Hedge Funds

If there are people out there who don’t enjoy being broken down emotionally by their coworkers as a means of ultimately emerging stronger, he hasn’t heard of them. Well, okay, he’s heard of some but they quickly adjust to the Bridgwater way of doing things after a short 18 months. Read more »

Failure to “adhere to a clear breadstick policy” is one of the many, many things Olive Garden is doing wrong, according to a new presentation by Starboard Value. Read more »

As those of you familiar with the career of Daniel S. Loeb know, the hedge fund manager makes a nice chunk of change each year through activist investing. While the boards of most public companies view activist investors in general as people who show up to their home uninvited, take a shit on their staircase and then demand to know how anyone in good conscience could live in such squalor, to view Loeb as just one of many would be like lumping Pavarotti together with a bunch of glee club dropouts.

The man, quite simply, has elevated the art of activist investing, through his trademark letters (all of which include a potent, poetic blend of sarcasm, self-regard, belittling attacks on management competence, and lengthy prescriptions for change) and delightful flourishes like tasking his best researchers with uncovering damning details about the objects of his wrath, like, for instance, that they lied about their college majors. Anyone who has watched him at work will agree: he is an artist.

And now, he’s got even more money than usual to spend on fieldwork, correspondence, and possibly skywriters who will be paid to leave a fluffy white “Just Quit Already” above various chief executives’ homes and offices. Read more »

With its peso currency at record lows, foreign reserves down more than 5 percent over the last year and vast shale oil and gas resources laying undeveloped in its southern Patagonia region, Argentina is desperate to tap foreign financing. But the debt case, which stems from Argentina’s default on nearly $100 billion in sovereign bonds 12 years ago, is blocking its access to the international bond market. “Today we are in the hands of an international financial power comprised of small, voracious interests that form a real international mafia,” Jorge Capitanich, the Cabinet chief and government spokesman, told reporters in Buenos Aires. Many Argentines side with their government against a group of hedge funds that rejected the country’s 2005 and 2010 debt restructurings in which holders received less than 30 cents on the dollar. Holdout funds led by Elliott Management Corp and Aurelius Capital Management bought Argentine bonds at a discount before and after the 2002 default and have pressed their demand for payment of 100 cents on the dollar in the U.S. courts. [Reuters]

The last two years were just a warm-up. Read more »

For a lot of people in the banking industry, a non-compete is a nice little 3-6 month enforced vacation in between jobs. For Christopher Rokos, a co-founder of Brevan Howard, it’s a half a decade death sentence that will cause his trading hands and legs to shrivel up and break off, or at least become purely ornamental. Read more »

As many of you are all too aware, hedge fund managers are not known for being particularly warm and cuddling with their employees. They may very well be kind, reasonable people outside the office, but within the confines of the trading floor, it is of little import to them if they come off like people on the Humane Society’s most-wanted list (and some see such distinctions as a badge of pride).

A standard question posed at portfolio managers who can’t answer Steve Cohen fast enough about a stock is, “Do you even know how to do this f*cking job?“. Ray Dalio refers to employees who don’t tell their colleagues “you suck” to their face as “slimy weasels.” In an article about how he rips traders to shreds for not being up on an extremely minor detail of an investment, it’s pointed out Paul “Second Coming of Mother Theresa” Singer “doesn’t throw things.” Louis Bacon takes the other side of subordinates’ trades.

Still, we were yet to hear of a firm where the boss has asked people 1) if they’re willing to die for him and 2) if someone would find a storage facility for his dog’s semen. Until now. Read more »