Hedge Fund News, Insider Trading Cases, Buffett & Gold, Ken Fisher, and Soros…

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAYFalcone-Backed Ferrous Resources Said to Name Nicolato Correa as Next CEO (Bloomberg)

Ferrous Resources Ltd., the iron-ore miner backed by billionaire Philip Falcone’s Harbinger Capital partners LLC, appointed Jayme Nicolato Correa as chief executive officer, a person familiar with the situation said. Nicolato Correa, who until last year was mining director at Brazilian steelmaker Cia. Siderurgica Nacional SA, will replace Mozart Litwinski, the person said, declining to be named because there was no public announcement by the company yet. Ferrous declined to comment, according to an official at an external public relations firm working for the company in Brazil.

Second Round Dodgers Bids Due About Feb 23 (Reuters)

The second round of bids for the highly sought after Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team is due around Feb. 23, according to several people familiar with the process. The Dodgers are expected to fetch more than $1.5 billion, a record for a baseball team, and have attracted an impressive lineup of sporting and financial moguls, ranging from Magic Johnson to hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen. Terms of a settlement between Major League Baseball and team owner Frank McCourt stated that McCourt must sell the team by April 30.

Billionaire Ken Fisher’s Top 5 Stock Picks (The Motley Fool)

Ken Fisher is a widely published money manager, a contributor to Forbes magazine for more than 27 years and the author of eight books about investing, four of which are New York Times best sellers. In 2010, he was selected by Investment Advisor as one of the industry’s 30 most influential people over the past 30 years.

Gross vs. Buffett on Treasuries (Bloomberg)

Pacific Investment Management Co.’s Bill Gross increased his holdings of Treasuries to the highest level since July 2010, while billionaire investor Warren Buffett called them “dangerous.” Gross boosted U.S. government and Treasury debt to 38 percent of assets in Pimco’s $250.5 billion Total Return Fund, the world’s biggest bond fund. The position in January climbed from 30 percent in December, according to a report on the company’s website yesterday.

Stocks Versus Gold And Bonds (Aleph Blog)

I have great admiration for Warren Buffett, even though I am critical of him at a number of points.  When I read the piece in Fortune where he talks about asset allocation issues, I agree with him 75%.  Where should money be invested? Stocks.  And as for me, 75% of my net worth is there.  Nonetheless, I see value in bonds, gold, and cash, even though I don’t own any gold, aside from my wedding ring. Gold is valuable because of its scarcity, and that it is beloved by most cultures in the world.  Gold is beautiful.  Compare it with other metals, gold stands out because it has little economic usefulness.  But that is a feature, not a bug, because it makes gold immune to economic cycles.

Is Gold Really a Good Investment Over the Long Term? (Value Walk)

The increasing demand for gold must be understood in relationship to the actual known gold reserves.  In an article adapted for CNNMoney dated February 9, 2012, Warren Buffet describes the current total world gold supply in a very surprising way.

Why Warren Buffett Is Wrong on Gold (The Street)

Warren Buffett, legendary investor and head of Berkshire Hathaway, has slammed gold, yet again, saying it doesn’t have any use and isn’t procreative. Buffett does acknowledge that gold’s 10-year bull market has been helped by the multiplication of fear in the marketplace, which triggered a flood into the hard asset. But he writes this rally off by saying that “as ‘bandwagon’ investors join any party, they create their own truth — for a while.”

George Soros’ 8 Bold Predictions From the ‘Tiger Den’  (Advisor One)

The wealthy investors who make up the peer-to-peer learning group TIGER 21 like to invite heavy hitters, such as Mohammed El-Erian, Carl Icahn and Jim Rogers, to their Headliner Lunches. In December, George Soros joined that illustrious roster, according to a statement from the group released Wednesday.

SEC Reaches Settlement In Bear Stearns Hedge Fund Managers Case (Reuters)

Two former Bear Stearns hedge fund managers who were acquitted of criminal charges in 2009 are prepared to settle a civil case with U.S. market regulators over subprime mortgage-backed securities, according to a person familiar with the case. If a settlement between the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the two defendants is approved by a Brooklyn, New York federal judge, the case will not go to trial as planned on Monday.

Pact Set in SEC-Bear Stearns Case (WSJ)

Two former hedge-fund managers at Bear Stearns Cos. agreed to a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission that would avert a civil trial over allegations related to a $1.6 billion blowup during the financial crisis. Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin won’t admit to wrongdoing as part of the deal to settle civil-fraud charges filed against them by the SEC in 2008, according to people familiar with the matter. The two men are expected to pay a financial penalty, these people said, but the amount wasn’t clear as of Thursday night.

Insider-Trade Suspect Tied to Rep. Lowey (WSJ)

The husband of a Westchester congresswoman who backed a bill to ban insider trading in Congress has put $350,000 into an investment fund founded by a businessman facing criminal insider-trading charges, according to records and her spouse. Rep. Nita Lowey, (D., N.Y.) voted Thursday for the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, also known as the Stock Act, which passed 417-2 in the House of Representatives and must now be reconciled with a Senate version of the bill. The legislation explicitly prohibits members of Congress from using nonpublic information they receive through their positions for personal benefit.

Bet On European Banks Pays Off (WSJ)

When the German bank HSH Nordbank AG launched a tender offer this week for its hybrid securities, it was a pay off that had been a long time coming for a group of U.S. hedge funds. Going back to last June, when the Hamburg bank hosted a meeting at its office in the Helmsley Building adjacent to Grand Central Terminal in New York, it had been under pressure from investors. The attendees at this meeting weren’t the institutional investors it usually courts in Europe, but a group of U.S. hedge funds that trade in distressed bonds.

Astenbeck Loses 3.8%, First Loss For Manager In 14 Years (FINalternatives)

Astenbeck Capital Management, which manages about $5 billion, was whipsawed by the market volatility this year. The hedge fund rose 18% through April, but lost much of those gains during early May’s oil rout. By the end of August, it was down more than 10%, only to recover and then some. Another swoon, 18% in September, left it down 5%, but Stephen Chazen, CEO of Phibro parent Occidental Petroleum, said that by October Hall was back at even, if not better.

York Posts Gains In Jan. (FINalternatives)

York Capital Management bounced back from a difficult 2011 in January, with most of its hedge funds enjoying above-average returns to start the new year. The New York-based firm told investors that its flagship York Multi-Strategy Fund returned between 3.7% and 3.9% on the month, Dow Jones Newswires reports. The fund lost in excess of 7% last year.

Investors Stick With Hedge Funds In Jan. (FINalternatives)

Suffering their second-worst year ever didn’t hit hedge funds where it hurts in January, according to a new report. Investor redemptions fell to a record low in January, according to the GlobeOp Capital Movement Index. Gross outflows were just 0.53% on the month, while net inflows rose to 2.25%, the best figure since September.

Valiant’s Hansen, Seattle Team Up For Basketball In City (FINalternatives)

Hedge fund founder Christopher Hansen is working with his hometown to bring professional basketball back to Seattle. The Valiant Capital Management chief, who has been working since at least year on plans to build a new sports arena in Seattle, has been working with city officials for the past eight months on his plan. The extent of the city’s cooperation with Hansen, who lives in San Francisco, became clear after the Seattle Times won the release of documents from the city last week.

Thaddeus shuts $300 mln Asia hedge fund (Reuters)

Hong Kong-based Thaddeus Capital Management has shut its Asia event-driven hedge fund, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said, joining a growing list of shuttered regional managers. Thaddeus Asia Event Driven Fund, which managed just over $300 million, was down about 8 percent last year, the source said.

Galena Posts Gains In January, Eyes US$1 Billion In New Assets (FINalternatives)

Commodity hedge fund Galena Asset Management had a positive start to the new year, with all but one of its funds posting gains. The US$2.1 billion asset management arm of Trafigura saw its flagship Metals Fund rise 2.57%, in line with the high end of the average hedge fund according to industry indices. The fund returned 11.32% last year.

Hedge Funds Bullish On Returns (Financial Times)

The average hedge fund lost around 5 per cent in 2011, their worst performance since Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008. Daniel Garrahan reports on whether the outlook for hedge funds this year is for higher returns or just high fees.

Hedge Funds Engage In Reversal Of Fortune (Institutional Investor)

Many of the worst-performing hedge funds in 2011 are leading the pack so far this year. Of course the most high-profile — however incipient — turnaround is taking place at Paulson & Co., where its most aggressive fund is reportedly up about 5 percent through January after dropping 50 percent in 2011.

Hedgie Andy Hall’s Win Streak Over After 14 Years? (Barrons)

Andy Hall, considered one of the most successful commodities traders among hedge fund managers, is believed to have finished 2011 in negative territory, snapping a 14-year plus winning streak. His $5 billion Astenbeck fund fell 3.8% last year, Reuters is reporting. That would seem to indicate that Phibro, the century old commodities house that Hall.

“Person to Person”: Warren Buffett (My Investing Notebook)

Warren gives Charlie Rose a tour of Berkshire Hathaway’s World Headquarters.

Bad News for the Congressional Hedge Fund (The Reformed Broker)

Hopefully our fave hedge fund manager in Congress can put this behind him quickly and go back to compounding returns at absurdly high levels…

Mid-Sized Fohfs See Aum Increase, Preqin Reveals (COO Connect)

Mid-sized funds of hedge funds (FoHFs) saw a 10% increase in assets under management (AuM) at the expense of their larger peers, according to research by Preqin. Managers with more than $10 billion AuM saw a 2.1% decrease in 2011 although they still control 45% of investor capital in the multi-manager space despite accounting for just 5% of the industry. Some 24% of FoHFs reported a jump in AuM bringing total assets to $945 billion – up from $910 billion at the beginning of 2011 although just shy of their 2008 peak of $1.25 trillion.

Whitman Capital Head Arrested For Insider Trading (Financial Times)

The head of Whitman Capital, a Palo Alto hedge fund, has been charged with insider trading as part of the US government’s long-running investigation into corruption on Wall Street. Doug Whitman, the portfolio manager, surrendered to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in New York on Friday morning, an FBI spokesman confirmed.

The Best of the Aleph Blog, Part 13 (Aleph Blog)

CWS Market Review – February 10, 2012 (Crossing Wall Street)

10 Friday AM Reads (The Big Picture)

HSBC Positions Fund Of Hedge Funds To Take Advantage Of Shift To Fundamentals (Hedge Fund Review)

Frontrunning: February 10 (Zero Hedge)

Friday 7atseven: Productive Assets (Abnormal Returns)

HFMWeek Daily Snapshot – 10 February (HFM Week)

Rothshild Buys Héritage A.M., And Other French Hedge Fund News (Opalesque)

T2 Partners Up In January, Short Selling’s Naked Truth, Harbinger Borrows $190m And More (Reuters Hedge World)