Buffett to make $2 billion on crisis-era investment in Goldman Sachs (MarketWatch)
Once again Warren Buffett has shown us why he ranks among the best investors in history. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.B) is about to receive $2 billion through Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) warrants bought in the darkest hours of the financial crisis. Goldman asked the Oracle of Omaha to invest $5 billion in 2008 to boost its capital and shore up confidence, after shares dropped following the collapse of Lehman Brothers, when the stock market went into free fall. The investment by Buffett came at a time when the federal government was scrambling to stabilize not only the financial system but the economy, including pumping money directly into the banking system.
Philip Falcone sells Harbinger shares to Leucadia (Opalesque)
Troubled hedge fund manager Philip Falcone sold 18.6 million shares of Harbinger Group worth $158m to Leucadia National Corp. (NYSE:LUK), to meet redemption requests from investors after reaching a settlement with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. According to a Bloomberg report, publicly traded holding firm Harbinger which is run by Falcone, sold the shares at $8.50 each. With the deal, Leucadia is now the second largest shareholder at Harbinger which offers life insurance and pet supplies. Bloomberg said Harbinger spokesman at RLM Finsbury Steven Goldberg refused to comment on the agreement. Laura Ulbrandt, a spokeswoman for Leucadia, did not immediately return a call, the report said.
Ad asks Obama to reject Keystone pipeline (UPI.com)
Billionaire hedge fund manager Tom Steyer released a television ad asking U.S. President Barack Obama to keep the Keystone XL pipeline from being built. The ad, which was scheduled to first broadcast Sunday, is part of the Californian’s political action committee’s attempt to halt the pipeline, which would carry crude oil 1,700 miles from the oil sands in Alberta, Canada, to refineries in the Gulf Coast, The New York Times reported Sunday. Because the pipeline would cross the border from Canada to the United States, it needs approval from the U.S. State Department.
Hedge funds show strong confidence in European shares (Reuters)
Hedge funds’ negative bets on European shares have tumbled to a level not seen since before the global financial crisis began in 2007, signalling their strongest conviction for years that the market will rise further. It means long/short hedge funds, which bet on which stocks will rise or fall, have taken a strongly bullish tilt to take advantage of both a rising market and of the lower correlation among stocks brought about by continued monetary support by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
W.V. Adds $30 Million To Hedge Funds (FINalternatives)
West Virginia’s public-pension manager has increased its investment with four hedge funds. The West Virginia Investment Management Board gave $30 million to four existing managers. Carlson Capital‘s Double Black Diamond fund and Pine River Capital Management‘s eponymous fund each received $10 million more, bringing their total allocations from WVIMB to $70 million. Graham Capital Management and Winton Capital Management each got an extra $5 million, bringing their total allocations to $35 million.
Hedge fund pushes for G4S ‘break-up’ (Telegraph.co.uk)
G4S is facing pressure from one of its largest shareholders to spin off its core cash security business to revive its fortunes. Activist hedge fund Cevian Capital is understood to have demanded the security provider consider selling off its cash solutions unit, which is responsible for about a quarter of the company’s profits. Cevian Capital owns a 4.7pc stake in G4S, making it the company’s third largest shareholder, according to Bloomberg data. The cash solutions business is one of G4S’s core operations and employs about 6,000 secrurity guards to provide a secure cash collection service to high street retailers and banks.
Activist helping or hurting JCP? (CNBC.com)