US Needs More ‘Helicopter Money’ to Cushion Coronavirus Impact, Says Anthony Scaramucci (CNBC)
The U.S. needs more “helicopter money” to help its economy recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, said Anthony Scaramucci, a hedge fund investor who briefly served as President Donald Trump’s White House communications chief. Helicopter money refers to a last resort type of monetary stimulus, which involves printing large sums of money and distributing it to the public to encourage people to spend more and thus, boost the economy. “I think they need to put up more helicopter money,” Scaramucci, founder and co-managing partner of Skybridge Capital, told CNBC’s “Capital Connection” on Thursday.
Lansdowne Partners’ Clean Energy Fund Got Slammed in March, But Its Oil-Focused Fund is Up for the Year Despite Plummeting Crude Prices (Business Insider)
Lansdowne Partners‘ two energy-focused hedge funds have started 2020 going the opposite direction they went in 2019. The firm’s $220 million clean energy fund broke-through in 2019, besting a soaring stock market with 37% returns. Per Lekander, the portfolio manager for the fund, told Business Insider earlier this year that 2019 was the year when the world woke up to climate change. “This is not a one-year fad,” he said in January. “I’m not changing anything.”
Ken’s Kampers Are Enjoying Their Kwarantine (Deal Breaker)
Not long before the town in which he owns the largest estate put a stop to new hotel reservations and just a week or so before the governor of whom he is a patron much belatedly issued a stay-at-home order – but not before said governor warned New Yorkers not to spread their cooties to his quiet little beach state – Ken Griffin started making some plans to keep his investment bank up and running amidst the COVID-19 pandemic that was shutting down cities like New York and Chicago where his people worked. This plan involved renting out an entire hotel a few miles south of his oceanfront acres and getting some of those New Yorkers and Chicagoans down their stat.
Paul Singer’s Hedge Fund Saw It Coming (The New York Times)
Paul Singer foresaw coronavirus lockdowns: The billionaire warned employees of his Elliott Management hedge fund two months ago that they should prepare for a monthlong quarantine – well before New York mandated a lockdown, Bloomberg’s Katia Porzecanski reported. Mr. Singer sent an internal memo on Feb. 1 that employees in the firm’s offices around the world should “try to make arrangements so that you do not have to leave your home for a month if that becomes necessary.” (The Elliott founder is known for being cautious about anything that could affect the markets, including solar storms.)
Breakingviews – Saudis’ Warren Buffett Impression Looks Skin-Deep (Reuters)
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) – Mohammed bin Salman is channelling his inner Warren Buffett. Saudi Arabia’s 34-year-old crown prince is roughly a third the age of the most celebrated American investor, but his swoop on bombed-out European oil companies like Royal Dutch Shell carries similarities with a trademark move by the so-called Sage of Omaha. There are important differences, though. The Saudi Public Investment Fund’s purchase of shares in Shell, Equinor, Eni and Total, reported by the Wall Street Journal, has some logic.
Hedge-Fund Geniuses Failed Again. When Will We Learn? (Bloomberg)
A few weeks ago, I recommended When Genius Failed, Roger Lowenstein’s masterly narrative of the meltdown and rescue of Long-Term Capital Management in 1998, as one of five books to read in self-isolation. It is a great read, and I suggested it because it covers a crisis that was in many ways a rehearsal for the all-in disaster that would follow 10 years later. The interest rate cuts and coordinated bailout with which the Federal Reserve dealt with LTCM might even be seen as the crucial acts in stoking the moral hazard and over-confidence that gave us 2008.
Bloomin’ Brands, Jana Partners Agree to Nominate two New Directors (Reuters)
(Reuters) – Bloomin’ Brands Inc (BLMN.O) and Jana Partners said on Thursday they have agreed to add two new independent directors to the Outback Steakhouse owner’s board, months after the activist hedge fund pushed for changes due to struggling restaurant sales. Scott Ostfeld, a partner and portfolio manager at Jana, and John Gainor, a corporate director with experience in the casual dining market, have been nominated, the companies said in a joint statement. Bloomin’ Brands board will now consist of ten directors.
Why Emerging Markets Hedge Funds Face “Uneven Recovery” After Covid-19 Shock (Hedge Week)
Hedge funds trading emerging markets strategies face major dispersion in their assets, as the impact of Covid-19 – and the resulting government responses – diverges sharply across different regions and countries. New analysis by Lyxor Asset Management this week pointed to “uneven recovery prospects” across different EM countries and markets following the pandemic, stemming from various factors including differing regional responses to the crisis, business cycles, government support for economies, and reliance on oil markets, among other things.
Three Arrows Capital Invests In BlockFi After Its Series B Round (Forbes)
BlockFi announced today, via a press release, that it has brought on Three Arrows Capital as a strategic investor to the company. Three Arrows Capital, based in Singapore, is a registered hedge fund and cryptocurrency investor. BlockFi, a financial services company that specializes in crypto lending, aggressively wants to expand into global markets. BlockFi did not comment on the size of the investment. Flori Marquez, co-founder and Vice-President of Operations for BlockFi, said in an interview, “In the near term this will help us reach additional institutional lenders, but over the long term we hope it will help with our retail expansion outside of the U.S.” Ms. Marquez also discussed the opportunity to expand into the Asian Pacific Region with the support of a regionally based partner.