Steven Cohen’s Hedge-Fund Comeback Shoots for a Record Target: $20 Billion (WSJ)
The billionaire trader, whose former firm pleaded guilty to criminal insider trading charges less than four years ago, wants to amass that amount as part of a new operation that is likely to launch as soon as early 2018, he and his representatives have said in recent conversations with bankers, colleagues and potential investors. The $20 billion would exceed the assets once managed by SAC Capital Advisors LP, which at its height had $16 billion under management. It also would represent the biggest U.S. hedge-fund launch in history.
The Business of Litigation Finance Is Booming (BBG)
Burford’s investments show that litigation finance is not necessarily the Robin Hood affair that Pierce Sergenian advertises. “Corporate law departments and their law firms increasingly want to finance their litigation, just as other parts of the corporation finance their activities,” says Bogart.
The $50 Billion Question: What Makes a Bank Big? (WSJ)
Even many officials known for sparring with banks, including Daniel Tarullo, the Federal Reserve’s former top banking regulator, support raising the limit. So does Barney Frank, the former Democratic congressman who with former Democratic Senator Chris Dodd was the driving force behind Dodd-Frank. “All numbers are arbitrary, and in the rush, $50 billion seemed like a much bigger number,” Mr. Frank said in a recent interview.
Departures signal a changing of the guard in HFT (FT)
Cameron Smith, president of high-speed trader Quantlab Financial, one of the US equity market’s big traders, said last week that he was quitting after 10 years to “see what other fun is out there”. Daniel Coleman, the former head of KCG, and Eric Noll of Convergex are also leaving their roles, completing a trio of moves at a time when trading has not been bringing participants much joy.
Goldman Sachs Under Fire for Venezuela Bond Deal (WSJ)
Mr. Borges said the country’s opposition-controlled National Assembly—which he heads—would launch an investigation into the Goldman transaction. He also warned that any future opposition government “would not forget where Goldman Sachs stood when it had to choose between supporting the Maduro dictatorship and democracy for our country.”
The hidden dangers of passive investing (FT)
Passive dominance won’t happen overnight. Yet, left unchecked, the growth of index-trackers has the potential to erode the market-based economy, one industry at a time. The problem is that if the majority of us embrace them, index-trackers threaten to sabotage the entire economic system. Much like antibiotics, if passive funds are overused, they will create more problems than they solve.
COUNTERPOINT: The Worry About Indexing is Overblown (The Fat Pitch)
Regardless of how it is calculated, nearly 90% of equity shares are "managed" not "indexed." It's hard to say that indexing itself is significant enough to compress market movements.
Proust as speculator (Marginal Revolution)
Through a fast alternation of buying and selling, orders and counterorders, the end of 1911 marked Proust’s fastest plunge into debt exposure in his fifteen-year-long investing career. His patrimony amounted to about 1,522,000 francs, but more than 40 percent of it, precisely 640,000 francs, was tied up in forwards contracts—a crazy level of exposure for an amateur investor. In terms of American dollars, at this time Proust owned a personal fortune of $6,864,000 and had about $2,900,000 tied up in obligations to buy.
Bitcoin is outperforming major assets but hedge funds are still staying away from the cryptocurrency (CNBC)
"Bitcoin's extreme volatility doesn't sit well with managers working on a risk-adjusted return basis. Furthermore, there are valid concerns that digital currency assets can be hacked or stolen. Finally, there's a perception that bitcoin remains a niche, retail investment that does not yet demonstrate sufficient quality to be seriously considered for many reputable institutions,"
Money manager suing online troll to end ‘malicious’ rants (NYP)
In some of the posts, the troll refers to Star Mountain, a private equity firm that manages roughly $500 million and invests in companies with revenues of $10 million to $150 million, as a “scam” and a “fraud.” At least one of the posts referred to Hickey, who was born in Canada, as the “Canadian Bernie Madoff.”
Pissed off artist adds statue of urinating dog next to ‘Fearless Girl’ (NYP)
“This is corporate nonsense,” Gardega told The Post of Fearless Girl, saying it was put opposite artist Arturo Di Modica’s famed bull as a publicity stunt by a Boston-based financial firm. “It has nothing to do with feminism, and it is disrespect to the artist that made the bull,” he said. “That bull had integrity.”