Asset managers seek to deflect new rules (FT)
The asset management industry is playing US regulators against their international counterparts and stirring national sentiment on Capitol Hill in an attempt to head off new regulation of its biggest firms. Lobbyists are urging lawmakers to try to block new international rules to designate large asset managers as “systemically important”, while a similar review in the US remains in its infancy. The industry’s effort moves to Capitol Hill on Tuesday, one day after a hearing at the US Treasury, where hedge fund manager Ken Griffin told a regulator from the Bank of England that she was mistaking normal capital market volatility for systemic risk.
Must-know: Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square 1Q14 positions (MarketRealist)
Pershing Square Capital Management is a New York-based $13 billion activist hedge fund founded and run by Bill Ackman. Pershing Square Capital Management initiated new positions and sold stakes in 1Q14. The updates are outlined in the following table. The total value of the portfolio increased slightly to $8.3 billion in 1Q14 from $8.2 billion in 4Q13. …Pershing took new stakes in Platform Specialty Products Corp (LON:PAH), Apartment Investment and Management Co (NYSE:AIV), Allergan, Inc. (NYSE:AGN), and Home Properties, Inc. (NYSE:HME). Positions sold include General Growth Properties Inc (NYSE:GGP) and The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG).
After ugly primary, McConnell appears headed to November (CentralKyNews)
The Republican Senatorial race ends on Tuesday after a dogfight between incumbent Mitch McConnell (R-Louisville) and challenger Matt Bevin that, at times, more closely resembled a WWE bout than a political race. In the right corner is Senate Minority Leader and undisputed heavyweight filibuster champ McConnell, a lawyer and former Jefferson County judge-executive who’s served for 30 years despite polarizing his own party with obstructive tactics. In the far-right corner is Matt Bevin, an Army veteran and hedge fund manager whose Republican, Tea Party and independent supporters are fed up with career politicians funded by corporate and foreign interests.
Nassim Taleb Debated Larry Summers Last Week, And He Is NOT Happy With How Summers Behaved (BusinessInsider)
Things got icy between former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and author Nassim Taleb last week at SALT Las Vegas, one of the biggest hedge fund conferences of the year. The two shared the stage for a discussion about the global post-crisis financial system. The discussion was widely reported on (see MarketWatch and CNBC), but according to Taleb, Summers violated pre-approved ground rules of the debate. “I was fighting with a bully,” Taleb said of Summer’s performance, later adding, “It’s very strange for a Harvard professor to act like a cheap politician.”
Designer of Beats Headphones Prototype Discovers There’s No Free Lunch (Bloomberg)
Fans of the signature boom in Beats Electronics headphones can thank Mike Klasco, an audio-equipment consultant who was responsible for the speaker and related electronic innards of the original device. But if Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) spends $3.2 billion to acquire Beats as expected, Klasco won’t be among those who reap the benefits. In 2005, he was hired by Stephen Lamar, a former hedge-fund manager who had created SLS Audio. Lamar was working with Beats owners Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre to create a new kind of headphone. Klasco went to work on a model that could handle the power needed for high-tech amplifier chips, which were just hitting the market.
Hedge Funds Fail To Catch Fire In May (Finalternatives)
Hedge funds are still struggling to find their footing in 2014, with most strategies losing further ground in May after declines in March and April. The average hedge fund is up 0.04% this month, according to the HFRX Global Hedge Fund Index, and 0.42% on the year. But 10 of the 18 strategies and substrategies tracked by the suite are in the red through May 13. Equity hedge funds have suffered the most, with fundamental growth funds shedding 1.15% (up 0.57% year-to-date) and equity market neutral funds 1.07% (up 1.56% YTD). Equity hedge funds overall lost 0.51% in the month’s first two weeks (down 0.7% YTD).