Hedge Fund and Insider Trading News: Dmitry Balyasny, Jim Chanos, Tom Steyer, Third Point LLC, General Electric Company (GE), Ames National Corporation (ATLO), and More

Balyasny Just Cut 10 People Running a $2 billion Book (Business Insider)
Dmitry Balyasny‘s hedge fund has cut its 10-person Synthesis team, which uses a mix of quant and fundamental stock-picking techniques and ran a $2.5 billion book of business, sources tell Business Insider. Synthesis team leader Mike Daylamani is among the cuts – he joined Balyasny in 2018 after spending nearly a decade working for Steve Cohen. Sources say the cuts are unrelated to a strategy revamp at the firm’s quant unit – which lost its head, Ulrich Brandt-Pollmann, last week.

Trump Just Blinked, Giving China a Possible Edge in Trade War, Jim Chanos and Others Say (CNBC)
Some influential voices on Wall Street are saying Trump blinked in the latest exchange with China and showed just how much pain the U.S. could tolerate. China may use that to its advantage. “Tell me why Xi should not continue to wait out The World’s Greatest Negotiator, who keeps ‘dealing’ with himself?” says Jim Chanos, founder and managing Partner of Kynikos Associates. Markets rallied on the announcement by the U.S. Trade Representative office that certain items were being removed from the new China tariff list and others would be delayed until mid-December.

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Third Point Cuts United Technologies Stake After Opposing Raytheon Deal (Reuters)
BOSTON (Reuters) – Hedge fund Third Point LLC said on Tuesday that it recently cut its investment in United Technologies Corp (UTX.N), becoming the second activist hedge fund to sell shares after the company announced a merger with Raytheon Co. (RTN.N) that the funds said they would not support. The New York-based firm sold 480,000 shares of United Technologies stock during the second quarter, cutting its holding by 7 percent to 6 million shares, according to a regulatory filing made on Tuesday.

Billionaire Tom Steyer has Nearly Spent his Way to a Spot in the Third Democratic Debate (CNBC)
After piling money into ads, billionaire Tom Steyer has hit the donor requirement for the next 2020 Democratic presidential debate, his campaign said Tuesday. The former hedge fund manager and activist reached the 130,000 individual donor mark required to make the debate stage in Houston next month. Steyer now needs to garner 2% of support in one more qualifying poll to join nine other Democrats in the debate. Candidates have until Aug. 28 to qualify.

Anthony Scaramucci: Gold “Doesn’t Solve People’s Problems”, is Only Short-Term Hedge (Kitco.com)
(Kitco News) – Gold is a near-term safe haven asset, said Anthony Scaramucci, but the hedge fund manager and former White House Communications Director sees potential in other assets on a longer-term basis. “It’s a near-term safe haven but long-term it really doesn’t solve people’s problems,” Scaramucci told Kitco News. “I would prefer to put the money or the capital into assets that I think are actually going to return something as opposed to be waiting for other people to think it’s more valuable to me in terms of where my entry point is.” Scaramucci noted Warren Buffett’s view on gold, which is that the yellow metal’s value is derived from its finite supply rather than contribution to productive economic growth.

Hedge Fund Warns Of ‘Distressed Cycle’ As Trade War Deepens (FA-Mag.com)
A veteran chief investment officer at a Hong Kong-based hedge fund with over $1 billion of assets under management says a wave of soured debt could hit the market, as economies in Asia slow and the U.S.-China trade war deepens. “We see a distressed cycle coming,” said George Long, chief investment officer of LIM Advisors, who founded the firm in 1995, making it one of Asia’s oldest hedge funds. “Default rates have definitely picked up in China this year.”