Dan Loeb Gets by With a Little Help From His Friends

Hedge fund manager Dan Loeb hasn't had the easiest time as of late. Heavy losses forced him to dismiss a number of employees at the end of 2008 and the $5 billion he managed a year ago had dwindled to $1.8 billion last month. But Loeb is nothing if not crafty and he's since come up with a handful of way to cut costs and raise cash. He started renting out his jet on an hourly basis a few months ago, and he put an extra $5.5 million in his pocket when he sold off his carriage house in the West Village back in March. And now he's done it again.

At last night's contemporary art auction at Sotheby's, Loeb unloaded one of the pieces of art he purchased during the heady days of 2004, Jeff Koons's "Baroque Egg With Bow (Turquoise/Magenta)." A piece from Koons's "Celebration" series "in which Mr. Koons fashioned oversized children's toys in shiny colors," Loeb bought the egg from Larry Gagosian's gallery five years ago for $3 million.

Last night, the egg proved to be "the star" of the evening and Loeb successfully sold it for $5.4 million, a little bit less than the $6 million low estimate. The buyer? Larry Gagosian! And here we were thinking that hedge funders didn't qualify for bailouts.

In 'a Recalibrated Market,' Auction Buyers Take Over [NYT]