George Soros

George Soros: Trading Up (Or At Least Younger)

George Soros Young Piece Of.jpgMost women we know were quite upset by the widely circulated email responding to a Craig’s List ad from a young women looking to marry. The response claimed that women’s looks were a depreciating asset, while the financial value of wealthy men increased with age.
Well, ladies, we’re sorry to say that the response got some evidential–or at least anecdotal–support today from Page Six. Apparently seventy-seven year old George Soros has traded in his 63 year old wife for a 22 year old Russian playgirl named Marina Zelle (pictured left}. Or, at least, that she is one of the many “young lovelies” he has entertained at his South Hampton Home.
“Sources say the financier and founder of moveon.org has ‘a fondness for girls in their early 20s,” Page Six reports.
Actually, we had reports this summer that Soros and Zelle were together at a party at real estate investor turned nouveau socialite Andrew Barrock’s Water Mill mansion. But we couldn’t confirm they were “together together” so we let the item die. So, you know, maybe?
(Picture credit: New York Social Diary.)
Thinking Young [Page Six]

In Defense of Hedge Funds

train.jpgNice pump up speech for hedge funds in today’s Hedge Week (we’re not going to make our ‘hedge’ quota by 5 without your help). Despite industry leaders “prophesying an end to the industry,” George Soros saying hedge funds are too over-exposed, Stevie Cohen (immune to self-inflicted irony) noting that the days of big returns are over, Warren Buffett taking hedge funds to task for their high fees in his annual letter to shareholders, and performances in general being down, Hedge Week’s Shoham Cohen still thinks everything will work out if we just think positively!
There are good managers (James Simons) and there are bad managers (Tom Hudson, the guys who do Goldman’s Alpha), Cohen perceptively notes, but given the hotness of HFs, the look-on-the-bright-side news is that every day a new manager emerges (today: Tim Sykes, tomorrow: Tom Sikkes). 1 pt: hedge fund sustainability.
Yes, there are a lot of strategies performing quite badly, of late. But that just means managers will have to work harder to diversify. This is not an obstacle for Cohen, this is an opportunity. And how about numbers, those are always good. First quarter of 2007: $60 billion from global investors. Since hedge funds were invented: $1.6 trillion managed. Big numbers—that’s got to mean something.
The person whose job is predicated on the survival of hedge funds also predicts that the future will allow “personal hedge funds pools to be created” and that there will be room for “tailored managed funds whereby fund managers will open private hedge funds.” Cohen wants you to know that this new era will be an exciting one, and if all you would-be managers out there will peel yourselves up off the bathroom floor, pump yourself full of some happy pills, “overcome the psychological barrier in setting up a fund, and come out with new strategies” and tell yourselves, “I will sell this house today!” we can begin our journey. Together, assembled brotherhood of Neo-HF’ers.
An Apocalyptic Turn for Hedge Funds? [Hedge World]

France To Soros: Guilty!

soros.jpgFrance’s highest appeals court declared George Soros an insider trader today, rejecting his appeal from a 2005 conviction for violating insider trading rules in 1988. Although Soros has exhausted his options to fight the conviction in French courts, he plans to carry on the fight by appealing to the European Court of Human Rights.
In March 2005, a French court found that that Soros had inside knowledge that Societe Generale SA might be a takeover target when he bought shares of the bank in 1988. Today France’s Court of Cassation, its final appeals court, agreed.
But Soros still does not. It’s been a 17 year long fight, and he’s seventy-five years old. Maybe he intends to go to the grave without the matter being finally resolved. “France’s court of last resort, my ass! Why do you think I built this European Union thing?” we imagine Soros thought when he got the news. Soros has long been a supporter of a stronger EU.
Soros Insider-Trading Verdict Upheld by Paris Court [Bloomberg]