Buffett Says Money Spent on Plumbers Better Than on Hedge Funds (BBG)
"If you go to a dentist, if you hire a plumber, in all the professions, there is value added by the professionals as a group compared to doing it yourself or just randomly picking laymen," Buffett, 86, said. "In the investment world it isn’t true. The active group, the people that are professionals in aggregate, are not, cannot, do better than the aggregate of the people who just sit tight."
Bogle Says If Everybody Indexed, Markets Would Fail Under Chaos (BBG)
“If everybody indexed, the only word you could use is chaos, catastrophe,” he said in an interview with Yahoo! Finance Saturday. “There would be no trading, there would be no way to convert a stream of income into a pile of capital or a pile of capital into a stream of income. The markets would fail.”
Goldman Sachs wins largest concessions on Volcker rule (FT)
Several big banks have disclosed in their most recent quarterly filings that the Federal Reserve has granted them extra time to sell “illiquid” investments, and none has disclosed greater relief than Goldman. A filing last week confirmed that it had received an extension for “substantially all” of its investments in $6.2bn worth of so-called legacy covered funds — $4.5bn worth of private equity funds, as well as credit, real estate and hedge funds.
Traders Are Fleeing the Options Market (WSJ)
Thomas Peterffy, a pioneer of electronic options trading, said in March that his firm, Interactive Brokers Group, would pull the plug on options market making. KCG announced its exit from retail options market making last year, while UBS and Credit Suisse have also left automated options market making. J.P. Morgan Chase and Bank of America made similar decisions in 2014, according to people familiar with the matter. “Most market makers congregate in the highly traded products,” Mr. Peterffy said. “It’s difficult for a market maker to maintain hundreds of thousands of bids and offers all the time.”
Wall Street frets as capital markets trading activity trails off (FT)
For all bar four of the top 14 banks, first quarter trading revenues were higher than a year earlier. In debt trading, all 14 apart from UBS and Barclays reported year-on-year rises. But activity faded in April and, so far in May, it has been quiet, according to traders — suggesting many banks will struggle to sustain that bright start to the year.
In S.E.C.’s Streamlined Court, Penalty Exerts a Lasting Grip (NYT)
“The S.E.C. spends how many hundreds of thousands of dollars pursuing this guy for alleged violations that would have moved his portfolio by 85 one-hundredths of one percent?” Mr. Grundfest said. “I know the S.E.C.’s response is ‘We go after violations where we find them.’ But, really? How smart is that? Why are so few senior executives prosecuted and meanwhile Eric Wanger’s career is destroyed?”
What’s it like to lose £350m? A rogue trader confesses (Guardian)
“You get these bonus cheques, but there’s no way you can use the money, only maybe when you retire. I’ve spoken to so many people over the years and all they want to do is open a pub in Cornwall. But they never do because they never have enough money.” At £1m and more a year, you wonder how much it costs to open a boozer.
As Sohn Opens, Here's How Hedge Fund Titans Fared With '16 Picks (BBG)
Stanley Druckenmiller. The call: Bearish on stocks, bullish on gold. The bull market in stocks had “exhausted itself” and the metal was his largest currency allocation, he told the conference. The upshot: The S&P 500 index is up 19 percent since last May. Gold is down 4 percent. Druckenmiller has said he sold all his gold on the night of the U.S. presidential election but bought gold in late December and January because it “was down a lot.”
Ukraine bans Steven Seagal as threat to national security (Guardian)
The letter said such a decision is made when a person has “committed socially dangerous actions … that contradict the interests of maintaining Ukraine’s security”. The move comes after the actor received citizenship in Russia, which has backed separatists in a simmering conflict in eastern Ukraine. Putin handed Seagal a Russian passport and told him he hoped their “personal relationship will remain and continue” during a meeting in the Kremlin last year.
Yearly Snake Fuckfest Is In Full Swing (Motherboard)
While a massive snake orgy is a sight to see, this mating process comes at quite a cost for the male snakes, especially the smaller ones. In 2015, a group of researchers found that male red-garter snakes were losing up to 18 per cent of their daily energy every time they ejaculated. These findings lead the team to believe that the smaller snakes giv'er everything they've got when mating, because surviving winters is not guaranteed.