OK, another Amaranth rapid fire:

  • A few people have asked me who voted to approve the decision to invest so much money in Amaranth Advisors. It’s becoming clear that the county of San Diego was one of the largest investors in the now crippled hedge fund. As you can see here there wasn’t any debate or apparent dissent about the decision.

Trustee Marc Doss didn’t vote on it because he wasn’t there. Doss, you might remember, is the member of that board who flew, on the retirement system’s dime, to a conference in Zurich.

  • I’ve also heard about the name Amaranth a lot. Turns out I was a bit wrong when I looked up the word yesterday to find out what it means. The Wall Street Journal explains:

The Name
Not a reference to the grain. According to the company, an antique pool table caught the eye of founder and CEO Nick Maounis. The model was named Amaranth. When he found out that was Greek for unfading, “he knew he had the perfect name.”

  • That’s not it about the name, though. One reader, PH, pointed me to this . It’s nice and creepy.
  • Rich Toscano has an excellent explainer here of what hedge funds are, how they work and why that’s their name. Check it out for some background including the specifics on how much Amaranth charges its investors for the privilege of riding their definitely uncool roller coaster.

SCOTT LEWIS

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