Hedge funds are setting records at the end of historically volatile 2020 [N.Y. Post/Thornton]
Hedge Fund Research’s HFRI 500 — an equal-weighted index of the world’s largest hedge funds’ returns — soared 6.2 percent in November from October, its biggest month-to-month gain since December 1999 and the second-largest month-to-month increase since the index’s inception in 1990.
Year to date, the HFRI 500 is up a whopping 7.3 percent.

Deutsche Bank cuts 2022 cost target, confirms view [MarketWatch]
Germany's biggest lender now aims for adjusted costs of around 16.7 billion euros ($20.22 billion) in 2022 compared with a previously expected EUR17 billion…. It backed its target for return on average tangible equity, or ROTE, of 8% by 2022. It also confirmed it expects its common equity tier 1 capital ratio target to come in above 12.5% by 2022.

Jamie Dimon says he wouldn’t touch Treasurys with a 10-foot pole at these rates [CNBC]
The yield on the 10-year Treasury was last at just 0.9% and has stayed below 1% since breaking below that threshold during the March pandemic collapse in stocks….The long-time JPMorgan CEO and chairman responded that if investors’ base case occurs – a recovery next year spurred on by coronavirus vaccines — then that means today’s “bond spreads and most equity prices would be justified.”
There may be a bubble in small parts of the stock market, not all of it,” Dimon said.

Commodities-Trading Giant Trafigura Wins Big From Oil-Market Mayhem [WSJ]
The closely held company, which is based in Singapore but run from Geneva, almost doubled its net profit to $1.6 billion in the fiscal year ended September. The company’s operating earnings were the best in its 27-year history, it said…. Trafigura did particularly well when oil prices went negative in the spring, despite a concurrent pullback in financing from banks for commodities deals. Demand for crude in cars and planes plummeted with much of the world economy in lockdown, while Saudi Arabia and Russia, two of the world’s biggest crude producers, launched a crushing price war.

McKinsey Issues a Rare Apology for Its Role in OxyContin Sales [NYT]
Criticism of the world’s most prestigious consulting firm has intensified since The New York Times reported last month that McKinsey had discussed ways for Purdue to “turbocharge” sales of its drug OxyContin, proposing that it pay distributors rebates for overdoses linked to the pills they sold…. Two senior partners at McKinsey discussed whether to purge records related to Purdue, according to documents recently filed in connection with the drugmaker’s bankruptcy proceedings. McKinsey rarely acknowledges mistakes and has never before accepted responsibility for helping Purdue sell more opioids, even as hundreds of thousands of people were abusing the highly addictive painkiller.

Related

By Steve Jurvetson (Flickr: Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 6.15.21

Inflation spikes along with Jamie Dimon’s cash pile; no bonds for you; investing in oneself; and more!

Opening Bell: 05.17.12

White House Steps Up Push To Toughen Rules On Banks (WSJ) White House officials have intensified their talks with the Treasury Department in the days since J.P. Morgan's losses came to light, these people say—representing the first tangible political impact from a trading mess that has cost one of the nation's most prominent banks more than $2 billion...White House and Treasury officials are still determining whether the Volcker rule would have prevented the losses at J.P. Morgan, people familiar with the discussions said. Some of the president's political advisers are concerned that the J.P. Morgan trades, even if determined to violate the spirit of the rule, might slip through the regulatory net. From 'Caveman' To 'Whale' (WSJ) Even after Dynegy's holding company filed for bankruptcy protection on Nov. 7, the trade seemed like it still would be a loser for Mr. Iksil and J.P. Morgan. Only about six weeks remained until the trade was set to expire, and another company needed to default for J.P. Morgan to make money and the bullish hedge funds to lose out. Some traders took to calling Mr. Iksil a "caveman" for stubbornly pursing the trade. Mr. Iksil continued to bet against the index, however, and it soon weakened, causing a buzz among unhappy rivals, these traders say. "We called the trade the 'pain trade' and the 'widow maker'; it kept going down for no reason," said a trader at another firm, who called his broker and says he was told it was Mr. Iksil who was doing all the bearish trading. "It felt like Bruno was trying to wipe everyone out." Then on Nov. 29, in something of a shock, AMR Corp., American Airlines' parent company and one of the companies in the index, filed for bankruptcy protection. "People freaked out," recalls a hedge-fund trader. The index weakened significantly, allowing J.P. Morgan to rack up about $450 million in total profits from the trade, according to traders. Rival firms suffered similar-size losses. It capped a successful year for Mr. Iksil and his group, though the profits would be more than offset this year when they shifted to a more bullish tack on corporate credit, losing $2 billion-plus in the process. Goldman to Cash Out $1 Billion of Facebook Holding in IPO (Bloomberg) The investment bank and its funds will sell 28.7 million of the 65.9 million shares they own, more than twice the amount initially planned, Menlo Park, California-based Facebook said yesterday in a filing. The shares are being offered in a range of $34 to $38 apiece, meaning the stock being sold in this week’s IPO is valued between $975 million and $1.09 billion. SEC Probes Roles Of Hedge Fund In CDOs (WSJ) U.S. securities regulators are investigating hedge-fund firm Magnetar Capital LLC, which bet on several mortgage-bond deals that wound up imploding during the financial crisis, according to people familiar with the matter. While Magnetar has faced scrutiny over its role in various collateralized debt obligations, or CDOs, the Illinois firm itself now is a target of an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, these people said. ECB Bars Access to Four Greek Banks (FT) The move raises the pressure on Greece to stick to its international bailout by highlighting the risk that eurozone central bankers could pull the plug on its financial system. It reflected ECB fears that a planned recapitalisation of Greece’s banks could be delayed. Greek Euro Exit Would Risk Asia Crisis-Style Rout, Zeti Says (Bloomberg) A Greek exit from the euro could cause contagion comparable to the Asian financial crisis, according to Malaysia’s central bank Governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz, who had first-hand experience of that turmoil. “The worst-case scenario is what we saw in Asia,” Zeti, 64, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Istanbul yesterday. “When one economy collapses, then the market usually moves on to focus on the next one, then there will be a contagion that will affect different countries that probably don’t deserve those kinds of consequences.” Strippers in Paris Go on Strike, Say Wages 'Miserable' (Reuters) The Crazy Horse, one of the most popular establishments of its kind in the world, said it was forced to cancel performances this week for the first time since the cabaret was created in 1951. The night club, which declined to give details on salary demands or current wages, said in a statement that it had always taken the wellbeing of its artists very seriously and that talks were continuing to resolve the dispute. "It's an exceptional place which has the specialty of presenting a fully naked show," Suzanne, one of the dancers, told RTL radio. "What's wrong is that we are asked to work 24 days per month for a pay that is worse than miserable," she said. JPMorgan’s Trading Loss Is Said to Rise at Least 50% (NYT) The trading losses suffered by JPMorgan Chase have surged in recent days, surpassing the bank’s initial $2 billion estimate by at least $1 billion, according to people with knowledge of the losses. When Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan’s chief executive, announced the losses last Thursday, he indicated they could double within the next few quarters. But that process has been compressed into four trading days as hedge funds and other investors take advantage of JPMorgan’s distress, fueling faster deterioration in the underlying credit market positions held by the bank. A spokeswoman for the bank declined to comment, although Mr. Dimon has said the total paper trading losses will be volatile depending on day-to-day market fluctuations. Several on FOMC Said Easing May Be Needed on Faltering (Bloomberg) The Federal Reserve signaled further monetary easing remains an option to protect the U.S. economy from the danger that lawmakers will fail to reach agreement on the budget or Europe’s debt woes worsen. Several members of the Federal Open Market Committee said new actions could be necessary if the economy loses momentum or “downside risks to the forecast became great enough,” according to minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee’s April meeting released yesterday in Washington. Judge Denies Gupta's Wiretap Motion (NYP) Ex-Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta lost his bid to get three key wiretaps tossed as evidence in his upcoming insider-trading trial. Manhattan federal judge Jed Rakoff gave tentative approval yesterday for the jury to hear the wiretaps, which are crucial to the government’s case against Gupta. A former head of McKinsey & Co., who also sat on Procter & Gamble’s board, Gupta is accused of feeding tips to ex-hedge funder Raj Rajaratnam, who began an 11-year prison term last October for insider trading. The taped conversations between Rajaratnam and his traders have him talking about tips from a unnamed leaker on Goldman’s board. Man protests restaurant's all-you-can-eat policy (TMJ4) A disturbance at a local restaurant when one man got upset that an all-you-can-eat fish fry didn't live up to its name. At 6'6" and 350 lbs, Bill Wisth admits he's a big guy who can pack it away more than most. And he wants one restaurant to make all-you-can-eat, all he can eat too. "It's false advertising," said Wisth to TODAY'S TMJ4. He was there Friday when the restaurant cut him off after he ate a dozen pieces. "Well, we asked for more fish and they refused to give us any more fish," recalled Wisth. The restaurant says it was running out of fish and patience; arguing Bill has been a problem customer before. They sent him on his way with another eight pieces, but that still wasn't enough. He was so fired up, he called the police. "I think that people have to stand up for consumers," said Wisth. Elizabeth Roeming is a waitress there and says they've tried to work with Bill over the years -- like letting him have a tab he still hasn't paid off. Bill isn't backing down, saying his fish fry fight isn't over. But in the end, even he had something nice to say. "They do have like some of the best pizza in town if you like deep dish pizza," said Wisth. He says he will picket every Sunday until the restaurant rethinks what happened.

JamieWhale

Opening Bell: 3.7.17

The London Whale tells his story; hedge funds step back from the edge; Americans are boning less; and more.

gamestop 3

Opening Bell: 3.9.21

GameStop, victims bounce back; SoFi buys a charter; SPAC daddies; private equity hiring (lobbyists); and more!

vertical aerospace

Opening Bell: 6.11.21

Sky cab SPAC; foreigners boost T-bills; bitcoin evangelists spread something else; and more!

adamneumann

Opening Bell: 2.25.21

The everything rally powers on; business backs Biden; bad day for McKinsey chief; good one for Adam Neumann; and more!

Getty Images

Opening Bell: 7.21.16

Dimon, Buffett, other CEOs meet in secret; Hedge funds sue Puerto Rico's governor; Platinum Partners to liquidate main funds; Woman stabs husband during doughnut dispute; and more.

Opening Bell: 5.2.16

Warren Buffett trashes Valeant, hedge fund fees; Marissa Mayer gets $55 million if ousted; Now You Can Get Pizza In A Pizza Box Made Out Of Pizza; and more.