Hedge Funds

Don't get too comfortable, Mel.The embattled Yahoo! chief, in the wake of the first good news she’s gotten in the past two years, told activist hedge funds where to stick it this week. Well, one such hedge fund manager is returning the favor. Read more »

Gotta do what I gotta do.John Paulson has a problem: He took a huge bath when AbbVie decided not to buy Shire because, even though it was ready to pay $54 billion for the company, the Irish pharma was basically just a tax shelter to Shire, and of the sort that is no longer kosher in the precincts of the U.S. Treasury Department. Now, John Paulson is Shire’s third-largest shareholder, and 30% drops in a company in which one is the third-largest shareholder are the kind of thing likely to produce something approaching panic in a hedge-fund manager.

John Paulson also owns a lot of Allergan shares. You may have heard of Allergan, either because it makes Botox, or because Bill Ackman talks about it a lot.

John Paulson has been listening closely to what Bill Ackman says about Allergan, which is that the company should take Valeant Pharmaceuticals $53 billion (or more?) offer and that if it doesn’t, he’s going to throw out its entire board and make Allergan take the deal. And John Paulson likes that plan. He likes it a lot. But he’d like it even more if all of those Shire shares he owns would one day be worth as much as they were when he bought them, all of those months ago, when tax inversions were the order of the day. And he has an idea on that front… Read more »

If CalPERS Is Doing It, It Has To Be Good

lemmingsThe California Public Employees’ Retirement System insists that it’s not firing all of its hedge funds because they aren’t worth the 2%, let alone the 20%. But its fellow pension funds, none of whom are CalPERS in terms of size or in-house capabilities, noticed a very clear nod-and-wink in their direction. And so, having followed the herd into alternatives, they’re now forming a new herd to abandon them. Read more »

You're an embarrassment to the Icahn name.Carl Icahn lost $200 million yesterday on Netflix, one of those newfangled technology stocks that his son is always pushing him to invest in. Now, Carl’s not happy about, but since he already made a 457% return when he unloaded half of his shares in the company last year, he’s not calling Brett in for a spanking. A “not so fast,” an “I told you so” and a “still not quite as sharp as the old man” might, however, be in order. Read more »

Commodity Hedge Fund Manager Will Get It Right Next Time

There are at least two oil-trading hedge-fund managers named Hall. Andy Hall of Phibro fame has run into some trouble in recent years, but he’s still got a couple decades of success and that magical 2008, when Citi had to pay him $100 million while simultaneously going cap in hand to the Treasury Department, which did not sit well with some people but sat very well with Andy Hall, to hang his hat on.

Then there’s Tony Hall. A Credit Suisse-Glencore and Deutsche Bank veteran, he ran a commodity hedge fund at Duet Asset Management for two whole years, the last 10 months of which did not go well. He and his partner, Arno Pilz, then took a few months to hammer out how to run a hedge fund that didn’t fail in two years, and they succeeded, strictly speaking: Hall Commodities is closing its doors after just 21 months, the last of which looked a whole lot like those last 10 months at Duet. Read more »

Paul Singer had an idea a while back: Let’s come up with a plan to destroy Argentina even more than we already have, have an elder stateswoman and a Spanish-speaking former U.S. Cabinet member transmit the threat, and watch Cristina Kirchner crawl to the negotiating table, $1.6 billion in tow. Well, things didn’t work out quite as planned: Instead of begging, President Kirchner got even more ornery than she already was. Long story short, Paul Singer has no need of Madeleine Albright anymore. Read more »

Carl Icahn, his lawyers assure the bankruptcy judge, really will pour $100 million into a casino that’s losing $8 million a month. But only if he gets his way, and that way is $175 million in tax breaks and other state aid and, oh yea, the bankruptcy judge ripping up the casino’s contract with its union. And he’ll do it even if the now-contractless union goes on strike, because, really, can the Trump Taj Mahal really be a worse business without them than with them? Read more »