The Kushners, the Saudis and Blackstone: Behind the Recent Deals (BBG)
When Saudi Arabia announced last week a $20-billion investment in a U.S. infrastructure fund managed by Blackstone Group LP, many noticed that it came shortly after presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner personally negotiated a $110-billion arms sale to the country. What went unnoticed -- and is largely unknown -- is how important Blackstone is to the Kushner family company. Since 2013, Blackstone has loaned more than $400 million to finance four Kushner Cos. deals -- two of which have not been reported -- making it one of the business’s largest lenders.
Trump reportedly calls Germans ‘very bad’, threatens to end German car sales (CNBC)
"The Germans are bad, very bad," President Trump said, according to participants in the room who spoke to Der Spiegel. "See the millions of cars they sell in the U.S., terrible. We will stop this."
Why Long-Short Hedge Funds Exit Profitable Trades Early (II)
They more than made up for the money they left behind, according to the paper. The same managers re-invested in new arbitrage trades – positions that resulted in 0.5 percent better excess returns than what they would have earned had they stayed firm.
Wells Fargo Sweetens Broker Recruitment Bonuses (WSJ)
Wells Fargo is betting on a vacuum left after its rivals’ recent decisions to tamp down recruitment efforts as the brokerage unit grapples with an exodus of brokers after its retail-banking scandal. Wells Fargo’s brokerage arm, known as Wells Fargo Advisors, has been losing brokers at a higher rate. At the end of September, Wells Fargo had 15,086 brokers, but its head count fell nearly 3%, or 429 brokers, through the first quarter of this year.
‘Secular Stagnation’ Even Truer Today, Larry Summers Says (WSJ)
“When I made my comments in 2013 at the IMF they were couched with very substantial doubts. Today I would have fewer. The essence of my argument then was that because of a variety of structural factors the neutral rate of interest was much lower than it had been and, therefore, getting to an adequately low rate was going to be more difficult. And that was going to act as a constraint on aggregate demand much more of the time than people thought. Relative to the prevailing forecasts at the time that I spoke, interest rates have been very substantially lower. Growth has been very substantially lower. Inflation has been very substantially lower for the industrialized world. Fiscal policy has been more expansionary. So the broad argument that I was making at that time seems more true today.”
Market Volatility: The Reports Of My Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated (Macro-Man)
I have noticed some reflexivity (à la George Soros) characteristics in this shift: As volatility drifts lower, the more passive investment out performance, as passive investment out performance, money flows out of active management to passive investment, thus helping to suppress volatility. Reflexivity is dual sided. This positive feedback loop that has helped quell volatility, can easily be unwound in the other direction as well in violent fashion (selling begets selling).
Tech Startups Are Infatuated With Not-IPOs (Gadfly)
What's not clear is why there is so much energy being spent on these untested notions. There is a pretty good -- although not perfect -- model for becoming a public company. It's called an IPO. It's boringly conventional, but it has the advantage of being more battle-tested than anything else.
Mark Zuckerberg joins Silicon Valley bigwigs in calling for government to give everybody free money (CNBC)
"Every generation expands its definition of equality. Now it's time for our generation to define a new social contract," Zuckerberg said during his speech. "We should have a society that measures progress not by economic metrics like GDP but by how many of us have a role we find meaningful. We should explore ideas like universal basic income to make sure everyone has a cushion to try new ideas."
Texas Teacher Gives ‘Most Likely To Become A Terrorist’ Award To 7th Grader (HuffPo)
“I was shocked,” Lizeth Villanueva, a 13-year-old student at Anthony Aguirre Junior High in Houston, told Click2Houston. “[The teacher] said, ‘Most likely to become a terrorist,’ and she said my name, and she gave me this.”