.
Spoiler alert, he makes big bets against bad companies and goes on to become one of the best to ever do it, raising $8 billion in assets in the process.
This is a franchise that could use the presence of successful people while its current owners pretend they weren’t demolished by Bernie Madoff and commercial real estate.
I’m a Yankees fan but my father is a charter member of the annually-dejected Mets faithful. I escaped that cult after the team’s 1986 peak as it turned out that my friends were fans of the other team. I was ten and impressionable, could’ve gone either way – went Bronx rather than Queens, thank goodness!
Anyway, the best case scenario is that the perma-losers running the team (into the ground) let some of Einhorn’s intelligence and winship rub off on them. If Fred Wilpon & Co decide to treat him as just a financial backer rather than an owner, it will be quite a shame for all involved.
Einhorn’s investment is doubtless one that carries with it the expectations of profit – but it is also an emotional one. He wants to win for both treasure and glory. This was his childhood team after all.
For my dad’s sake, I hope this development proves to be a turning point.