Och-Ziff Is Betting $280 Million on a 34-Year-Old Guy (BBG)
Back in February, Och shocked many on Wall Street by elevating Levin, the star of the firm’s credit business, to co-chief investment officer and handing him an incentive package of $280 million. It’s the kind of crazy pay you don’t hear about in the industry much these days, and Och wagered a small personal fortune to make it happen, relinquishing 30 million of his own shares. Inside the firm, some seethed. Outside, they sneered; the move smelled a bit of desperation. Five months later, that remains the burning question: Is this a Hail-Mary stab by Och to win back his seat of dominance in the hedge-fund universe or a stroke of genius?
Would You Invest with Steven Cohen? (II)
Institutions won't necessarily stay away because they are skeptical of Cohen's ability to generate returns. Rather, they fear bad publicity. Even talking on the record about possibly investing in Cohen's hedge fund comes with some reputational risk. Almost all of the institutional investors interviewed for this story agreed to speak only on condition of anonymity.
Fund managers face $1m price tags for research (FT)
The largest investment banks with top-rated analysts have initially put forward offers of about $1m or more for an annual subscription to their research platforms, according to consultants and investors involved in the negotiations. Smaller banks in Europe, or those focused on fixed income rather than equities, are asking for less, with several investors receiving quotes of between $100,000 and $500,000.
Mystery Bond Trader Nets $10 Million on Treasury Strangle Gamble (BBG)
The trade has been closely watched in the $14 trillion Treasuries market. And it’s not just because the size was possibly unprecedented for a strangle. It’s also because its success depended on a big price swing at a time when fixed-income volatility gauges are at all-time lows.
U.S. Foresaw Better Return in Seizing Fannie and Freddie Profits (NYT)
Newly unsealed documents show that as early as December 2011, high-level Treasury officials knew that Fannie and Freddie would soon become profitable again. The materials also show that government officials involved in the decision to divert the profits knew the change would most likely generate more money for Treasury than the original rescue terms, which required the companies to pay taxpayers 10 percent annually on the bailout assistance they had received.
U.S. to drop criminal charges in 'London Whale' case (Reuters)
In seeking the dismissal of charges against Javier Martin-Artajo and Julien Grout, the Department of Justice said it "no longer believes that it can rely on the testimony" of Bruno Iksil, a cooperating witness who had been dubbed the London Whale, based on recent statements he made that hurt the case. Prosecutors also said efforts to extradite Martin-Artajo and Grout, respectively citizens of Spain and France, to face the charges have been "unsuccessful or deemed futile."
Commodities Are Good for Traders, Bad for Investors (BBG View)
There is also no financial reason that dictates that commodities must exhibit mean reversion. They provide no dividends or income. They don’t have earnings. Commodities are more of an input than a financial asset. In many ways, a bet for commodities is a bet against technology and innovation.
It’s a Vasectomy Party! Snips, Chips and Dips With Your Closest Friends (WSJ)
The two pals, married with children, made a convivial—and somewhat vulgar—video as they drank and giggled away the hours before heading home. Neither man could drive afterward, but their wives were remarkably supportive. Mr. Ferretti, 36 years old, and Mr. Lopez, 44, had enjoyed themselves under the supervision of a doctor for what some are calling a brosectomy—a vasectomy with friends in a cushy setting of couches, snacks, big-screen TV, and in some clinics, top-shelf liquor.
Introducing Alphachain, the Alphaville initial coin offering (FT Alphaville)
“The way to profit from a bubble is by selling into it,” a wise man once wrote. In other news, Alphaville is launching the crooked mainstream media’s first ever initial coin offering (ICO). We’re really excited to present our vision of a future where Alphaville journalists retire young(ish) and live out their days sipping Mojitos on a tax-efficient beach.
Police: Man used babies to help him steal $1K in sunglasses (AP)
Police in suburban Philadelphia are looking for a man who they say used two babies to help him steal about $1,000 worth of sunglasses.