Steve Cohen is one significant step closer to becoming the owner of the Mets.
The Post confirmed MLB’s Ownership Committee approved Cohen to be the team’s next owner, with sources saying Cohen received seven of the eight votes on the board. Sportico first reported Cohen’s approval.
Next up will be the eight-owner Executive Committee, followed by the full ownership group, when Cohen will need 23 of 30 votes for his $2.475 billion purchase of the Mets to go through. Since the Mets will vote for Cohen, he’ll really need just 22 of 29.
Cohen met virtually with the Ownership Committee earlier this month and the full ownership group vote could occur as soon as the week following the conclusion of the World Series, with Game 1 Tuesday night in Arlington, Texas.
As The Post’s Ken Davidoff reported Saturday, there is “cautious optimism” that Cohen will secure the necessary votes, although not necessarily unanimity.
White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf had previously opposed Cohen’s pursuit of the Dodgers and Reinsdorf is friendly with Alex Rodriguez — who attempted to buy the Mets in a group that included fiancée Jennifer Lopez, and business titans Vincent Viola and Mike Repole. That group could revive its bid if the opportunity arises. Another group led by Josh Harris, who owns the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils, also bid for the Mets.
The chance of the deal falling through is less likely after Tuesday’s vote, as Cohen has cleared a key hurdle in buying the Mets from the Wilpons and Saul Katz. Cohen has already announced if his purchase goes through, he will hire former general manager Sandy Alderson as team president.
That would be the first move of many, with Alderson building a front office and the baseball world waiting to see how Cohen might use his billions — the hedge fund maven is worth an estimated $14 billion — to run the team he grew up rooting for.
He already owns a percentage of the team and should this deal go through, Cohen would then own 95 percent of the Mets, with the Wilpons and Katz keeping five percent.
Free-agent possibilities include catcher J.T. Realmuto and outfielder George Springer, while the organization would also look to invest heavily in analytics and technology, as The Post’s Mike Puma reported last week.
Are THESE the animals of the future? Naturalist Steve Backshall predicts what wildlife might look like if we don’t tackle climate change – including pink walruses with ‘dagger sharp’ tusks
Naturalist Steve Backshall predicted what animals of the future might look like
His predictions are based on a world where climate change has not been tackled
Polar bears and puffins will turn grey and walruses turn pink to survive
Naturalist Steve Backshall has predicted what the animals of the future might look like if nothing is done to tackle climate change.
The TV adventurer, 47, in collaboration with UK energy provider Bulb, explained how wildlife might be forced to adapt and evolve to cope with melting ice caps, warmer oceans and drier deserts.
Among them is a pink walrus that has become smaller with sharper tusks as it is forced to leave the bountiful hunting ground of the Arctic ice.
Elsewhere, puffins will lose their distinctive colouring in order to blend in against their new barren environment.
Here, a look at Backshall’s shocking predictions…
POLAR BEARS GO GREY – AND MATE WITH GRIZZLIES
Naturalist Steve Backshall has predicted what the animals of the future might look like if nothing is done to tackle climate change. Pictured, a polar bear scavenges for food
Backshall predicts that by 2040 the Arctic will be ice-free for most of the year, meaning the bears will either starve to death or drown after swimming for days on end.
Those that make it onto land will scavenge from rubbish dumps and mate with Grizzly bears to create a hybrid Pizzly bear.
Explaining the prediction, Backshall said: ‘They’re a dirty grey/brown colour and have a bigger snout to accommodate the huge nasal cavities – these are used to sniff out garbage and whale carcasses in the now polluted air of the Arctic tundra.
‘A pure white morph pizzly is rare nowadays, and due to ‘hybrid vigour’, the new pizzly is bigger and stronger than its cousins. Males are covered in scars due to battles with other males at choice food sources.’
PUFFINS WITH DARK BEAKS AND MOTTLED FEATHERS
Puffins will also be affected. Backshall believes they will be forced to move to the Arctic to follow their natural prey as water temperatures rise
Meanwhile, puffins are also predicted to become a lot duller in order to survive.
With rising water temperatures, their natural prey, the san eel, is driven further north into the Arctic, where the puffins will follow.
However, unable to burrow underground in the tundra they are forced to nest on the ground where they would be easy prey for predators.
Backshall said: ‘A hundred years ago they used to develop a brightly coloured shield over the beak during mating season.
‘Now this too great an energy demand, and makes them obvious to predators like gulls and foxes, so they now have a plain dark beak and a mottled feather colouration.’
PINK WALRUSES THAT ARE SMALLER IN SIZE
Walruses also don’t escape Backshall’s predictions. With rising temperatures, they will shed weight causing their perfused blood vessels to come closer to the surface, turning them pink
One of the most startling changes that Backshall predicts is the appearance of the walrus.
Rising water temperatures in the Arctic and no territory left to migrate to because of ice cap melting, their hide thins causing their perfused blood vessels to come closer to the surface.
This in turn causes their skin to turn a bright pink colour and because food will be harder to come by, they reduce in size.
‘The tusks originally had a function in drawing the animals out onto the ice (their scientific name means the tooth walking sea horse) but as there is no ice now,’ Backshall said.
‘The tusks are mostly used for defence against hungry pizzly bears, so are dagger sharp.’
BAT-EARED FOXES WITH STRONGER JAWS AND LONGER LEGS
Bat-Eared Foxes will become smaller, with larger ears and legs in order to allow heat to escape more quickly. They will also evolve to eat larger prey than just termites
Elsewhere in the world, the bat-eared fox has undergone a dramatic change in size to survive in the new world.
Backshall predicts that with grassland turning into deserts because of the higher temperatures, foxes will begin to hunt more than termites and will have a stronger jaw to crunch through bones.
Their ears will become larger and their bodies smaller, with longer legs, all to increase the rate of heat loss.
Backshall said: ‘The feet are wider and broader to keep it ‘afloat’ on desert sands, and it’s developed long camel-like eyelashes to keep sand out of the eyes. The nose is now gigantic, as it condenses water vapour inside of it, and again uses it to lose heat.’
LION’S MANE JELLYFISH ARE BIGGER AND MORE VENOMOUS
Jellyfish, such as the Lion’s Mane jellyfish, will benefit from climate change. Warmer waters and increased rainfall will attract more prey for them to eat
However, the changes aren’t bad for all animals, with Lion’s Mane jellyfish benefitting from the warmer waters.
They will increase in size and become more venomous to take on larger prey such as bottlenose dolphins which will appear more commonly.
While the illustrations are only predictions, Backshall is concerned that transformations like his could be seen within 100 years.
He said: ‘It’s down to all of us to do our bit to protect nature and the environment so that this doesn’t happen.’
Bulb’s Sustainability Lead Shaunagh Duncan said that the key to tackling climate change is cutting carbon emissions and that we all have to do our part.
‘At Bulb,’ she said ‘we’re committed to helping people reduce their carbon emissions and we’re confident that by making more sustainable choices, such as switching to 100% renewable electricity and carbon neutral gas, we’re able to save our wildlife, and our planet.”
‘You not going to see the end of Trump’: Steve Bannon says President Trump will run again in 2024 if he loses the upcoming election
Even if he fails to win a second White House term, Steve Bannon has insisted, ‘You’re not going to see the end of Donald Trump’
Bannon, who was recently arrested for federal money-laundering, added that he believed the November 3 election was ‘closer than is being reported’
Though the Trump 2016 campaign CEO says ‘Trump will win on election day’
Bannon also predicted the election result will go to the Supreme Court and may even be conferred to the House of Representative in January
Former White House Strategist Steve Bannon says Donald Trump will run for re-election in 2024 if he loses the presidential race to Joe Biden next month.
Even if he fails to win a second White House term, Bannon told The Australian, ‘You’re not going to see the end of Donald Trump.’
Bannon, who was recently arrested for federal money-laundering and fraud, added that he believed the November 3 election was ‘closer than is being reported’, and said ‘Trump will win on election day’.
‘I’ll make this prediction right now: if for any reason the election is stolen from or in some sort of way Joe Biden is declared the winner, Trump will announce he’s going to run for re-election in 2024,’ he told the outlet.
Bannon also predicted the election result will go to the Supreme Court and may even be conferred to the House of Representative in January, saying the outcome will be contentious and ‘won’t be settled anytime soon’.
Even if he fails to win a second White House term, Bannon told The Australian , ‘You’re not going to see the end of Donald Trump’
Bannon, who was recently arrested for federal money-laundering and fraud, added that he believed the November 3 election was ‘closer than is being reported’, but ‘Trump will win on election day’
Bannon’s latest comments cast a slightly more pessimistic tone to remarks made just days ago during a speech in front of the Young Republican Federation, in which he resolutely stated that not only will Trump win on November 3, but he’ll secure victory very early.
‘At 10 o’clock or 11 o’clock… on November 3, Donald J. Trump is going to walk into the Oval Office, and he may hit a tweet before he goes in there… and he’s going to sit there, having won Ohio, and being up in Pennsylvania and Florida, and he’s going to say, “Hey, game’s over”, Bannon, Trump’s 2016 campaign CEO, told the crowd.
‘The elites are traumatized. They do not want to go stand in line and vote. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a game-changer,’ Bannon continued. ‘It [the decisive factor] is what electorate shows up to vote on a vote that can be certified. That’s a vote that counts. And right now, what they [Trump critics] don’t want to talk about, is Donald J. Trump leads on people who are actually going to show up and vote on November 3, by 21 percent.’
Speaking to the Australian, Bannon also claimed that the lawyers acting for Joe Biden’s son Hunter have made numerous attempts to retrieve his computer hard-drive that’s now at the center of an FBI probe.
Such extensive efforts reportedly include sending legal letters to the owner of a Delaware repair shop where the Democratic presidential candidate’s son had reportedly dropped off his laptop to be serviced in 2019.
Last week, the New York Post published emails and photographs that the outlet claimed were contained on a laptop owned by Hunter Biden, which he apparently never collected from the repair store.
The hard drive was retrieved by a third-party from the shop owner in January and then sent to Giuliani. Giuliani seemingly then sat on the information for months, before releasing it to the Post just weeks before the election.
Bannon’s latest comments cast a slightly more pessimistic tone to remarks made just days ago during a speech in front of the Young Republican Federation, in which he resolutely stated that not only will Trump win on November 3, but he’ll secure victory very early
The messages suggested that Hunter Biden had arranged for a top executive at a Ukrainian energy firm, of which Hunter was on the board of directors, to meet his father in person, when he was vice-president and in charge of US policy with Ukraine.
In the emails published by the Post, Biden is shown pursuing a lucrative deal involving China’s largest private energy company, saying in one message that the proposed deal would be ‘interesting for me and my family’, before discussing remuneration packages.
Bannon, who alerted the Post to the laptop’s existence, claimed that Biden’s lawyers contacted Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s attorney, hours before the emails were published in a last-ditch effort to retrieve Hunter’s alleged hard-drive.
‘His lawyer, [George] Mesires from Chicago, one of the top lawyers in the country, emailed us. He called the repair shop, he sent us an email, he sent the repair shop an email saying Hunter dropped these off, he forgot to pick them up. That’s an email,’ Bannon told the Australian.
‘In addition, we haven’t released this, Hunter Biden’s lawyer has come to us both with phone calls and with emails saying I’ve got to get the hard-drive back. This is not some Russian intelligence operation, they’ve admitted it’s their hard-drive.
‘It was the night before we came out with the first story, I think, because the NY Post went to them for comment … they panicked. One lawyer started calling around and sent the emails.’
Bannon reiterated his claim that Biden’s lawyer had also sent legal notices to the owner of the repair shop seeking return of the hard-drive.
‘We’re breaking news here. He actually in a panic called … because Hunter when he dropped it off, there was two or three of these shops in Wilmington. They called around and he figured out it might be this guy. He called him and when the guy said I can’t remember, I’m going back to my shop, he sent a couple of emails in a panic saying ‘I’ve got to get my hands on this right away.’
The messages suggested that Hunter Biden had arranged for a top executive at a Ukrainian energy firm, of which Hunter was on the board of directors, to meet his father in person, when he was vice-president and in charge of US relations with Ukraine
Bannon, who said he was contacted by Giuliani in late August to help with media strategy for the emails, said he has been holding on to the legal letters and waiting to use them if the Biden camp tried to deny the laptop belonged to Hunter.
‘We haven’t released that yet. We’re holding that back to make sure if they walk into the trap, we’re just going to drop it on them,’ he said.
‘My training under Andrew Breitbart was put it out, let them lie and then bang, drop them on the lie, let them lie some more, drop it again. We have the emails from the lawyer, if we need to release them, we’ll release them.’
The FBI is reportedly conducting an investigation into whether the allegations are part of a Russian disinformation campaign against the Biden campaign, though the agency has refused to speak publicly on the matter.
FBI Director Christopher Wray has warned that Russia is trying to ‘denigrate’ Biden ahead of the election and damage his chances of unseating Trump.
Bannon was arrested and charged in August with defrauding donors to a private fund-raising effort called We Build the Wall, which was intended to bolster the president’s signature initiative along the Mexican border.
The fund-raising effort collected more than $25 million, and prosecutors say Bannon used nearly $1 million of it for personal expenses.
Bannon pleaded not guilty to the charges on August 20.
Not too much longer, Mets fans. By next month, Steve Cohen’s purchase of the team should become official, and then you can start debating legitimately whether you’d rather sign J.T. Realmuto or George Springer.
(Probably not both. Sorry.)
Yet as we prepare for this long-awaited new era, there’s one upcoming checkpoint that intrigues me the most. That every high-payroll team encounters along the way. That will be especially telling for the man who instantly would become Major League Baseball’s richest owner:
How will Cohen deal with a big buy — be it, Realmuto, Springer, Trevor Bauer or someone else — gone wrong?
How much or how little dead money will he prove willing to stomach? For this is where Cohen and the Mets really could distinguish themselves. It’s a market inefficiency, prime to be exploited.
First, your update: Cohen’s ingratiation into the ownership fraternity has proceeded smoothly, according to multiple industry sources. He met virtually with the Ownership Committee about two weeks ago. As long as that committee signs off on Cohen’s $2.4 billion purchase of the Mets from the Wilpons and Katzes, the Executive Council must do the same (each of these groups features fewer than 10 owners), and then the matter would go to the decisive team-by-team vote, where Cohen must receive support from 23 of 30 clubs (which is actually 22 of 29, since the Mets presumably will vote yes). This vote could occur as soon as a week after the conclusion of the World Series.
Cautious optimism exists that Cohen will secure the necessary votes; unanimity appears quite unlikely. White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf opposed Cohen’s pursuit of the Dodgers last decade — Reinsdorf’s good friend Dennis Gilbert, the agent-turned-White Sox executive, took part in a competing group, as both fell short to the Guggenheim consortium — and he doesn’t seem too keen on this transaction, either. Reinsdorf is very friendly with Alex Rodriguez — whose teaming with fiancée Jennifer Lopez, and business titans Vincent Viola and Mike Repole to buy the Mets fell short and is ready to pounce again if the opportunity arises.
Cohen’s announcement that Sandy Alderson would return to the Mets, this time as team president, scored points in the ownership industry by sending a message. Sure, hope exists that Cohen would elevate the Mets to the “jewel franchise” status they merit, but not with an immediate, historic free-agency binge — which wouldn’t match Alderson’s personality. Though Cohen is a super-rich Mets fan, he also is a businessman, and it’s hard to envision the team signing two or more free agents to ginormous deals when the novel coronavirus makes it impossible to forecast 2021 revenues.
One ginormous acquisition wouldn’t surprise in the least, however, and then plenty more down the road. And not all of them will work out. That comes with the territory. What came with the Mets always was a serious hamstringing of the club’s payroll when one of these commitments went sideways. Which really shouldn’t have been the case when you consider their largest boondoggles — David Wright, Johan Santana and Yoenis Cespedes — emanated from injuries rather than underperformance, which meant that insurance helped cover their sunk costs.
If you want to see real suffering, look at the Angels, who have paid Albert Pujols nearly $92 million these past four seasons for -0.9 wins above replacement and owe him another $30 million next year. See the Tigers, who have given Miguel Cabrera about $99 million over the same stretch for -0.6 WAR and must pay him another $94 million through 2023. Releasing these two future Hall of Famers would be painful, no question, yet by holding onto them, their employers ensure they eat up playing time as well as payroll. Ideally, neither should happen.
The record for money-eating goes to the Angels, who absorbed $63 million of Josh Hamilton’s contract (over three years) to return him to the Rangers in a 2015 trade — Angels owner Arte Moreno was livid with Hamilton’s struggles to stay sober. The Blue Jays own the record for a straight release when they gave Troy Tulowitzki $38 million over three years to go away in December 2018 (thanks to the Associated Press’ Ron Blum for his mad institutional memory).
The Mets’ priciest goodbye occurred under Alderson and not because of him, as they paid $21 million to Omar Minaya signee Jason Bay (he agreed to slightly restructure the payments, originally due in 2013) in November 2012. The Yankees set their record in August 2016 when they gave A-Rod about $27 million through 2017 to no longer suit up for them.
How high would Cohen, his estimated net worth at $14 billion, go to ensure the Mets don’t find themselves weighed down by the inevitable misfires? If, say, Realmuto experiences standard catcher’s regression by 2024, his age-34 season, would Cohen authorize a ripping off of the proverbial Band-Aid, even if Realmuto had another $75 million or more coming to him, and not let it seriously impact payroll?
This’ll take a while to reveal itself, and obviously as a Mets fan you root for the dilemma to never emerge. It’ll happen at some point, though, because it happens everywhere. And when it does, you’ll get the best indication possible of how large a game-changer Cohen intends to be in this game.
When a senior adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign thanked Ice Cube for working with the White House on a plan for Black America, it immediately triggered questions of who he was supporting in 2020.
Ice Cube explained shortly afterward on Twitter that he was contacted by both parties about his Contract with Black America, which includes an array of policy proposals, including judicial reform, lending reform and FCC licensing.
“Both parties contacted me,” he wrote. “Dems said we’ll address the CWBA after the election. Trump campaign made some adjustments to their plan after talking to us about the CWBA.”
Responding to criticism that he was now “working for the darkside,” Ice Cube wrote, “Every side is the Darkside for us here in America. They’re all the same until something changes for us. They all lie and they all cheat but we can’t afford not to negotiate with whoever is in power or our condition in this country will never change. Our justice is bipartisan.”
Donald Trump, NBC News Set Town Hall For Thursday, Competing With ABC News' Joe Biden Event
The swift reaction to Ice Cube’s work with Trump’s team came after Katrina Pierson, a senior adviser to the Trump campaign, thanked Ice Cube on Twitter. “Shoutout to @icecube for his willingness to step up and work with @realDonaldTrump Administration to help develop the #PlatinumPlan Leaders gonna lead, haters gonna hate. Thank you for leading!” Among other things, the Platinum Plan calls for increasing access to capital.
In the heat of one of the most polarized presidential election campaigns, though, Ice Cube’s work with Trump triggered suspicions that it was a way for the president to try to draw from Joe Biden’s support among African Americans.
Rapper Kanye West has been running an independent presidential campaign, but has got assistance from Republican operatives to try to secure ballot access in some states.
Toure, the author and podcast host, wrote on Twitter, “Trump’s proven that he’s our enemy. Never think he’ll be there for us. How can Cube not see that he’s being used?” Roland Martin wrote, “The Trump Platinum Plan is the Aluminum Foil Plan. I have read @icecube’s Contract With Black America and there is NOTHING in Trump’s plan that is similar. NOTHING.”
Ice Cube in August, 2016 made it clear that he would not endorse Trump that year. “I will never endorse a mothaf—- like Donald Trump! EVER!!!” he wrote.
In a video posted several days ago, Ice Cube said, “No president has done right by us. I don’t trust none of them. So putting our hopes and dreams behind any of them just don’t work. We got to make them do what we want to do, and there is only a few ways to do that.”
He said that Republicans “moved the agenda a lot because of what we said. They put $500 billion on the table, but who knows? Who knows what is going to really happen?”
Steve Sax has watched Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve “standing alone on an island” during the ALCS, and it breaks his heart.
Sax overcame one of baseball’s most pronounced cases of the throwing yips with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1980s, and the former NL Rookie of the Year is “reliving that nightmare” watching Altuve going through a similar situation.
“It really does pain me. I’m a big Jose Altuve fan. And I really hate to see this. Nobody deserves this,” Sax told The Post on Wednesday in a telephone interview. “I totally feel for him. You can tell that it’s been great pains for him to try to endure this.
“It’s terrible, because it’s happening at the worst possible time. The good news is that this thing is conquerable. He can conquer it.”
Sax committed 24 errors – many of them on wild throws — in the first half of the 1983 season, his sophomore year with the Dodgers. Fans sitting behind the first base dugout in various cities even mockingly began to wear batting helmets for protection.
Altuve, the 2017 AL MVP and the 2015 Gold Glove winner at second base, has committed four throwing errors in the 2020 MLB playoffs, including three costly ones with the Astros in an 0-3 hole in the ALCS against the Tampa Bay Rays.
“Jose Altuve does not have anything wrong with him,” Sax said. “He does not have a mental block. He does not have anything wrong with his mechanics.
“The only thing that’s wrong with Jose Altuve that I would guess he has — like everybody else it’s happened to, like me, as well — a temporary loss of confidence. That’s all it is. The throwing is a symptom of confidence, the throwing is not the issue. You fix that in practice. Once his confidence comes back, that symptom will dry up as fast as it came and he’ll be back to being a Gold Glover again.”
Sax said he received similar advice during June of 1983 from his dying father, John. “It was the last conversation we ever had,” he said.
Sax, now an analyst for MLB Network Radio, quickly overcame the affliction and committed just six errors following the 1983 All-Star break. He later led the American League in fielding percentage among second baseman in 1989, his first of three seasons with the Yankees.
Another prominent Yankees second baseman, Chuck Knoblauch, endured similar throwing issues during his Bronx tenure beginning in 1998. The Yanks eventually were forced to move him to left field.
“That was a guy who never overcame it. It wrecked his career,” Sax said. “I remember watching (Knoblauch) on TV and seeing it in his eyes. And I can see it in Jose Altuve’s eyes when they do close-ups on him.
“He’s got so much noise in his head right now, like a boxer in the ring that just got hit with a right cross, and he doesn’t know where the hell he is. He’s stunned right now. And I hate to say this, but he’s absolutely scared to death. Because I was the same way. I was the loneliest person in the world in front of 56,000 people.”
Sax said he once received a postcard from a 12-year-old girl in Washington that read “Mr. Sax, I’m 12 years old and play softball and I can throw it to first. What’s your deal?” He’s never forgotten it.
“It’s the worst feeling, the most embarrassing and horrible thing you can ever imagine,” he said. “I don’t wish this on my worst enemy. I really feel for this young man right now.”
While he never reached out to Knoblauch during his yips issue, Sax said if he’s asked, he gladly would speak with Altuve if his throwing woes continue.
“(Houston manager) Dusty Baker is a really good friend of mine. We were teammates with the Dodgers, and his dad and my dad got to be close friends,” said Sax, who now resides in the Sacramento area. “Dusty lives down the street from me. He’s like a big brother to me.
“He’s a great manager, and I think he can handle this. He has a great infield coach in Chris Speier, somebody I admire a lot. They have all the internals to help out Jose. But if they he reached out to me and wanted me to talk to him, of course I would.”
Sax stressed that he doesn’t believe Altuve’s problem has anything to do with the substandard COVID-shortened regular season or the fallout from the Astros’ uncovered sign-stealing scandal from the 2017 season.
“I don’t, but I think the issue he is going through is very serious. Because I know better than anyone what it’s like,” Sax said. “He’s got to jump on it, he’s got to own it, and he’s got to make it a personal quest to beat this monster.
“And I fully believe that’s possible for him. He can go from where he is now to being that Gold Glover again, no question in my mind. But he has to take hold of it.”
EXCLUSIVE: How footwear tycoon Steve Madden went from being a strung out, shoe-obsessed junkie who crashed cars and woke up naked in hallways to a Wolf of Wall Street fraudster – all while creating his multi-billion dollar empire
Steve Madden, 62, tells how he clawed his way to the top of the shoe industry with a massive drug addiction and served jail time for insider trading
‘I had no self control’, Madden writes in his upcoming book, The Cobbler: How I Disrupted an Industry, Fell From Grace, and Came Back Stronger Than Ever, out on October 13
He was constantly falling down while high and woke up with so many cuts and bruises on his body that he started wearing extra padding and a helmet
He partnered with old high school friend and a stockbroker, Jordan Belfort, later featured in the 2013 film, The Wolf of Wall Street
Belfort had a boiler room operation that ran a penny stock scam and promised Madden he could raise $600,000 for him and would take his company public
Madden was found guilty of stock fraud and money laundering and sentenced to 41-51 months in the slammer plus $11million in restitution, fines and fees
Madden writes that he is grateful for a life that doesn’t seem real – after a lifetime of mistakes and addictions
Steve Madden clawed his way to the top of the shoe industry with a massive drug addiction, ADHD, and despite serving jail time for stock fraud and money laundering.
What may have looked like a bleak future for a strung out, shoe-obsessed junkie, turned into a multi-billion dollar shoe brand that featured shiny metallics, buckles and platforms for under $100 appealing to hippies in the seventies, Gen-X girls and stars like Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears.
Madden, dubbed the Cobbler, disrupted the fashion industry with his designs that were inspired by British glam rockers and an abrupt departure from penny loafers, the style of the day.
It was his addiction to drugs that morphed into his obsession for shoes that eventually helped him find success.
Madden, 62, was born in Queens, NY but raised on Long Island where his ADHD began exhibiting itself and made him a lousy student and ‘a pain in the a**’ with his nervous energy.
‘I couldn’t get my sh*t together’. I had no self control’, Madden confesses in his new book, The Cobbler: How I Disrupted an Industry, Fell From Grace, and Came Back Stronger Than Ever, out on October 13.
Steve Madden, 62, reveals how he clawed his way to the top of the shoe industry with a massive drug addiction and served jail time for insider trading
‘I had no self control’, Madden writes in his new book, The Cobbler: How I Disrupted an Industry, Fell From Grace, and Came Back Stronger Than Ever, out on October 13
Lousy grades got him enrolled at the University of Miami where he couldn’t remember going to a single class.
‘Life was tanning oil and weed, days spent sleeping and nights of endless partying’.
Quaaludes helped lessen the effect of his ADHD that jumbled his mind.
‘Getting loaded was all that mattered. It was a singularly focused yet profoundly sad existence,’ he writes.
Steve Madden’s book The Cobbler by Radius Book Group is out October 13
Drugs made him slur his words, drool, fall over and be ‘too blissed out to give a sh*t about anything else’.
He lasted a year before he quit to sell alarm systems door to door and stay high all the time.
Back in Atlantic Beach on Long Island, he sold shoes at Jildor, a multi-brand retailer and his addiction soared.
He was able to find partners in a shoe design business, L.J. Simon, and set up a factory in Manhattan making wedges, platforms and flats.
Moving on up, chasing his shoe fixation didn’t lessen his drug consumption.
He added cocaine to the mix while high on Quaaludes and booze.
‘The drugs had complete and total control over me’.
High all the time, he crashed more cars, woke up naked in the hallways of his apartment building, in clubs and restaurants.
He was constantly falling down while high and woke up with so many cuts and bruises on his body that he started wearing extra padding and a helmet.
On a sales call at Macy’s, he passed out on the sales floor and came to with a rack of dresses on top of him.
‘I was a g*ddamned mess’, Madden confesses.
Money became his new drug of choice when he partnered with an old high school friend and a stockbroker, Jordan Belfort in a company called Stratton Oakmont, later featured in the 2013 film, The Wolf of Wall Street directed by Martin Scorsese.
Belfort had a boiler room operation that ran a penny stock scam pushing ‘shi**y stocks on unsuspecting clients’.
Belfort promised Madden he could raise $600,000 for him and would eventually take his shoe company public.
‘We’ll make you a multi-fu**ing millionaire’, Belfort promised.
Madden, 62, was born in Queens, NY but raised on Long Island where his ADHD began exhibiting itself and made him a lousy student and ‘a pain in the a**’ with his nervous energy
Drugs made him slur his words, drool, fall over and be ‘too blissed out to give a sh*t about anything else,’ he reveals in his book. Lousy grades got him enrolled at the University of Miami where he couldn’t remember going to a single class
‘Getting loaded was all that mattered. It was a singularly focused yet profoundly sad existence,’ he writes. Drugs made him slur his words, drool, fall over and be ‘too blissed out to give a sh*t about anything else’
The deal was Madden would start as a flipper in their pump and dump stock company scams that artificially jacked up the stock price of lousy companies and then sold off shares for a huge profit.
Madden was on board and started making $25,000 in one day.
Jordan Belfort had a boiler room operation that ran a penny stock scam and promised Madden he could raise $600,000 for him and would take his company public
He gave up drugs for this new all consuming obsession that hooked him into believing money was everything.
‘I was fully on board the merry go-round, and I couldn’t get off, even if I had wanted to’.
He quit the shoe design partnership with L.J. Simon and opened a little factory in Queens – that remains the headquarters for Steve Madden shoes thirty years later.
But he wasn’t through with Jordan Belfort who took the company public giving Steve 15%.
It was illegal for Belfort to hold 85% of the shares as the underwriter of the public offering so he asked Madden to hold 1.3 million shares worth $4 million in Madden’s name with the assumption Madden would return them.
‘I knew Stratton had manipulated the stock and that the whole thing was probably too good to be true, but I told myself it was another grey area’, Madden writes, describing himself as ‘still a hustler’ always fearing the poverty he knew growing up.
But he had stepped over the line when he agreed to flip stocks for Stratton and jumped right into the pool of sharks with Belfort and his company.
When Stratton was shut down by the feds, Madden resumed his drug consumption – this time it was the opioid, Vicodin, a pain killer.
Madden partnered with an old high school friend and a stockbroker, Jordan Belfort, later featured in the 2013 film, The Wolf of Wall Street. Jake Hoffman as Steve Madden and Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort in the film
Steve Madden is pictured with his factory team in 2009. Before he had his own team, he found partners in a shoe design business, L.J. Simon, and set up a factory in Manhattan making wedges, platforms and flats
Steve Madden is pictured in 2010 in front a NASDAQ sign. Jordan Belfort promised Madden he could raise $600,000 for him and would eventually take his shoe company public
Vicodin made it seem like ‘someone turned on a burner of a stove at the base of my skull and a delicious heat rose up in my brain’.
Seven years of sobriety vanished to this latest addiction.
That wasn’t his only problem.
Belfort wanted his shares back and Madden thought Belfort already made enough off of him.
He wasn’t willing to hand them over and someone was talking to the feds who knew Madden had participated in the manipulation of 29 initial public offerings including his own.
The SEC and FBI were closing in on Belfort’s financial crimes and hedonistic rituals of sex and drugs and offered Madden the option of wearing a wire to lessen what could be 25 years in jail.
He opted to do the time rather than be a rat.
‘More terrified than I had ever been in my life’, confessed Madden when he was found guilty and sentenced to 41-51 months in the slammer plus $11 million in restitution, fines and fees.
Next stop Eglin Federal Prison Camp in Western Florida for a brief stay until he was caught sending spending money to a fellow felon – just to be a good guy.
That cost him an additional eighteen months added to his sentence and a transfer out of minimum security to Coleman Federal Correctional Complex, a low security prison in Wildwood, Florida with wire fencing and guards with machine guns – still in the company of busted drug dealers.
While in prison, Wendy Ballew, Madden’s director of operations, began writing him in jail and then visiting. A love affair and marriage followed in 2005 and three children, but the relationship dissolved in 2014
Madden was transfered out of minimum security to Coleman Federal Correctional Complex, a low security prison in Wildwood, Florida with wire fencing and guards with machine guns
Madden wasn’t able to keep his marriage alive because he was too consumed by shoes, long hours on the road launching his international business and selling shoes in more than 46 countries and counting
At Coleman, Wendy Ballew, Madden’s director of operations, began writing him in jail and then visiting.
A love affair and marriage followed in 2005 and three children, but the relationship dissolved in 2014.
He said he was only always half listening.
‘Relationships were always a big problem in my life. You could call it another addiction.
‘I just couldn’t keep a relationship’ even after years of therapy.
Madden was too consumed by shoes, long hours on the road launching his international business and selling shoes in more than 46 countries and counting.
Deals were made with celebrity partnerships that included Lady Gaga, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen as well as marketing on social media.
In 2014, Madden partnered with Kendall and Kylie Jenner on a line of handbags and shoes for girls in their early teens
Deals have been made with celebrity partnerships that included Lady Gaga, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen as well as marketing on social media. Madden is pictured with popstar Katy Perry (right). Madden writes that he is grateful for a life that doesn’t seem real – after a lifetime of mistakes and addictions, the creation of a multi-billion dollar global brand from nothing
In 2014, Madden partnered with Kendall and Kylie Jenner on a line of handbags and shoes for girls in their early teens.
Ja Rue, Iggy Azalea collaborations followed.
‘The company was bigger and more successful than anyone could have predicted. I really was on top of the world’, Madden writes, and this was ‘the closest to true happiness that I’d ever experienced’.
But he also realized that the company no longer needed him.
The team had outpaced the teacher.
Time for him to step back, overcome his massive self-centeredness and ‘let go of the company I’d given my life to create’.
Now free to spend more time with his kids, Madden is grateful for a life that doesn’t seem real – after a lifetime of mistakes and addictions, the creation of a multi-billion dollar global brand from nothing.
Tracy Barlow (Kate Ford) comes to blows with Steve McDonald (Simon Gregson) in Coronation Street regarding the sale of Preston’s Petals, but will this conflict result in their marriage coming to an end?
Steve has been determined to do whatever it takes to save Oliver, and therefore he’s resolved to sell his shares in Street Cars, as well as Tracy’s flower shop — and the accompanying flat — in order to raise the cash necessary.
However, there is more devastation ahead, when Leanne Tilsley (Jane Danson) and Steve sit down with a hospital mediator, and Dr Howarth (Caroline Harding) reiterates how there’s nothing more they can do for Oliver.
Leanne is fuming, and reveals that she’ll go to court if she has to, as she won’t give up on her son.
Steve is evidently determined to assist Leanne in the legal battles, as Tracy and Nick (Ben Price) later arrive at the hospital to find the two passionately discussing speciality legal teams, and spending thousands on a court case.
However, Tracy is concerned by such comments, and thus takes action.