Sir Michael Hintze: Response to Global Financial Crisis Elevated Populism (AFR.com)
Sir Michael Hintze is hyper-aware of how the policy response to the global financial crisis has shaped the world today. The trillions of dollars of monetary stimulus, delivered via quantitative easing, depressed interest rates and elevated the value of shares and property. “I don’t think anyone really understands how big an effect QE had on real asset prices and how it changed the dynamic within our society – not just in the US and Europe but everywhere,” he says.
Campbell Soup’s Board On The Defensive: But What Choices Do They Have? (Forbes)
Imagine when the call came into the board of Campbell Soup (CPB) from Daniel Loeb, head of hedge fund Third Point LLC and a known activist investor. He wants to replace its entire board with his chosen candidates. What does the board do? What arrows does it have in its arsenal to fend him off? Campbell Soup has been in a nosedive. Its sales are down, its stock price is sagging, and nothing the board has done, so far, has clicked. In the last year, its stock has dipped from 51 to 40, a 25% drop, though it has bounced back from its low of 32.
Ray Dalio Spells Out America’s Worst Nightmare (Bloomberg)
Ray Dalio, the billionaire hedge fund manager who founded Bridgewater Associates, effectively spelled out what doomsday looks like for the U.S. on live television. In an interview with Bloomberg TV on Wednesday, Dalio expressed his concern about two years from now, when, in his view, the economic recovery is likely to sputter out. It won’t just be a debt problem this time around, he said, but rather a story about unfunded pension and health-care obligations. To address that looming crisis, the U.S. will need to ramp up issuance of U.S. Treasuries.
For Hedge Fund Stars, Being Right in 2008 Proved to Be a Curse (Bloomberg)
Einhorn, Paulson, and Howard made their names in the crisis, but they faded in the decade that followed. It was the spring of 2008, and David Einhorn gave the most memorable speech of his career. At a conference in Manhattan, the hedge fund manager took to the stage at the standing-room-only concert hall and delivered a scathing attack on Lehman Brothers. The U.S. investment bank, he said, hadn’t disclosed before that year billions of dollars of assets tied to loans and had incorrectly valued some its mortgage-related assets.
Nielsen Says It Is Exploring More Options, Including Potential Sale or Spinoff (The Wall Street Journal)
The board of Nielsen Holdings PLC said Wednesday that it is open to reviewing more strategic options for the company amid activist pressure to either sell or spin off parts of it. Last month, activist hedge fund Elliott Management said it had taken an 8.4% stake in Nielsen, valued at around $660 million at the time, and would push the company to look into strategic options including a sale, The Wall Street Journal reported.