Cohen Probe Is Missing Key Elements (WSJ)
In the insider-trading investigation of hedge-fund billionaire Steven A. Cohen, the U.S. government playbook looks to be missing two important elements: incriminating wiretaps and well-positioned cooperators. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that federal prosecutors in Manhattan are unlikely to bring criminal insider-trading charges against Mr. Cohen, founder of SAC Capital Advisors LP, before a statute-of-limitations deadline expires late this month. The deadline is connected to what prosecutors have called the most lucrative insider-trading scheme ever made public.
Blackstone Raises $5 Billion Rental Bet With Lending Arm (Bloomberg)
The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX), the private-equity firm that has spent $5 billion on more than 30,000 distressed houses, is preparing to expand its bet on the housing recovery by lending to other landlords. …Tennyson didn’t return phone messages seeking comment on his role at B2R. Peter Rose, a spokesman for The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX), declined to comment. With the creation of a lending unit, The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX) would be adding to a big wager on the residential real estate recovery it began making after the crash, when prices fell as much as 35 percent from the 2006 peak.
Trustee Wins $546 Million From JP Morgan For Hedge Fund Investors (HedgeCo)
The case from back in June (2013) of US regulators via. Jon Corzine (MF Global Inc, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, No. 11-2790, and Deangelis v. Corzine, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 11-7866,) over the collapse global financial derivatives broker and hedge fund trader MF Global, formerly known as Man Financial, won court approval on Wednesday for a $546 million settlement with JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), according to Reuters. ( the run-on sentence is due to the Friday-after-4th-factor.) Reuters reports: “Under the settlement, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) will pay $100 million to benefit former customers. It has also agreed to return more than $29 million in brokerage funds and to release claims on $417 million.”
James Altucher hosts Stansberry Radio with Guests Dan Marino and Michael Pento (PRWeb)
The always-lively James Altucher entertained listeners of Stansberry Radio last week in an episode that boasted guest appearances by bond expert Michael Pento and famed NFL Quarterback, Dan Marino. Altucher went into detail about his decision not to run for political office saying his advisory team told him, “my platform was completely crazy.” Altucher and show Co-host Aaron Brabham discussed the new book, “Choose Yourself!” released in June of this year. “We have to choose ourselves now for success” stated Altucher.
Hedge Fund Perry Capital Sues US Treasury, FHFA Over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Takeovers, Sweep Amendment (IBTimes)
In the latest sign of unrest among private shareholders of Fannie Mae (OTCBB:FNMA) and Freddie Mac (OTCBB:FMCC), hedge fund Perry Capital LLC filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Treasury in a federal court in the District of Columbia, on Sunday, alleging that the 2012 amendments made to the bailout terms set for the two firms were illegal. New York-based Perry Capital challenged the government’s takeover of the mortgage giants during the financial crisis and the subsequent “sweep amendment” in 2012, which altered the original terms of the acquisition. The fund claimed, according to the lawsuit, that the alteration violates private investors’ rights as it prevents the two firms from building their own capital.
Melanion Capital launches first hedge fund focused on dividend futures (Opalesque)
Melanion Capital, Paris has received authorization from the French Autorité des Marchés Financiers to become the first alternative manager to specialize in investment in dividend futures. Led by Jad Comair, founder and CIO, the Melanion team traces its track record and expertise in dividend futures (at a leading French investment bank) from 2008, the year of the first listing of a dividend future on Eurex. Since 2008, the dividend futures market has expanded in volume, in the number of traded instruments (single stocks, indices, options, etc), the number of exchanges issuing these contracts (Eurex, NYSE Euronext, MEFF, LSE, Tokyo, Singapore etc.) and the number of market participants (institutions, banks, family offices and others).
Hold on for China roller coaster ride: Quam AM (AsianInvestor)
Managers for the Quam China Focus Fund expect more mainland market volatility to come, even as a relative calm has prevailed following a turbulent -15.6% drop in the CSI300 last month. “There is high degree of uncertainty surrounding the China economy, as there is a consensus that there will be no economic stimulus from the government,” says Jim Fong, portfolio manager for the Greater China-focused long/short equity strategy, run out of Hong Kong by Quam Asset Management. Last month’s rocky trading conditions were triggered by an expected tightening of liquidity in China, with stocks of small banks bearing the brunt of losses. It has effectively diffused optimism that fuelled a bull market in February.
Hedge funds: Goal of stability remains (FT)
There is increasing pressure on the hedge fund industry to justify its existence. With a volatile macroeconomic climate showing no signs of calming – and big, long-term questions pressing over allocations to both equities and bonds – institutional investors have never been in greater need of a diversified, low-volatility compliment to their portfolios. The challenge for hedge funds, many now equally pressured by the unforgiving investing climate, is to fulfil that mandate. Post-2008 has hardly been a golden period: according to HFR, the research house, the average hedge fund manager has returned just 34 per cent in the past four years. Much of that is attributable to a 20 per cent return in 2009 as global assets rallied.
Next Big Thing? Hedge Funds for the Masses (MoneyNews)
More financial firms are introducing hedge funds, as well as hedge-fund-like products, for small investors. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) became the first big investment bank with a multi-manager hedge fund for retail investors, according to CNBC, when it launched a fund in May, raising $58 million within two months. And now several other investment banks are working on hedge funds with minimum investments that might be as low as $1,000, opening the funds to a broad swath of small investors. …Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS)’s new fund comes with a 2 percent management fee but lacks the common hedge fund 20 percent performance fee and typical hedge fund restrictions against withdrawals.
JIM ROGERS: Gold Mining Stocks Face 2 Major Headwinds (BusinessInsider)
As gold prices plunged, gold mining stocks have taken a beating too. We saw a brutal sell-off on Friday, and the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF has been down 49.5% year-to-date. In the second of our two-part interview with Jim Rogers, the commodities guru told us about the biggest headwinds for gold miners. Also, he’s not convinced that the commodities supercycle has ended just yet. …Jim Rogers: I don’t own gold mining stocks. There’s so many other easy ways for people to buy gold now that the miners have stiff competition. And there’s lots and lots of competitive situations in mining.
Sell equity & bond, hold cash as more gloom ahead: Faber (MoneyControl)
Investors would be better off reducing their exposure to equity and bonds, and instead keep a sizeable chunk of their portfolio in cash, advises investment guru Marc Faber. He foresees big downsides in equity markets across the globe, including US, which has been one of the better performing markets in recent times. In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Faber says he expects the US Federal Reserve to persist with its policy of pumping liquidity into the economy through bond purchases. …He is not too optimistic about India, saying the rupee could weaken further if the twin deficits (fiscal and current account) were not dealt with effectively.
Dell rubbishes its financial performance to discredit Carl Icahn’s bid (TheInquirer)
Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) has rubbished its financial performance to make Carl Icahn‘s takeover plans seem unrealistic. Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) is the midst of a takeover battle as CEO Michael Dell tries to take the firm private, with investor Icahn and Southeastern Asset Management making a higher offer. The firm’s Special Advisory Committee that is overseeing the “go shop” period has repeatedly failed to endorse Icahn’s bid, and now the firm has taken to calling Icahn’s figures based on “unrealistic multiples” and saying the company was outperformed by HP. HP’s recent financials have hardly been anything to shout about, with the firm reporting a 32 percent fall in profits. But it appears that Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) is embracing its rival’s poor fiscal performance as a means to argue that Icahn is overvaluing the company.
Activist Funds Fight Their Way to Gains (InstitutionalInvestorsAlpha)
Activists are among the best-performing hedge funds this year, with most of the biggest players posting gains of between 10 and 13 percent through June on fairly concentrated portfolios. A big part of the reason, of course, is that the stock market in general rose 12.6 percent, excluding dividends reinvested. So portfolios that are mostly positioned on the long side generally fared well in the first half of the year. Some managers did even better than the market. ValueAct Holdings, a hedge fund managed by Jeffrey Ubben’s ValueAct Capital, rose 13 percent for the first half of this year after gaining 3 percent in the second quarter.
Novus opens book on manager data (PIOnline)
Do you fantasize about having everything you ever wanted to know about a money manager at your fingertips whenever you want it? Basil Qunibi, founder and CEO of Novus Partners Inc., New York, made that dream reality. A hedge funds-of-funds portfolio manager in a former life, Mr. Qunibi said that as an allocator, he was intensely frustrated by the lack of detailed information about money managers he was reviewing. Frustration finally got the better of him and he left money management in 2007 to find other ex-portfolio managers, engineers and data scientists to build a massive data collection machine.