Opening Bell: 12.12.17

Hedge funds face an identity crisis; did Wilbur Ross insider-trade while at Bank of Ireland?; being gay on Wall Street; South Koreans are fueling bitcoin's ascent; AI-assisted fake porn is now a reality; and more.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

What Hedge Funds Will Do After the Hedge Fund Model Dies (BBG)
As long as the benign investment environment continues, with passive investing on the rise and the economy still growing, it pays to look in less traveled corners, said Marc Lasry, who runs the $9.8 billion Avenue Capital. “Right now, what the investing world offers you is niches.” RELATED: The Future Is Bumpy: High-Tech Hedge Fund Hits Limits of Robot Stock Picking

Marc-Lasry

The Force Behind Bitcoin’s Meteoric Rise: Millions of Asian Investors (WSJ)
Lee Sang-chul, 32, is one of the millions of South Koreans who have become besotted with bitcoin. “Before bitcoin, I’d be at my shop from morning to evening. Now, I close shop when I have an appointment or leave early,” said Mr. Lee. He has hired two people at his shop since he started investing in bitcoin, and bought his wife an expensive Chanel handbag for their wedding anniversary. “My goal is to accumulate as many bitcoin as I can,” Mr. Lee said, adding that he expects the virtual currency to replace standard currencies in the future.

The Hottest ICOs Are the Ones That Have Done the Least Amount of Work (BBG)
The data support this view. Of the 30 biggest digital tokens sold in ICOs this year, the ones without a working product backing their projects did the best in their first month of trading, data compiled by Bloomberg show. And the ICOs with actual products that could be tested? Almost two-thirds of those declined. RELATED: SEC halts virtual coin offering, issues investor warning

European Parliament Report Accuses Wilbur Ross of Insider Trading (Mother Jones)
Ross sold near the top of the market. Since the 2015 admissions that the Bank of Ireland relied on flawed accounting methods, the bank’s share prices have dropped significantly. Yet as a board member, Ross would have presumably been privy to the bank’s most sensitive financial information, including its bookkeeping practices. This raises the question of what Ross knew when he sold off his shares. Was he aware that the losses the bank was deferring using flawed accounting would inevitably reappear and that he could get out of the company before the true state of its finances became clear?

Gay on Wall Street (II)
If LGBT professionals navigate their lives carefully, it’s because they’ve learned to. “My introduction to Wall Street was not a positive one,” says Sears. “I entered investment banking in 1998, and I had a homophobic boss. On my second week on the job he called the analyst next to me a faggot. It sent the message to me immediately that this was not a company I wanted to stay with.

Both left and right could make big changes to how the Fed operates in the next recession (FT Alphaville)
“Like it or not, the central bank is a central planner, shaping both the character and the level of economic activity. It should embrace this role—and the democratic accountability that goes with it—and exercise its power toward the public good.”

Retail Investors Aren’t As Stupid As They Tell You (Mike Ashton)
It turns out that since the allocation to cash is, mathematically, CASH / (CASH+STOCKS), when the denominator declines due to stock market declines the overall cash ratio moves automatically! Thus, it seems that maybe what we’re looking at in the “scary” chart is just the natural implication of fluctuating markets and uninvolved, as opposed to returns-chasing, investors.

AI-Assisted Fake Porn Is Here and We’re All Fucked (Motherboard)
There’s a video of Gal Gadot having sex with her stepbrother on the internet. But it’s not really Gadot’s body, and it’s barely her own face. It’s an approximation, face-swapped to look like she’s performing in an existing incest-themed porn video. The video was created with a machine learning algorithm, using easily accessible materials and open-source code that anyone with a working knowledge of deep learning algorithms could put together.

Related

Goldman_Sachs-china

Opening Bell: 11.6.17

Goldman goes east; Saudi prince's arrest impacts Citi, Twitter investments; Wilbur Ross has a Putin problem; William Dudley to retire; and more.

(Getty Images)

Opening Bell: 1.26.17

Dutch regulator accidentally reveals Soros' shorts; Wilbur Ross is an emotionless business machine; a sex line for Afghan youths; and more.

BobIger.Wolverine

Opening Bell: 12.14.17

Disney gobbles up Fox; Bill Ackman is going to make a comeback...eventually...just you wait; Wilbur Ross slipped his security detail in the Hamptons; square dancing is actually racist?; and more.

By Maggie Hoffman (Tomato Soup Grilled Cheese) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 8.5.16

Wilbur Ross expects Donald Trump to start acting normal; Goldman warns on Brexit effects; Georgia man busted after raging at wife over too cheesy grilled cheese sandwich; and more.

Photo: Getty Images

Opening Bell: 6.21.16

Ackman releases first video in a series (!!) of videos about Herbalife; Wilbur Ross tells Brits to wake the bloody heck up; Memphis police searching for woman who stole stripper pole; and more.

Coming soon to a Bridgewater office near you.

Opening Bell: 11.7.17

Ray Dalio's number-two is reportedly kinda handsy; Forbes says Wilbur Ross lied to them about being a billionaire for years; Dick Fuld is back, baby; Bjork wants to give you cryptocurrency; and more.

Getty Imates

Opening Bell: 11.16.17

Nelson Peltz wins recount (maybe); Wilbur Ross sued by former partners; Stephen Feinberg is gunning for Deutsche Bank; hot cop-on-cop action in Detroit; and more.

By Remy Steinegger, World Economic Forum from Cologny, Switzerland (World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2008) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons Copyright by World Economic Forum    swiss-image.ch/Photo by Remy Steinegger +++No resale, no archive+++

Opening Bell: 10.25.17

Carlyle shakes up leadership; Trump wants to decide Fed chair by show of hands; Overstock is launching an ICO do to buybacks; oldest living creature gay; and more.