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Hedge Fund and Insider Trading News: Ken Griffin, Dmitry Balyasny, Ray Dalio, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (WBA), RumbleON Inc (RMBL), and More

Brazil Hedge Fund Bull Keeps Her Cool By Ignoring the Turmoil in Pension Reform (Bloomberg)
All the tensions that have rattled Brazil traders over the past few weeks have done nothing to shake Teresa Barger’s optimism over the country. The chief executive officer and co-founder of the $2.6 billion Cartica Management LLC hedge fund is sticking to her “very bullish” views on Brazil, confident that growth in Latin America’s largest economy will start to pick up and that a planned overhaul of the nation’s pension system will be approved. That means she avoids watching the developments too closely, sidestepping the jitters that come with it.

Bridgewater Founder’s Foundation Gives Connecticut $100 Million Donation (The Wall Street Journal)
Dalio Philanthropies, run by the founder of the world’s largest hedge fund, announced Friday it was giving Connecticut a $100 million donation for education and entrepreneurial programs, the largest gift ever for the state. Connecticut, which pledged to match the $100 million donation, and Dalio Philanthropies will create a new nonprofit to manage the funds and to implement the programs. It will work with public schools and workforce-development groups to focus on youth development, state officials said.

Have Declining Cryptocurrency Prices Driven Hedge Funds Away? (Preqin.com)
Cryptocurrency hedge funds – those investing directly in or through crypto-related securities –had a challenging year in 2018: top-tier coins like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple are down by 80%, 91% and 92% respectively from their all-time highs. Such funds, which deploy strategies such as long-only buy and hold and actively trade through shorting, futures and relative-value trading, generated an average return of -41.41% for 2018. But, despite the declining prices of digital currencies and high volatility, fund managers’ interest in crypto-related strategies is steadfast.

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Merida Capital Partners launches third Cannabis Fund for $200m (Opalesque.com)
The New York-based Merida Capital Partners revealed it had raised $200m for its third fund as it looks to continue investing in the cannabis industry, which has seen a flurry of deals in recent weeks. Since launching its first fund in late 2016, Merida has deployed nearly $80m across the firm’s first two funds and now has more than $125m under management. Though only two years old, Merida has accelerated liquidity within its portfolio of 25 investments through public listings for GrowGeneration, Vireo Health and CB2 Insights as well as leading investments in public companies KushCo Holdings and Freedom Leaf Health.

Ray Dalio Sounds a New Alarm on Capitalism’s Flaws, Warns of Revolution (Bloomberg)
Ray Dalio, the billionaire founder of the world’s biggest hedge fund, said he believes flaws in American capitalism have created destructive and self-reinforcing gaps in education, social mobility, assets and income — and the result could be another revolution.

France Preparing to Fight Activist Funds: Finance Minister (Reuters)
BUCHAREST (Reuters) – The French government is preparing measures to prevent activist funds destabilizing French companies, the country’s finance minister told Reuters in an interview. Activist funds are increasingly active in Europe, buying up stakes in companies they feel are underperforming and pushing for changes in strategy to extract more value for shareholders. The practice has been common in the U.S. for many years but slower to take off in Europe as big stakes held by founding families or even the state proved a deterrent.

Former CEA Chair Austan Goolsbee Weighs in on Ray Dalio’s Comments… (CNBC)
Austan Goolsbee, former Council of Economic Advisors Chairman and University of Chicago Booth Business School professor, joins “Squawk Box” to discuss hedge fund billionaire Ray Dalio’s comments on capitalism.

Inside the Chicago Hedge Fund Turf War Between Billionaire Ken Griffin and Dmitry Balyasny (Business Insider)
A big brother-little brother rivalry between Chicago-based hedge funds Citadel and Balyasny Asset Management has heated up, sources at both hedge funds say, as the firms fight for talent. Several sources point to Citadel’s poaching of Balyasny’s former business development head Matt Giannini last year as the spark for the current turf war. The headquarters of Ken Griffin‘s Citadel and Dmitry Balyasny‘s eponymous hedge fund are separated by one mile, the Chicago River, and plenty of bad blood.

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