Summary of the video Before The Mets, Steve Cohen Was The Hedge-Fund King (full documentary) | FRONTLINE

Executive Summary:


Before The Mets, Steve Cohen Was The Hedge-Fund King (full documentary) | FRONTLINE


  • Stephen A. Cohen - Founder of SAC Capital
  • Federal Investigators
  • Wall Street Journal Reporters
  • Former Employees and Colleagues
  • Legal Representatives
  • Industry Experts
  • Victims of Insider Trading

Important Points and Facts:

  • Stephen A. Cohen, the founder of SAC Capital, was one of the most successful hedge fund managers, amassing a significant fortune through trading.
  • SAC Capital showed remarkably consistent returns, often outperforming the market, which led to suspicions and a multi-year federal investigation into insider trading within Wall Street hedge funds.
  • The investigation began with the Galleon Group and its CEO, Raj Rajaratnam, who was convicted of insider trading. This case opened the door to a broader inquiry into hedge fund practices.
  • The use of “expert networks” by hedge funds, including SAC Capital, became a focal point. These networks connected traders with insiders at public companies, often leading to the exchange of insider information.
  • Several SAC Capital employees were implicated in insider trading, including portfolio managers Donald Longueuil, Noah Freeman, and Michael Steinberg.
  • The government’s case against SAC Capital culminated in the firm pleading guilty to insider trading charges and agreeing to pay a record $1.8 billion fine. However, Stephen Cohen himself has not been charged with insider trading.

Actionable Items:

  • The government continues to investigate insider trading, indicating a need for ongoing vigilance and stricter compliance within hedge funds.
  • There is a call for legislative changes to address criminal negligence in the financial industry.
  • Investors and the public are encouraged to advocate for transparency and fairness in the financial markets.

Sentiment of the Video:

The sentiment of the documentary is critical and investigative, highlighting the pervasive issue of insider trading within hedge funds, the aggressive pursuit of information (“edge”), and the legal and ethical implications of such practices. It also underscores the challenges faced by regulators and law enforcement in proving direct involvement by hedge fund managers like Stephen Cohen, despite systemic issues within their firms. The tone is one of caution and scrutiny towards the hedge fund industry’s practices.

Before The Mets, Steve Cohen Was The Hedge-Fund King (full documentary) | FRONTLINE