Hedge Fund News: Carl Icahn, Jeffrey Smith, Ray Dalio

Icahn: Oil Will Go Lower, Saudi Arabia Blindsiding The World (CNBC)
The price of oil will go lower as supply and demand remain unbalanced, activist investor Carl Icahn said Thursday. Icahn, who spoke with CNBC’s “Fast Money: Halftime Report,” said that Saudi Arabia’s decision not to cut oil production blindsided the global market, and that he expects the commodity’s price will keep sliding. “I think [oil’s price] will continue to go down unless there is some outside event,” Icahn said.

Jeff Smith

 

Dalio, Cohn, Summers: The US is Fine…For Now (CNBC)
Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates, the largest hedge fund in the world, echoed the point. “We’re in a new era in which central banks have largely lost their power to ease,” Dalio said as part of the same panel discussion in noting historically low interest rates. “If you get a downturn in the economy, the effectiveness of monetary policy will be less.” He did say the U.S. economy was fine for now, but added later that it won’t last forever. “I worry about the downside because the downside will come,” Dalio said.

Starboard Tells Company to Sell Its Private Planes… and Itself (Wall Street Journal)
The activist hedge fund Starboard Value LP told Paul Sarvadi, the CEO and chairman of the human resource outsourcing firm Insperity Inc.NSP +5.75%, that he needs to consider selling the company. But in the meantime, the hedge fund is urging him to sell the firm’s corporate jets. In a missive to Mr. Sarvadi, Starboard founder Jeffrey Smith called the company “deeply undervalued” and said the fund holds a 13.2% stake in the company, which makes the fund its largest shareholder. It outlined a list of steps that Insperity could take to boost its share price.

Icahn to Seek 2 Seats on Gannett’s Board (New York Times)
Carl C. Icahn is not one to relax for long. Fresh off signing a truce with eBay, the activist investor disclosed on Thursday that he planned to seek two seats on the board of Gannett, as well as to make proposals to prevent the media company from installing defenses against potential takeover bids. The move by Mr. Icahn precedes a planned breakup of Gannett into two companies, separating out its newspaper unit, which includes USA Today, from its much bigger broadcast operations.