Easy Street

Easy Street: Hacking into Raj’s Social Network

Heidi Moore May 11, 2011

Easy Street is Marketplace’s daily roundup of the most interesting news stories and commentary about Wall Street, Washington and the curious world of finance. You can see more of what we think are the biggest stories of the day on our News in Brief page. Every day, you can download Marketplace’s daily show on iTunes and follow us for more headlines at twitter.com/mktplaceradio. If you want to listen to Marketplace on the radio, find out [which stations carry us and what time we’re on](().

Top Story: Raj Rajaratnam’s Conviction

The New York Times highlights Raj’s complicated network of friends as being key to his scheme.

Related: Easy Street took a similar angle earlier today, noted that government prosecutors have now successfully hacked into the social network of hedge funds. They are also pursuing many different investigations, so this conviction is just the first trial of many.

Related: The wiretaps were the real stars of this show.

Related: Being a white-collar criminal has gotten pretty tough. Some guys may just want to abandon the whole racket.

Related: Steve Cohen, the head of the giant hedge fund SAC Capital, takes compliance with regulations very seriously. Just so you know. Very seriously.

Related: Raj looked immensely unhappy, unsurprisingly. Bloomberg videos tell the story.

Related: Raj’s lawyer is even less happy. He flipped off CNBC.

Related: 10 super-rich guys who jumped bail.

Hedge Funds

A highly entertaining look from an outsider’s point of view on what it’s like to be a trader: click the button when one number gets bigger than another.

A hedge fund whose name you should get to know is the Chicago giant named Citadel. Hedge funds usually make their money by managing other people’s money. Citadel, however, is so gigantic that it is trying to build an investment bank as well – one that will advise companies on how to raise money and which businesses to acquire. This would put Citadel in direct competition with JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. The only problem is that Citadel’s bankers keep leaving.

Related: Investment bank UBS has also had trouble keeping bankers on board this year. But it wants a top-five ranking anyway. Chin up, Citadel.

The Washington Matrix

President Obama versus the Federal Reserve.

Nasdaq is trying to win over regulators to convince them that its proposed acquisition of the NYSE is a good idea. What won’t help: telling regulators that they’re way less slothful than he expected.

When FDIC chair Sheila Bair steps down in July, she’s going to write a book. Her frequent adversary Tim Geithner must be at least a little apprehensive about it.

Economic stimulus, Mafia style.

Too Big To Fail: rave reviews of the HBO movie coming on May 23.

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