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Curious George

Sitting in the library bar of Manhattan's Regency Hotel, Greek shipping billionaire George Economou throws back a salted nut before confronting the shareholder complaints that have been swirling around him. "Listen, guy," he says as if conducting a fractious conference call. "If you don't like it, you don't have to be here. Sell the stock."

Many investors have taken this advice, recently slashing $2 billion, almost half the market value, from Economou's DryShips (nasdaq: DRYS - news - people ), which owns 38 dry bulk carriers (from 46,000 deadweight tons to 170,000) that shuttle iron ore, coal, fertilizers and grain around the globe. But Economou is comfortable in choppy waters. DryShips charters its vessels in the volatile spot market, and, despite the recent dip, the stock has quadrupled in the past

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