“Ace” Greenberg Does Magic Tricks

Alan “Ace” Greenberg is one of a kind. The chairman of investment bank Bear Stearns is a profligate donor to charities, a fountain of one-liners, a champion bridge-player, an accomplished amateur magician, a darn good yo-yo user, and perhaps the best practitioner of risk abritrage who has ever lived.

Here is Warren Buffett on Ace Greenberg:

“Ace Greenberg does almost everything better than I do: bridge, magic tricks, dog training, arbitrage — all of the important things in life.”

Here are some snippets from Charlie Rose’s interview with Greenberg:

  • If you make a mistake then take a loss

  • Dollar averaging is dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of: You’ll be the biggest shareholder when the company goes into Chapter 11
  • Asking management about their company is asking a father what his daughter looks like: she’s always beautiful
  • The biggest mistakes I’ve made have all been about losing good people
  • We don’t hold it against people who have advanced degrees, like MBAs, but we do prefer people with PSDs: poor, smart, and a deep desire to become rich
  • I don’t pay much attention to Buffett’s view on the market: he is always pessimistic, and he is always buying things
  • Dick Grasso’s case was dumb over-payment, but not a scandal: the proof is that there has been no class-action suit


  1. We would like to e-mail some information from our non-profit that we think Mr. Greenberg may have interest in. Is there a contact that we can use for this?
    John Bradley