After Amaranth

Hunter, Amaranth Dream Team Still Finding Ways To Lose

brianhuntermaybe.jpgWe’ve been sitting on this story because we didn’t want to rain on the comeback parade Brian Hunter’s been enjoying at the Peak Ridge Commodity Volatility & Fallen Heroes Shot at Redemption Fund, and Nick Maounis had quite nearly completed the assembly of his pussy posse, so there was that, but we can’t in good faith wait any longer: on Wednesday, a federal judge denied a motion by Amaranth Associates and its erstwhile golden boy B. Hunter, to dismiss charges brought by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission which said something about AA and BH attempting to manipulate the natural gas markets, and then lying to the NYMEX to cover up the botched mission. At the heart of the matter, the CFTC claims, are a series of instant messages between Hunter, Matthew Donohoe, other Amaranth employees and a trader at another firm, that supposedly “reveal [an] intent to manipulate prices.” You can find them here.
Personally, all I see are a bunch of “hahas,” instances of experimental grammar and, most offensively, “LOLs.” Are these transgressions emblematic of one’s trading acumen/criminality? I’m not sure. If they are, however, these guys are going down.
Hunter’s attorney, Michael Kim of Kobre & Kim LLP, told Reuters Friday, “When the case is fully examined, we are confident that Brian Hunter will be vindicated.” Kim (fictitiously) added, “Or, he will hang himself in his cell. Could go either way.”
Judge Denies Amaranth, Hunter Motion to Dismiss [Reuters]

Fish Boy Continues To Make A “Comeback”

brianhuntermaybe.jpgDestroyer of all worlds/marine life/investor capital Brian Hunter continued to earn his keep at the Peak Ridge Commodity Volatility Fund last month, which gained 17 percent in April as a result of Hunter’s advisement and a risk management team that won’t let him use the men’s room without a chaperone. The fund, which follows a similar strategy to the one Hunter used at Amaranth, was up 6 percent in March and 138 percent since the all star joined in November. Which means everything is right on track, for BH to blow the ass out of that place eight to ten months from now. We’re thinking by then, enough time will have passed for Nick Maounis to get over whatever resentment he might still have for Fish Boy, and offer the kid a job, as the fluffer of Verition Fund Management’s second in command.
Earlier: Nick Maounis’s New Hire
Ex-Amaranth Trader Hunter Helps Deliver 17% Gain for Peak Ridge [Bloomberg]

Nick Maounis’s New Hire

Nick Maounis’s old hedge fund might’ve gone under because he hired a Canadian (who failed to effectively manipulate the natural gas market) but I think this time he’s got it figured out. Maounis has reportedly scored Peter Chung to run a credit book for his new venture, Connecticut-based Verition Fund Management. Chung comes from Highland Capital, and previous to that, the Carlyle Group, where he was working when he sent out that colorful email to his friends referring to himself as King Chung, and describing the apartment he was staying in while in Seoul for business thusly:

[It’s a] brand new 2000 sq. foot 3 bedroom apt. with a 200 sq. foot terrace running the entire length of my apartment with a view overlooking Korea’s main river and nightline. Why do I need 3 bedrooms? Good question, the main bedroom is for my queen size bed, where CHUNG is going to fuck every hot chick in Korea over the next 2 years (5 down, 1,000,000,000 left to go) the second bedroom is for my harem of chickies, and the third bedroom is for all of you fuckers when you come out to visit my ass in Korea.

We hear that while Chung is said to be a brilliant businessman who’s had considerable success since being dismissed from Carlyle, it was his proven track record with the ladies that sealed the deal for Maounis, who’s had some difficulties in that department since AA went under.

I know I was a stud in NYC but I pretty much get about, on average, 5-9 phone numbers a night and at least 3 hot chicks that say they want to go home with me every night I go out…what can I say…live [sic] is good…CHUNG is KING.

Obviously we’re thrilled for them both, though our excitement was slightly dampened when we received an anonymous tip that Brian Hunter has been weeping audibly in his office at Peak Ridge Capital since hearing the news. Apparently Fish Boy had come to grips with the fact that Maounis wasn’t going to offer him another job, but he’d been holding on to the pipe dream that he’d at least be brought back into the fold as a wingman.
Amaranth founder teams up with “King Chung” for new firm [American Madness]
Chung King [Snopes]

Amaranth Alums: Where Are They Now?

scarletltrdis.jpgI’ve long wondered whether or not at one time being employed by Amaranth Advisors would be the professional equivalent of pulling a Merrill e.g. would it make you unemployable (except at Bear Stearns or Think Equity — the IB equivalent of Frank Stallone)? Apparently the answer is ‘no,’ but a qualified no, that qualification being that you’re neither Brian Hunter nor Nick Maounis. For instance, former AA chief operating officer Charles Winkler recently joined multi-strategy shop Hudson Bay Capital, and the entire investor relations team, which was known for being all sorts of “cheesy hot,” found work at Scores (watch for them on “Happy Hour” next week).
Sadly, not everyone has had as much luck as Fonzie and the girls. Though Brian Hunter technically owns his own firm, insiders say that the market manipulator’s venture is really just a front to fund legal fees associated with suing various websites for merely sharing his ideas on how he plans to fuck future clients. AA founder Rick Moranis is now in Tampa, trying, unsuccessfully so far, to get a telemarketing firm that defrauds the elderly off the ground. Anyway. I think we all know what time is:

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brianhuntermaybe.jpgFormer Amaranth energy trader and current fishing enthusiast Brian Hunter, whose natural gas picks turned out to be so wrong that they lost the hedge fund $6 billion in week, filed an 18-page plea with a federal court in Washington, D.C. on Friday, asking them to stop FERC from looking into his job history. Why? It’s causing all sorts of problems for him at his new place of employment, and not just catty inter-office talk, like “B-bone’s ass looks huge in those pants.” (That was just a for instance. “That picture with the fish was totally staged. Dude’s never caught a guppy in his life” would work, too). According to Hunter, as a direct result of FERC’s investigation into his alleged market manipulation, Solengo has lost fund directors, traders and potential investors.
“The FERC’s OSC has continued to damage Solengo Capital Advisors and the company is now on the brink of complete disintegration,” Hunter noted in a supplemental declaration, and you know he must mean it because this guy never lies. Among the supposed ways Solengo has been victimized by FERC are the fact that two directors of the Solengo Managed Funds resigned on July 25, two portfolio managers who’d previously given their word to join the firm reneged, and the fund has lost an enormous amount of (potential investor) money, though not as much as Brian misplaced at Amaranth (come on now). The filing states that prior to FERC’s (just plain rude) action, 25 investors had plans to fork over $800 million in ‘lengo. The fine wine now counts less than 12 entities with a total of $100 million among them willing to give the fund any money. And—get this—there’ve been no new inquiries since FERC started sticking its nose in other people’s business.
Hunter also jumps in his Delorean and comes back to report in the filing that he may have to walk away from the operation entirely, since Solengo will probably not win the approval of Alberta regulators while his name remains on the box. (Unsolicited: maybe that’s what you should’ve done in the first place? Taken the hundreds of millions that remained in your bank account even after you guessed everything wrong at Amaranth, sat on a beach in the Virgin Islands (or down the shore, whatever) and promised to never trade again, even through E*TRADE Financial? OR, alternatively, used these psychic powers to not blow up your former employer?).
If salty discharge hasn’t appeared around your eyes yet, wait. By Hunter’s estimation, he has invested $1.7 million of his own money and an “enormous amount of [his] time” setting up the fund that may soon just be a distant memory (remembered for getting miffed at us for showing its marketing brochures, which have since been replaced with pictures of puppies in the sun). Anyone need a minute? There’s no judgement in this room.

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Hall of Justice Coming For Amaranth

“Wonder-twin powers activate.”
“Form of unhedged bets on Gulf hurricanes.”
“Shape of hedge fund crashing.”

Super group sues failed hedge fund
[The Australian]

amaranthHQ.jpgEarlier this week, we reported that Amaranth had offered it’s investors two options:
1. Agree not to sue us and we’ll get you your money faster OR
2. Don’t agree not to sue us and we’ll take a portion of the money you are owed and use it defending ourselves.
Sadly, though, thanks to what we can only imagine is a soulless, profiteering group known as SDCERA (the San Diego County Employees Retirement Association), that offer is no longer on the table. Full letter from Nick Maounis detailing the how’s and why’s, after the jump.

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Hedge Fund To DealBreaker: Please Shut Up!

solengocapitallogo.pngYesterday representatives of Solengo Capital requested we remove their marketing brochure from our website. We told them to suck it.
You remember Solengo, right? It’s the hedge fund that’s being started by a team of traders from Amaranth, including the best known energy trader in the world, Brian Hunter.
Their reason for why we should do this sort of thing this request was quite extraordinary. Apparently the man from Solengo was under the impression that because his employer had stamped “confidential” (and other words to that effect) on its brochure, we were under a duty to keep their brochure confidential. It was as if the mere possession or perhaps knowledge of the brochure had conferred upon us a duty of confidentiality to them.
Imagine if you came upon a loan agreement stating a rate of interest a six points above LIBOR and were told later in the day that you were now under an obligation to pay the interest because you knew about it. You’d scoff, and not just because the interest rate was ridiculous. You know perfectly well that no one can impose a duty upon you without your agreement. You owe no one a debt unless you have agreed to pay them, taken something that belongs to them or they happen to be the government.
In the same way, we don’t believe we operate subject to the unilateral confidentiality assertions that get stamped on emails, offering documents or marketing brochures. We’ll keep the identity of our sources confidential—always—but that’s because we have an open promise to people who share valuable information with us. But writing “confidential” on a document does not obligate DealBreaker or anyone else to keep your secrets secret.
Apparently, we’re not the only ones Solengo has been asking to remove their brochure. Reuters reports that Solengo’s censors have also hit Apparently NakedShorts decided to take down the materials because Solengo threatened to sue and, well, you know what lawyers cost these days. Who wants that? There’s no fault in keeping your powder dry, and we can’t blame NakedShorts for backdown from this particular fight.
But what is more amazing is that Solengo keeps offering up the same lame rationale for why the online business press should bow to their will and remove the brochure—namely, because Solengo says so.
Here’s what it’s chief operating officer told Reuters:

Shondell Sabad, chief operating officer of Solengo, confirmed in an email that the firm has asked the blogs to remove the material.
“The request was made to remove the brochure as it is confidential material and the blogger was not authorized by Solendo to reproduce or disseminate the information,” said Sabad in an email to Reuters


Confidential! Not authorized!

That’s what we do around here, Sabad baby. We print things that, frankly, no one has authorized us to print or disseminate. No one but the founding fathers, the tradition of the free press and the First Amendment. (And, of course, Al Gore, inventor of these here internets, our investors, our sponsors and our very own personal founder, Elizabeth Spiers.)
The story continues, of course, because Solengo isn’t taking no–or “suck it”–for an answer. More on that later!

Ex-Amaranth traders ask blogs to remove materials