Hedge Fund News: John Paulson, Tom Steyer & Steven Cohen

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Paulson hedge fund discloses Greek stakes (Kathimerini)
A fund run by billionaire investor John Paulson has acquired minority stakes in a bank and a water company in Greece, adding to evidence the country was attracting international investors back after a deep six-year slump. Greece’s fourth-largest lender, Alpha Bank, said in a statement Paulson & Co Inc had disclosed a 5.4 percent stake in the bank, without giving further details. Alpha was bailed out by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund last year alongside Greece’s other three major lenders.

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Will hedge-fund billionaire assist Inslee by spending on Washington races? (TheNewsTribune.com)
Gov. Jay Inslee has an ambitious agenda for shrinking Washington’s carbon footprint. The 2014 midterms could decide whether his plan has much of a chance – and the spending decisions of a California billionaire could be critical. A crusader against climate change, Tom Steyer last year plowed more than $500,000 of his hedge-fund fortune into Washington elections. Most of it targeted a single state Senate race – one that Inslee and Steyer had discussed as they struck up a working relationship last May, records and interviews show.

Goldman Sachs extends loan to Steven A. Cohen (Hedgeworld)
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is still doing business with Steven A. Cohen and extended a loan to the billionaire after his firm, SAC Capital Advisors, pleaded guilty to insider trading. Goldman Sachs Bank USA, the parent of the bank for the ultra wealthy, filed a notice in February with the Connecticut Secretary of State that disclosed the loan. The filing did not give an amount or say what Cohen pledged as collateral, but a person familiar with the matter said the investor put up “certain items of fine art.”

Tiger Asia’s Hwang Should Get HK Dealing Ban, Panel Told (Bloomberg)
Tiger Asia Management LLC and founder Bill Hwang, who admitted illegally using inside information to trade Chinese bank stocks, should be banned from dealing in Hong Kong for as long as five years, an inquiry was told. Raymond Park of the New York-based hedge fund should also be banned, Simon Westbrook, a lawyer for Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission, told Hong Kong’s Market Misconduct Tribunal today. Tiger Asia, which has been renamed Archegos Capital Management LLC and turned into a family office, agreed to pay HK$45.3 million ($5.8 million) to Hong Kong investors affected by the trades and $60.3 million in U.S. criminal and civil settlements after a legal battle that began in 2009.

Buffett’s insiders’ Woodstock: James Saft (Reuters)
Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger might be the greatest investing team of all time but they are dead wrong about the merits of activist investing. “I don’t think it’s good for America,” Munger said when asked about activist investing, the practice of building stakes in companies in order to try to pressure management to change course. The irony is that Berkshire’s annual jamboree is sometimes called the ‘Woodstock of capitalism’. Nothing could be more capitalist than the owners of companies influencing how they are run, and yet in the form of shareholder capitalism now practiced in the U.S., with its self-protecting circles of top management, boards and consultants, this sometimes feels like a principle more honored in the breach than in the observance.

Do hedge fund managers make too much? (CNBC.com)

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