Hedge Funds Fudge Positions In Filings, AQR Unveiling Some New Funds, Whitney Tilson’s Interview

A Margin for Error in Hedge-Fund Filings (WSJ)

For years, finance experts have put together statistical analyses that suggest something fishy is going on with some of the reported returns in a large universe of hedge funds. New analysis conducted by Gjergji Cici of the College of William and Mary, and Alexander Kempf and Alexander Puetz of the University of Cologne adds to the questions. Their research shows the valuations hedge funds report for their stocks in quarterly filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission are sometimes at odds with actual stock prices. The economists say the results, which they’ll present at the American Finance Association’s annual meeting in Chicago next week, suggest hedge funds “take advantage of lax regulation by strategically fudging equity position valuations to impress…potential or existing clients.”

Corn Traders Extend Bullish Bets On S. America (Bloomberg)

Corn traders are bullish for a fifth consecutive week on speculation that dry weather in South America is damaging crops, boosting demand for U.S. supplies at a time when stockpiles are predicted to shrink to a 16-year low. Hedge funds and other money managers are also bullish corn. They are holding a net-long position, or bets on higher prices, of 126,461 futures and options, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. While speculators trimmed their bets by 69 percent from this year’s high in January, they have held a net-long position since April 20, 2010.

Whitney Tilson And Steve Forbes (Frankly Speaking)

Whitney Tilson co-manages T2 Partners LLC with Glenn Tongue. Additionally, he is the co-creator of the Value Investing Congress, and a regular contributor to a number of financial publications, as well as the co-author of More Mortgage Meltdown: 6 Ways to Profit in These Bad Times and the upcoming book The Value Investing Course: Essential Strategies for Market-Beating Returns. In a recent interview with Steve Forbes, Tilson discusses his investment approach and market assessment, some particular investments he has made, as well as his investment hero, Warren Buffett.

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AQR Unveiling Some New Funds (HFN)

AQR Capital has decided to end the year with a flourish as it rolls out several new hedge funds. The $41 billion multi-strategy firm run by Cliff Asness filed documents for three funds with the Securities and Exchange Commission Thursday. Two of the three funds reveal their respective strategies – global total return and tail risk – while the third is named for Asness’ favorite historic figure, the legendary British leader Winston Churchill.

Bofa Posts Worst Showing In Dow Average (Bloomberg)

Bank of America Corp. (BAC) is on track to be this year’s worst performer in the Dow Jones Industrial Average as concern about mounting mortgage losses and a global economic slowdown weighed on the second-biggest U.S. lender. The stock’s drop has stung investors including Bruce Berkowitz, whose Fairholme Capital Management LLC owned 105 million shares as of Sept. 30, and John Paulson, whose hedge fund held 64.3 million shares, according to Bloomberg data.

Diamond Foods Gains On Rumors Of Einhorn Investment (Reuters)

Shares of Diamond Foods Inc (DMND.O), currently the target of a regulatory probe, rose as much as 14 percent, after CNBC reported rumors that high-profile investor David Einhorn may have invested in the company.When contacted, Einhorn, who runs hedge fund Greenlight Capital Inc, declined to comment. Diamond Foods also declined to comment. Einhorn was in the news recently after he cast doubt on Green Mountain Coffee Roasters’ (GMCR.O) accounting practices and long-term earnings power.

George Soros Heads to Myanmar (WSJ)

Billionaire hedge fund manager and philanthropist George Soros is scheduled to become the next big international name to meet with Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Monday in a fresh sign that the country is continuing to open up to the outside world. Soros’ visit follows the early December visit of Hillary of Clinton, who became the first U.S. Secretary of State to visit the country in over 50 years. That trip helped further warm the blossoming relations between the two countries since Myanmar’s military rulers handed power to a new, nominally civilian government in March. Since then, the country has made tentative steps towards implementing a broader democracy, including freeing hundreds of political prisoners, engaging with long-persecuted ethnic minorities and allowing Ms. Suu Kyi’s political group to contest elections after she was detained for years under house arrest.

Hedge Fund Holds 9% Stake In J. Alexander’s (HFN)

An Atlanta hedge fund firm is now the second largest stockholder in the J. Alexander’s restaurant chain. Privet Fund Management owns 547,881 shares or approximately 9.1% of the outstanding common stock of the Nashville-based franchise, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Glenview Capital CEO Can Build Indoor Ice Rink (HFN)

The founder of $5.4 billion New York-based hedge fund firm Glenview Capital can move forward with building an indoor ice rink on his own land. Larry Robbins will be able to start construction on the $10 million rink he is building in the New Jersey town of Alpine after a lawsuit to stop the project was dismissed by a state Superior Court judge, according to an article in the newspaper The Record.

Strategies Matter In HF Performance, Top 5 Hiring Hedge Funds In 2011, Molycorp Downgrade Hurts Funds And More (Hedge World)

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