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Opening Bell: 09.21.10

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Matthew Lynn: Hedge Funds Are Running Out Of Reasons To Exist (Bloomberg)
"If they were collecting money from the wealthy and investing it in industries or countries where capital is short, that would be a good argument. Or if they were creating markets in commodities or asset classes where none existed before, that would work. If they were smoothing out returns so people’s pensions were protected, or swapping currencies so they got cheaper mortgages, that would also make sense. True, it may be impossible. The industry might well be a giant parasite that does nothing more than siphon vast wealth from the economy, while doing little in return. But it should at least try. Just bleating about liquidity isn’t going to work. And if it can’t come up with a better way of justifying itself, it deserves to get hammered."

Hedge Fund Closure Rate May Rise to 20%, Merrill Lynch Says (Bloomberg)
“Going into the year-end, there will be significant closures and we estimate it could be as high as 20 percent,” Fredericks said in an interview Sept. 17 in Hong Kong. “A large portion of managers are still below high-water marks. Performance is flat and money hasn’t been flowing to smaller managers.”

BlackRock Sees Meaningful Slowdown In Second Half (Reuters)
"We do not believe that we are slipping back to recession, but we do expect the global economy to grow at a meaningfully slower pace in the second half of 2010," Stephen Hull, a director and investment strategist at BlackRock, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Chanos: Yuan May Depreciate, Not Appreciate (CNBC)
"We think there's a big speculative bubble that's going on over there and it's having knock-on effects on certain things like commodities or materials," Chanos told CNBC Tuesday. "We're short the property developers, we're also short basic materials companies."

Shia LaBeouf: "If you think you can sit at home and watch Jim Cramer and make millions, you're wrong." (NYP)

Brevan Howard To Open In Brazil (FT)
The new office will focus primarily on research, according to the firm, but signals a significant shift towards interest in the region.

Deutsche Bank To Raise $13.3 Billion
Josef Ackermann said: “Through this capital increase, Deutsche Bank intends to secure the equity capital required for a planned consolidation of Postbank. As a result, we can expand our strong position in our home market, take a leading position in the European retail banking business and significantly enhance Deutsche Bank’s revenue mix. Furthermore, with this capital increase we are strengthening the bank’s equity capital in light of expected regulatory changes and business growth."

Caulked Up: Stimulus Plan Gets Bogged Down In Bureaucracy (WSJ)
For a year after the stimulus bill passed, most of the extra funds for Michigan community agencies went unspent. "I've been in this 30 years, and one of the things I've always said is, if we only had more money," says Bill Warren, the weatherization manager at the Detroit agency. "Be careful what you ask for. It's both a blessing and a curse.

BofA's Moynihan Puts Ex-Colleagues in Key Strategic Posts (Bloomberg)
Moynihan hired former Fleet strategy head Terry Laughlin as a senior executive at the loss-plagued Countrywide unit. He recruited hedge-fund manager Mike Lyons as a strategy and planning executive to help shrink the bank’s $2.2 trillion balance sheet. Moynihan also promoted Lauren Mogensen to deputy general counsel and corporate secretary, where she intersects with Moynihan and the bank’s board. And yet, nothing for Ken Lewis.