Guy Currently Banned From Running A Hedge Fund Thinks Hedge Funds Are Terrible

Phil Falcone's got something to say.
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We'll check back in with Phil Falcone in 2018, when he makes his triumphant return to the industry.

On Monday, Falcone resurfaced at the Alpha Hedge East conference in Florida after he received a five-year ban from the securities industry in 2013. He was interviewed by Maneet Ahuja, CNBC's hedge fund specialist and author of "The Alpha Masters." [...] I think, obviously, with the oil and gas debacle, that's just kind of pushed the whole market lower. But I think, in general, there's an awful lot of mediocrity out there. And I think that's one of the other problems, that there's a lot of club trading where people don't have any creativity. And it's creating kind of a vacuum, because everybody's in the same names.

Phil Falcone spoke in public for the first time in years, and slammed the industry [BI]

Related: Phil Falcone’s Ban From The Securities Industry Not So Much A Ban As It Is A Blessing, Says Phil Falcone

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Evil Incarnate Thinks LightSquared Is Great

As those of you who keep up with the trials and travails of hedge fund manager Phil Falcone, a wireless start-up called LightSquared is his baby and the thing that stands to make or break him. To that end, Falcone's invested a significant amount of time, energy, and, most importantly, investor money in seeing his baby succeed. Unfortunately, in the last year or so, LightSquared has been met with some significant setbacks, namely with regard to GPS interference it is said to cause. The yachting community worries that said interference will cause boats to get lost at sea. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says LightSquared“may degrade precision services that track hurricanes, guide farmers and help build flood defenses.” The FAA put out a study that estimates LS "may cost 794 lives in aviation accidents over 10 years with disruptions to satellite-aided navigation." To all of that and more, one man asks, "Yeah, AND???" More Job Killer Than Creator By Karl Rove ...after nearly a decade of regulatory “green lights,” the Obama administration reversed itself and started proceedings to kill LightSquared’s ambitious plan to upgrade the U.S. cellular infrastructure. Why? Because at the eleventh hour, concerns were raised about potential interference with GPS devices — interference that occurs because these devices are listening into the part of the spectrum licensed to LightSquared....This will have consequences. Consumers will lose the chance to get better, cheaper wireless service. Owners of tablets, smartphones and other new devices won’t get faster downloads and greater bandwidth. The country would miss out on a valuable infrastructure improvement based on cutting-edge technology. Thousands of workers in construction, steel, transportation and other industries won’t get work, along with the good paychecks that a privately funded $14 billion project like this generates. Why? Because the Obama administration, which first endorsed and encouraged LightSquared, has now reversed course and gutted it. Given that this is the slowest, most anemic recovery from any recession since World War II, you might expect the administration to be eager to encourage companies to invest in creating jobs, making the economy more productive and increasing economic growth...But based on what it’s done to Keystone XL and now LightSquared, you’d be wrong. All because of some eleventh hour concerns about planes crashing. More job-killer than job-creator [Politico]

Phil Falcone Maintains 'Absolute Lawfulness' Of Lending Himself A Hundred Mill From Investor Fund

Remember, back in 2009, when Phil Falcone realized he'd forgotten to set aside enough cash to cover his taxes and came up with the idea to loan himself the money from a gated investor fund? And investors got all bent out of shape about it and the SEC did too? If the former was looking for some sort of an apology and the latter was looking for some show of groveling (in an attempt to avoid paying a fine/have a judge rule he can't come within 200 feet of a public company sorry), sorry, 'cause Phil's not sorry.

Securities And Exchange Commission Still Hung Up About The Time Phil Falcone Borrowed Money From A Gated Fund To Pay Personal Taxes

Remember the time Harbinger Capital Partners founder Phil Falcone was a little short on cash, and decided to "borrow" $113 million from a fund in which redemptions had been suspended in order to pay personal taxes? Unfortunately for Big P, the SEC does. (The regulator also recalls he time he allegedly played favorites with Goldman and allegedly manipulated some markets.) Philip Falcone, the billionaire founder of Harbinger Capital Partners LLC, faces a lawsuit from U.S. regulators as soon as this week over claims he improperly borrowed client funds to pay his taxes and gave preferential treatment to Goldman Sachs Group Inc., according to two people familiar with the matter. Falcone, 49, may also face a market manipulation claim related to trading in bonds of MAAX Holdings Inc., said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter isn’t public. The Securities and Exchange Commission voted to authorize enforcement staff to file the case, the people said. While perhaps not the best news Falcone has received in a while, it likely does not come as a surprise, as the SEC has been talking about the aforementioned offenses since last December (when they tried to get him banned from the securities industry). Either way, Phil, who should probably just not going home tonight unless he wants an earful, is planning to "contest to the suit." SEC Said To Authorize Lawsuit Against Harbinger’s Falcone [Bloomberg]

Phil Falcone Will Borrow Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars From Any Gated Investor Fund He Pleases

Phil Falcone, as some of you may know, has made some mistakes in the last couple years. Pouring his investors' money into a wireless start-up that may or may not ever get off the ground. Offering those who wanted out illiquid LightSquared equity instead of cash. Not getting his wife a driver for party-time.  If you're wondering why we haven't mentioned the time he borrowed $113 million from a gated fund in order to pay personal taxes, which he had not set aside enough money to cover, it's because Phil doesn't count it as a mistake, regardless of what you, or the SEC, or anyone else says. Hedge-fund manager Philip Falcone and his firm, Harbinger Capital Partners LLC, formally signaled their intent to seek the dismissal of fraud charges filed against them earlier this year by securities regulators, according to people familiar with the case. In June, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed civil charges accusing Mr. Falcone of putting his own interests, including maintaining a "lavish lifestyle," ahead of those of Harbinger's investors. The agency accused Mr. Falcone, Harbinger and Harbinger's former operating chief, Peter Jenson, of misleading investors and an outside law firm when Mr. Falcone took out a $113.2 million loan in 2009 from a Harbinger fund to pay his personal taxes, even as other investors in the fund were prevented from pulling their money. Lawyers for Mr. Falcone and Harbinger sent a letter to Judge Paul Crotty of U.S. District Court in Manhattan Friday, the deadline for responding to the SEC's complaint, saying they intended to seek dismissal, the people said. The letter also summarized arguments for the dismissal. Mr. Jenson also filed a letter Friday through his lawyers saying he intended to seek dismissal of the complaint. Representatives of Mr. Falcone and Harbinger have said before they planned to fight the allegations. In negotiations with securities regulators leading up to the charges, they had argued that Mr. Falcone and Harbinger were simply following sound advice from their legal counsel. Which, for those who missed it, was: “[L]ending money to principals is not part of the fund’s investment program” and "a loan . . . will never be a good idea" and "[We are] unequivocally against the loan idea for a number of reasons." Falcone To Seek Case's Dismissal [WSJ] Earlier: Phil Falcone’s Alleged Piggish Behavior Made Him Some Enemies

Phil Falcone Is Turning His Life Around

To put it lightly, the last couple years have been a rather dark time for Phil Falcone. Though his woes are too numerous to mention in full, they include: the adversity he's faced in getting people to believe in LightSquared; his unbelievably pissy investors, who still aren't over the time he borrowed $113 million from a gated fund to pay personal taxes, or offered to pay out redemptions in illiquid LightSquared equity; the Securities and Exchange Commission, which wants him banned from the industry for life; the woman who once offered a respite from it all, who now won't even come out of her room when she knows he's home; and, of course, the plunging returns in his once highly profitable hedge fund. It would be enough to make a grown man say 'Fuck, it. I'm done.' Put a few things in a sack, tie it to the blade of a hockey stick, and hitchhike back to Minnesota. But Phil didn't do that and now? After a merciless storm of shit that felt like it would never ease up? After long days of investors and regulators breathing down his neck and nights of having to pound on the front door because he was accidentally purposely locked out of the house? The tide feels like it's turning for Philip Falcone. Beleaguered hedge fund honcho Phil Falcone’s big bet on his own publicly traded entity, Harbinger Group, is helping to lift his troubled hedge fund, Harbinger Capital Management, out of the deep end. Falcone’s flagship fund posted returns of 10.6 percent in July and a whopping 28 percent gain in June. Of course, he's still down 5.8 percent year-to-date, and the the director of the SEC's division of enforcement wants hedge fund graduate schools to use Harbinger as a case study during the unit on "how to operate a hedge fund unlawfully," but tonight? Tonight he tells Lisa to treat herself to something nice. Tonight he tells Wilbur to pull the baby grand out of the closet, where it's sat untouched for months. Tonight his key works in the lock. Tonight we dance. Phil Helps Himself [NYP]