Get to Know an EduScammer: David Tepper

Derrell “Dangerous Minds” Bradford is at it again. Not content with being on Christie’s privatization panel and taking Wall Street money for Excellence in Education (E3), Bradford has setup another shell group for the Corporate takeover of education (guess he’s learning something from his bosses).

From Courier-Post:

Better Education for Kids (B4K), a new 501(c)(4), went on the air today with a $1 million Philly and NYC market TV ad campaign to counter the NJEA’s air war against Gov. Chris Christie’s reform agenda.

The Empire Strikes Back! So who is funding this astroturf grass roots movement?

Hedge fund managers David Tepper, a Livingston Democrat, and Alan Fournier, a Republican, are the money behind B4K. The brains – and public education advocates aren’t going to like this – is Derrell Bradford, who left Newark-based E3 (Excellent Education for Everyone) last week to become B4K’s executive director.

We know who Derrell Bradford is and let’s leave Fournier for later – but who is David Tepper?

Picture the most ruthless sociopath Wall Street trader, a man who happily steps on throats and ruins economies to build a new beach house – yep, there ya go.


                        (David Tepper and his “Brass Balls”)

Ranked #62 on Forbes 400 Richest Americans with an estimated net worth of $5 Billion, David Tepper has become famous or perhaps infamous is the better word, in the world of investing.

He’s crossed swords with  New Jersey’s former Governor Jon Corzine at Goldman Sachs as well as reaped a massive windfall on the taxpayer bail out of the banks.

(the Full Story after the jump)

David Tepper was raised in Pittsburgh, PA graduating from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in economics. After working as a credit analyst for a bank, Tepper went back to school graduating from Carnegie Mellon with what is essentially an MBA.

MBA in hand Tepper returned to finance, eventually being recruited by Goldman Sachs as a credit analyst for their high-yield or junk bonds department. Tepper went on to become Head Trader, running Goldman’s desk.

It was at Goldman Sachs that Tepper encountered later to be Governor Jon Corzine, who was also a bond trader. Corzine would end up passing Tepper over for a Goldman Sachs Partnership – this effectively ended Tepper’s career at Goldman as the company has an “up or out” model.

After being booted by Corzine, Tepper started his own company Appaloosa Management, a hedge fund specializing in distressed assets (bankruptcies) along with other assets (equities, bonds, options, futures, notes).

Under Tepper the firm became known for its aggressive take no prisoners moves, the man has balls, literally. According to Wall Street tabloid Dealmaker:

Mr. Tepper keeps a brass replica of a pair of testicles in a prominent spot on his desk, a present from former employees. He rubs the gift for luck during the trading day.

And how! Tepper came to recent notoriety from a very cynical trade made during the financial crisis, he must have rubbed those balls raw. I’ll let him explain – start at 3:15 :


Anchor 1: What happened in 09′? What did you see in banks?

Tepper: It was easy. The government told you what they were going to do. The government put out a white paper in March, a treasury paper. You know you can’t put out a paper saying you’re going to buy securities and then not buy them, even the government has to be subject to the laws. They told me where they were going to buy Bank of America and other stocks.


Anchor 2: But you still had to deal with uncertainty of Congress right? There were some political variables that you didn’t know even with the white paper being out there right?

Tepper: Like what? They told me where they were gonna buy, I knew where the capital was going to come in, the banks weren’t going to be nationalized… I was buying equity in Bank of America $2, $3 and they [the government] were coming in at [$]6. They’re coming in at 6, I’ve got a big guy with a lot of money – I know I’m going to make money… sometimes it’s just that easy.

Thanks to Mr. Tepper’s play on frontrunning the taxpayer funded Bank Bailout his company had a 132% Return in 2009.

Yes, you got that right. Civic minded David Tepper made a killing off of taxpayers intervening to save Wall Street. Not creating a wonder drug or building a better smartphone, no. Tepper didn’t become wealthy creating, he got rich off the buying and selling of others. Much like a shady developer buying up cheap real estate when he knows the government is going to have to buy the land – buys low and sells out. Sometimes it’s just that easy.

And what did Tepper do with his riches?

Besides buying some respect by changing the name of Carnegie Mellon’s business school to The Tepper School of Business and taking a 5% stake in the Pittsburgh Steelers he made an investment in some real estate:

David Tepper told New York that it would be fair to interpret the fact that he bought the $50 million beach house belonging to the ex-wife of Jon Corzine, the man who passed him over for a Goldman partnership, with the intent of demolishing it and building a bigger, better house in its place as his way of rubbing his success in Corzine’s face.

“You could say there was a little justice in the world,” Tepper said with a smile on his face.

Classy. So bought some respect, a football team and rubbed your ex-bosses face in your success. But here is the kicker, now he’s using his gains, from taxpayer money in one case, to fund the privatization of schools.

This rich parasite is now channeling his loot into destroying public education to make way for the Wall Street takeover, using money he gained from the same taxpayers he is now disenfranchising!

Just another in a long line of unsavory characters behind the Corporate takeover of public education “education reform.”

You’ve got to give it to them… they’ve got balls.

Comments (4)

  1. Jersey Jazzman

    This is a great post. We need to see the faces of the people who are ruining our schools and other civic institutions for who they are. Well done!

  2. nkromann

    for class warfare.  These rich pigs are ruining everything in this country because they have no values.  The only value they have is $$$.  It’s time for the revolution.

  3. Nowlan

    Yes, he’s that cold.

    We should all feel a chill when guys like this monkey around with education.  

    Of course, all of NJ should know about those who are out to destroy the public schools, but I fear many won’t care.  (The real enemies are greedy teachers, right?)

    Notice the approving comments under the linked article–in troubled times the humiliated and defeated always turn to the man on horseback, the maverick, . . . the Führer.  

    A “Livingston Democrat” means Christie Democrat, I guess.  

    “Do not go where the [psycho/socio] path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”


    Thanks for the important and disturbing post.


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