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There has always been the pervasive geed criticism on Greek life that we “pay for our friends,” as if the concept was some scathing critique that will crumble the entire system. Even if it was accurate, one would think having the ability to pay for friends would get you a higher-end selection than having to choose among the “free friends” that were left over. When you are a hedge fund billionaire, however, you actually can pay people to be your friend, and the going rate is staggering.
Hedge fun billionaire Steven Cohen of SAC Capital Advisors, facing an impending billion-dollar fine for insider trading, apparently struggles with the “free friend” concept as well. In his new book “From Scratch: Inside the Food Network,” author Allen Salkin tells a story of Cohen paying the bleach-blonde bomber Guy Fieri $100,000 to be his buddy for the day and to take him on “a fantasy episode of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.”
As if that wasn’t slightly odd enough, Cohen and Fieri apparently became best bros in the process and Guy agreed to have Steve’s favorite hot dog joint, questionably titled Super Duper Weenie, on “Diners.”
I’m torn on this. On one hand, it’s a complete power move to throw money at a celebrity and have them reenact their livelihood for you personally just because you can. On the other, it kind of reeks of desperation and the “please hang out with me” mentality the dorky rich kid’s parents utilized in elementary school to get you to hang out with him.
Still, if nothing else, the fact that their friendship blossomed regardless of the financial incentive is further proof that “paying for friends” is a time-tested process. People always need incentive to do things. If you’re a billionaire, it might as well be cash.
[via Page Six]