At some point last year, after he had settled insider trading charges against his firm, the hedge fund formerly known as SAC Capital, Steve Cohen began exhibiting signs of man who felt, if not contrite, than contrite-lite. He agreed to rename his company, stripping his initials from all letterhead, fleece, and signage. He started paying employees to not commit securities fraud. And, most significantly, he agreed to only manage the money of people related to him by blood or marriage, returning billions of dollars to investors, and kissing a whole lot of would-be fees good-bye.
But now? Possibly/probably emboldened by the December appeals court ruling that knocked his No. 2 nemesis, Preet Baharara, down several pegs and officially made it harder for prosecutors to convict people of insider trading? He’s all but finished playing the part of a guy who feels bad about running a firm described as a “veritable magnet for market cheaters.” Not only is he no longer taking orders from Preet, the Feds, of the SEC, but he’s thinking maybe it’s about time he started giving them out. Read more »
George Soros has been spotted in one of his natural habitats, a certain Swiss ski resort in late January. But have these days in Davos brought a smile to the 84-year-old’s face? The parties, the hob-nobbing, the receipt of genuflections that he lives for? Have they hell. If anything, they’ve turned him into fellow Davos man Paul Singer. For all George Soros wants in his declining years, in addition to a wife half his age, is some fun in the markets, an opportunity to do one last great thing that makes him an Alp-sized pile of money. In this, George Soros fears he is to be disappointed. Read more »
In the grand tradition of hedge fund letters to clients informing them that the money they invested is pretty much all gone, many a manager has a difficult time doing a credible rendition of an apology. Even if the words “apologize” or “sorry” actually do appear on the page, they’re typically followed by 1) A positive spin such as “Your one dollar at the beginning of this year is now 4 cents!” and 2) Long paragraphs about how outside forces lost the clients’ money, or how, sure, it’s been an annus fucking horribilis but there are still 14 trading days left on the calendar to turn it around, or how the ass bleeding the fund has suffered is strictly due to the market’s ridiculous mispricing of equity and in no way the investment theses of those in charge. So when a hedge fund manager actually sounds like he really is sorry about incinerating his clients’ money? It feels like you’ve got to give him a least a smidge of credit, relative to his peers. Sure, he bet big and lost it all, but he feels bad about it! Grading on a curve, that’s something. Read more »
In a newly disclosed detail, Dias Griffin says that, a few weeks before her husband left home in early 2012, Griffin had “forced Anne’s personal trading and investment vehicle to abide by a new set of stringent spousal compliance rules imposed by Citadel.” With those restrictions, Dias Griffin said it became difficult to trade and make her own money. “Kenneth has refused to support Anne and has taken the position that he should only be required to pay those expenses for the children that he arbitrarily deems ‘reasonable,’ rather than those expenses corresponding to the standard of living that the children would have enjoyed had the marriage not been dissolved,” Dias Griffin said in her filing Tuesday. She also said in her court filing that, “just last week, he threatened her that if she asks him for a penny, he would sue her until she has no money left.” Griffin has also failed to produce a current financial disclosure statement showing income, expenses and net worth, Dias Griffin said in her filing Tuesday. [Chicago Tribune]
Update: A spokeswoman for Citadel has sent us the following statement: Read more »
Investors in Paulson & Co.’s Advantage funds did not have a great year. It wasn’t quite 2011, but a 36% loss in no less unpleasant just because you suffered a 51% loss three years earlier.
On the other hand, losing 51% and surviving—nay, thriving—does mean that a 36% loss won’t necessarily kill your confidence. And old J.P., he’s as confident as ever, and has a message for those who lost 36% with him last year or who are having second thoughts about investing with him this year on account of said loss: Read more »
This one doesn’t have to do with Herbalife, per se, but the sort of proclamations we’ve come to knowand love from Bill re: Herbalife in general. Like that it’s going to (paraphrasing): be raided by the feds on an exact day, that his next presentation on the company will reveal where all the dead bodies are, literally, like he’s going to present the audience with some actual corpses, etc. Those sort of things, you can kiss good-bye. Ackman is sick of the heat he gets for them so no more. You blew it and this is why we can’t have nice things. Never again will he engage in big, splashy, public campaigns. Finished. Finito. 100% done. Well, okay, 98%. We’ve got to leave the door just the slightest bit ajar. Read more »