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It’s About Time.

UD‘s been calling for the dismantling of the pilfering, conflicted board of trustees at Yeshiva University since the Madoff thing broke. Nobody listens to her because she’s just a girl. Just a blogger. Everybody listened to Stephen Trachtenberg, who’s a guy, plus a paid Yeshiva consultant, and not only did Trachtenberg think everyone should leave the board alone, he dismissed all criticism of the Yeshiva boys as “Monday morning quarterbacking.”

So, you know. Fine. UD‘s used to this sort of thing. On to the next subject. You don’t change intimate homosocial subcultures just like that…

But maybe there’s hope.

Normally, activist hedge fund managers try to shake up boards of companies they’ve invested in. But one fund manager is seeking to oust the directors of his alma mater over the Bernard L. Madoff scandal.

Andrew Sole of Esopus Creek Advisers called for the removal of Yeshiva University’s board, after the school’s endowment lost millions of dollars because of its investments in Mr. Madoff’s firm, The New York Post reported, citing correspondence between the hedge fund manager and the school.

Yeshiva’s endowment, which has fallen to $1.2 billion from as high as $1.8 billion, suffered because the school had invested with J. Ezra Merkin, a fund manager who has emerged as one of the main feeders into Mr. Madoff’s investment firm. Both Mr. Merkin and Mr. Madoff were Yeshiva directors, but have since resigned their positions.

Mr. Sole is demanding the replacement of the rest of the board, according to a letter obtained by The Post. But when the school’s president responded to Mr. Sole by saying Yeshiva’s counsel was looking into the matter, the hedge funder responded that the university was resorting to an “ostrich defense.”

Actually, the original article about this in the NY Post quotes a far stronger response on Sole’s part. Yeshiva’s letter to him is, Sole wrote, “scripted” and “beyond offensive.”

And the letter’s not from Yeshiva’s president. He’s far too busy to respond to so trivial a concern. He gave the job to an assistant.

Margaret Soltan, January 8, 2009 9:58AM
Posted in: trustees trashing the place

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