Hedge Fund News: George Soros, Steven Cohen, John Paulson

SOROS FUND MANAGEMENTGeorge Soros Getting Back to Politics (WSJ)
Democratic heavyweight George Soros keeps inching his way back into partisan politics. The latest evidence: Mr. Soros donated $100,000 in August to a super PAC created to help Democrats win control of the House in the November election. The contribution, tucked into a fundraising report released late Thursday night, is the latest evidence that Mr. Soros’s self-imposed hiatus from election politics may be coming to an end after nearly a decade.

Bridgewater’s Dalio says euro will survive debt crisis (CTPost)
Ray Dalio, the billionaire investor who runs the world’s largest hedge fund out of Westport, said the euro will “likely” stay together because austerity measures deterring growth will be balanced by European Central Bank intervention. “Restructuring of debt and austerity are deflationary, and they are negative for growth,” Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates LP, said in an interview with CNBC aired Friday. “The printing of money is inflationary and positive for growth. The policy by Mario Draghi and the ECB is a policy to achieve balance of those things.” Yields on Spanish and Italian bonds have fallen from their July highs after Draghi, the ECB’s president, said this month he would buy government debt to help make borrowing costs for European countries sustainable. Dalio, a Greenwich resident whose firm manages about $130 billion, said countries in southern Europe will probably suffer through a “managed depression” that lasts as long as 15 years.

Where a Hedge Fund Is Finding Bonds to Buy (Barrons)
True, yields are pretty paltry these days, with the 10-year Treasury at 1.8%. But that hasn’t stopped Steve Tananbaum, a seasoned hedge-fund manager who specializes in below-investment-grade credits, from finding good opportunities. Tananbaum, the managing partner and chief investment officer of GoldenTree Asset Management, is particularly high on bank loans. However, he is steering away from the debt securities of companies that he thinks have too much leverage, such as Clear Channel Communications. At the same time, he considers the current environment to be pretty benign for many junk bonds, whose yields exceed 10-year Treasuries by more than five percentage…

Asset gap between large and small hedge fund widened: hedge fund news, week 38 (Opalesque)
In the week-ending 21 Sept. 2012, it was reported that British hedge fund firm Polygon has recently launched a mining fund; former head trader at Touradji Capital Paul Crone started a metals hedge fund for Citrine Capital; Four Elements Capital launched last week the Precious Metals Element Program to invest in gold and related metals; former MF Global head of equity derivatives Daniel Bystrom and Neil Boyarsky said they plan to launch an equity volatility hedge fund firm called Hawksfield Capital; Zadig Asset Management portfolio manager Jonathan Herbert has set up London-based Cologny Advisors, a €25m new hedge fund; Zen Capital Management said it was preparing to launch a true global macro hedge fund, the Zen Capital Management Global Fund. Goldman Sachs Asset Management launched three UCITS funds based on the S&P’s GIVI indices concept.

Goldman Sachs plays catch-up with hedge fund offering (Business-Standard)
Goldman Sachs Group is taking a page from its Wall Street competitors in bringing a new hedge fund product to market. The firm has begun offering its wealthiest customers the opportunity to invest in about a half-dozen hedge funds, according to regulatory filings, including well-known names like Brevan Howard and Jana Partners, without having to go to the funds themselves, which require much higher minimum investments. The new offering, called Hedge Fund Select, is similar to products that other big brokers like Morgan Stanley, Citigroup Inc and Bank of America Corp’s Merrill Lynch division have offered for many years.

BH Global Up 0.6% In August, CEO says Europe Deteriorating (ValueWalk)
Europe’s second largest hedge fund, Brevan Howard Global Ltd., gained 0.58 percent in August, compared to 2.31% for July. The fund, which has $37 billion of assets under management, is up 1.43 percent YTD. Its commodity fund, BHCS, generated the highest gains of 3.86 percent in August. Most of the BHCS gains came from long positions in oil and precious metals. Brevan Howard said in its monthly shareholder report that the Investment Committee is confident of all the underlying funds to generate returns, so it made no changes in the allocation weights this month. The fund states that the labor market and growth in the US are still disappointing. Though the unemployment rate has fallen to 8.1 percent, it is mainly because many people have stopped looking for jobs. The average hourly earnings have also declined since last month. Unfortunately, there is no hope for improvement during the second half of this year. Manufacturing reports are disappointing, and the sectors that were maintaining the momentum now seem vulnerable.

Here’s What This $4 Billion Hedge Fund Has Been Buying (DailyFinance)
Every quarter, many money managers have to disclose what they’ve bought and sold via “13F” filings. Their latest moves can shine a bright light on smart stock picks. Today let’s look at Farallon Capital Management, which was founded by Thomas Steyer in 1986 and employs a bottom-up fundamental investing strategy. …Among holdings in which Farallon increased its stake were Westport Innovations Inc. (NASDAQ:WPRT) and Ultra Petroleum Corp. (NYSE:UPL). Westport Innovations is a designer of low-emissions engines that run on natural gas, among other things. Its future is bright as we seek ways to depend less on oil and embrace the current low natural-gas prices. Some think prices may stay low, benefiting Westport. New government mandates for vehicle makers to increase their average fuel efficiency could also boost Westport. In the meantime, though, it remains unprofitable.

Hedge fund manager Steven A. Cohen to sell Gerhard Richter painting at NYC auction (GreenFieldReporter)
A painting by German abstract artist Gerhard Richter that’s owned by “king of hedge funds” Steven Cohen is going on the auction block in New York City. Christie’s says “Prag 1883” is estimated to sell “in the region of $15 million” on Nov. 14. The title of the painting depicting swirling bright yellow, blue and red colors refers to the birthplace and birth date of Franz Kafka. Kafka was one of Richter’s favorite authors.

Mark Cox is named president of Eco Ventures (SouthLakePress)
The founder and CEO of a hedge fund specializing in alternative energy has been named the new president of Eco Ventures Group in Groveland. Construction of the company’s first biofuel production plant is about 80 percent complete at its 100,000 square-foot property at 7432 East Highway 50. It is expected to be finished in the fourth quarter with commercial production anticipated to begin in the first quarter of 2013, subject to state and federal permitting.

Jim Rogers Joins VTB Capital’s Agriculture Division (ValueWalk)
Legendary investor Jim Rogers joined as an adviser to the agriculture division of VTB Capital, the investment unit of Russia’s largest financial institution, VTB Bank. According to VTB Capital, Rogers will provide regular advice and insights regarding the global commodity markets and investment trends, starting this month. VTB Capital recently launched an investment platform to explore and capitalize growth opportunities in the agricultural markets. The Russian private equity firm is active in commodities investment and it is looking forward to attracting $500 million to $1 billion, over a period through its development strategy.

Karpal slams foreign funding allegations (TheMalaysianInsider)
DAP national chairman Karpal Singh said the allegation that the party is getting foreign funds from George Soros was uncalled for. “Where is the evidence that the DAP is getting foreign funds?” he said when asked about several Malaysian non-governmental organisations (NGOs) including Suaram having obtained foreign funds to destabilise the government. On the claim that the DAP was also linked to the foreign funds, Karpal said: “DAP does not get foreign funds.” Speaking to reporters here today, he said most organisations received foreign funds but this was nothing wrong as long as they were declared and not illegal. “In fact a lot of countries get foreign aid from other countries like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for example. Do you think it is a criminal offence?” he said.

Soros link kept under wraps (TheStar)
Veteran journalist Y.L. Chong quit from Malaysiakini as its news editor more than a decade ago when the news portal management refused to admit that they were getting funds from currency speculator George Soros. “I told Malaysiakini 11 years ago to come clean, and not hide such information from our subscribers and readers. “I decided to throw in my resignation as I could not toe the line and keep the Soros link under wraps,” he said in an interview. Chong stressed that he was not against accepting foreign funds but must come clean after accepting the money.

MKM Partners: Limit Activist Investors’ ‘Clever’ Use Of Shorts, Derivatives (Barrons)
Those pesky hedge funds! Those nettlesome activist investors! MKM Partners event-driven strategist Keith M. Moore this morning calls for regulators to take a closer look at activist investors’ use of hedging and sophisticated instruments such as swaps to increase their chances of success when locked in a struggle with a public company’s board and management. We always thought it is good, on net, that Carl Icahn and friends can throw their weight around to unlock shareholder value. It’s a tall order to argue that just because an investor happens to be an activist, he should be barred from using the same widely used tools at others’ disposal, just by virtue of being an activist.

John Paulson Told A Room Full Of People That SEC Filings Are A Waste Of Time Last Night (BusinessInsider)
John Paulson gave a speech to the Young Jewish Professionals network in New York City last night, and despite recent dismal performance, he seemed pretty confident, AR Magazine reports. So confident, in fact, that he took a moment to cut down regulators and regulations. The amount of information he has to provide the SEC, he said, is a total time waster. And Dodd-Frank?… too complicated.

College Illinois fund to take bath on car investment (PIOnline)
The Illinois Student Assistance Commission, which runs the state’s prepaid college savings plan, expects to lose more than half of its $10 million investment in luxury hybrid-car startup Fisker Automotive. The commission, which runs the $1.1 billion College Illinois fund backing the college savings plan used by more than 30,000 Illinois families, disclosed the bad news at its Sept. 14 meeting, spokesman John Samuels said.