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Bridgewater, World’s Largest Hedge Fund, Names New Chief Executives [NYT]
Nir Bar Dea, the deputy chief executive of Bridgewater, and Mark Bertolini, a Bridgewater board member and former chief executive of Aetna, will now lead the hedge fund jointly…. If he does opt to run for the open Senate seat from his home state of Pennsylvania, [former CEO David] McCormick will be a rare Bridgewater alumnus to do so. Unlike other financial firms, such as Goldman Sachs and the Carlyle Group, whose executives have gone on to become elected government officials, Bridgewater has not typically been a springboard for politicians.

Private Equity Backs Record Volume of Tech Deals [WSJ]
As of mid-December, private-equity firms had announced backing U.S. technology deals totaling $401.71 billion, including new purchases, asset sales and add-on deals, according to data provider Dealogic. That accounted for 41% of a record $990.25 billion in overall private-equity deals through mid-December, Dealogic said…. Investors say they expect more tech deals in 2022.

Hedge funds struggle to lure new money as performance lags [FT]
While investors have started to come back, the sums committed so far are relatively modest, and 2021’s returns have not helped.
Investors put a net $24bn into the $4tn hedge fund industry in the first nine months of 2021, according to HFR. That compares with a total of more than $110bn of outflows over the past three years.

Fed Weighs Proposals for Eventual Reduction in Bond Holdings [WSJ]
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said last month that he and his colleagues hadn’t made any decisions on the matter and were likely to continue their discussion at their Jan. 25-26 meeting. But he hinted that the central bank wasn’t preparing to follow the path taken between 2014 and 2019.
Back then, the Fed kept the bondholdings steady for three years and then gradually began shrinking the portfolio, sometimes called a “balance sheet.”

Bitcoin at the Bank: Mainstream Lenders Dabble in Crypto Outside the U.S. [WSJ]
Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA —Spain’s second-largest lender by assets, with operations in Latin America and Turkey—allows customers to hold, buy and sell bitcoin and ether through a digital account. Australia’s largest bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, has also launched a pilot program to offer similar services.
In Germany, a group of savings banks, which together serve 50 million of the country’s 80 million people, said it is considering offering cryptocurrency wallets…. Traditional banks, including in the U.S., have been more wary.

Crypto CEO Brian Armstrong Buys Los Angeles Home for $133 Million [WSJ]
The design of the main house, which has five bedrooms and was built in 2009, looks like cubes stacked on top of each other, with the top hanging over the lower level. It has a theater, a gym, a spa and a double-height dining room.
Mr. Armstrong, an early bitcoin enthusiast, became one of the world’s richest people earlier this year when Coinbase went public in April, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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Opening Bell: 11.8.22

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Opening Bell: 11.23.21

Private equity parties on; the hedge fund one less so; Elon Musk comes up with a way to make Tesla shareholders pay his tax bills; and more!

Opening Bell: 9.3.15

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Opening Bell: 11.29.21

Dorsey adrift; private equity parties; newspaper chains opts for suicide over hedge-fund murder; and more!

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Opening Bell: 1.29.18

Oil still booming; Cryptos, less so; More Brexit drama; Texas inmate escapes for takeout; and more!

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Opening Bell: 6.22.20

Second wave; second phase; new stress test section; “TechFin;” private equity sours on Trump; and more!

Opening Bell: 09.13.12

Ray Dalio: US Economy Out Of Intensive Care (Reuters) Hedge fund titan Ray Dalio said the U.S economy had come out of the "intensive care unit," but he warned against any quick move to "austerity" budget measures. "We were in the intensive care unit," Dalio, who runs the $120 billion hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, told more than 200 guests at the Council of Foreign Relations in New York on Wednesday. "We are largely healed and largely operating in a manner that is sustainable if we don't hit an air pocket." Dalio said a major challenge for U.S. politicians will be dealing with the so-called "fiscal cliff," the year-end expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts and previously agreed-upon cuts in defense spending and social programs, a combination which some economists say could lead to a recession. Dalio sided with economists who worry that a sharp reduction in government spending could lead the United States back into recession. "We can't just worry about too much debt," Dalio said. "We have to worry about too much austerity." German Court Clears Rescue Fund (WSJ) Germany's highest court cautiously approved the creation of the euro zone's permanent bailout facility, but insisted that the country keep its effective veto on all of the vehicle's decisions, a ruling that removes a question mark over two crucial elements of the euro zone's plans for mastering its debt crisis. Treasury Backs Plan For Standard Chartered Settlement (NYT) The lawyers approved a potential prepayment amount this week, a crucial step to a final agreement, though it will be much smaller than the $340 million the bank had to pay to New York State’s top banking regulator in a related case, according to three officials with direct knowledge of the settlement talks. The differing penalties stem from determinations by federal authorities and Manhattan prosecutors that the bank’s suspected wrongdoing was much less extensive than the state banking regulator’s claims that Standard Chartered had schemed with Iran to hide from regulators 60,000 transactions worth $250 billion over a decade. Insiders Get Post IPO Pass (WSJ) Wall Street underwriters increasingly are allowing corporate insiders to sidestep agreements that prevent them from quickly selling shares after initial public offerings. In the latest instance, several Wall Street banks on Wednesday allowed early investors and management of ExactTarget Inc. to sell more than seven million shares of the online marketing company a week ahead of the planned end of a "lockup" agreement. Under lockup pacts, underwriters bar company insiders from selling their shares, usually for 180 days after an IPO. The lockup restricts the supply of shares, helping buoy IPO prices; releasing more shares on the market can keep a lid on stock prices. Anna Gristina sits down with TV shrink Dr. Phil, says she won't talk to prosecutors about associate (NYDN) The Soccer Mom Madam's little black book has been whittled down to a single name. In her first major interview since being released from Rikers Island in June, Anna Gristina dishes to TV talk show shrink Dr. Phil about how prosecutors have hounded her for dirt on a just one associate. “They have an agenda to get me to talk about a certain person,” she told the daytime doc. Gristina refused to reveal the mystery man, or woman. Oprah's former head-shrink sidekick, who sat down at the kitchen table in Gristina's Monroe, N.Y. farmhouse, asked why the accused flesh-peddler didn't just save herself and give prosecutors the information they want. “I have a deep sense of loyalty and I'm Scottish." Gristina denied the criminal allegations during the teary interview, maintaining she was developing an online dating site where married men could meet single women. Whistleblower Key To Buyout Probe (WSJ) New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's probe of tax practices at private-equity firms is based on information from a whistleblower, according to a person familiar with the matter. The information came from someone who approached Mr. Schneiderman's office between roughly nine months and a year ago, this person said. Under the state's False Claims Act, the attorney general can investigate alleged fraud against the state basedon a whistleblower's allegations. The ongoing probe is examining whether partners at private-equity firms changed management fees into investment income to delay tax payment and pay less—or avoid taxes altogether. Some private-equity firms use so-called management-fee conversions, while other firms avoid them. Wall Street Hopes for Romney, but Expects Obama to Win (CNBC) In an unscientific poll, 46 percent of respondents to the September CNBC Fed Survey said they expect President Obama to win reelection. Only 24 percent believe Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney will get the job. Longtime Madoff Employee To Plead Guilty (Reuters) Irwin Lipkin, a former controller of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, will appear in Manhattan federal court on Th ursday, prosecutors said in a letter to the judge. He will plead guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and falsifying documents, prosecutors told U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain in the letter. Suspect pulls gun on victim while having sex in a moving car (WNN) The incident began Sep. 2 when the victim and his two friends went to the Paddy Wagon Irish Pub in Port Charlotte. When the bar closed early Monday morning they invited two girls they met to one of the friend’s home on Atlas Street. One of the women and the victim went into a bedroom to have sex. The girl said she needed $250, which he said he didn’t have. She asked how much he had and he gave her $120. The victim then went to the bathroom and when he returned, found the two women had left the home. The victim had obtained the woman’s cell phone number earlier at the bar and called her; they agreed to meet at the Pick N Run store on Peachland Boulevard. When he got there he expected to meet the woman who took the $120. Instead, Linscott walked up to his Nissan Sentra and said the other girl ditched her. Linscott got into his car and as they drove off, he said she began touching him and having sex while he was driving. The victim told detectives she also said she needed money and he told her he already gave her friend $120 earlier. The victim said Linscott then put a .357 Taurus revolver to his head and demanded money. The victim grabbed the gun and a fight ensued in the moving car; he said he punched her in the head so she would release the gun. He told detectives he was in fear of his life and lost control of his car, struck a palm tree, went airborne and then ran across two front yards in the 1200 block of Dewhurst Street.

Opening Bell: 11.25.15

"Hedge funds stalk battered corner of bond world"; Goldman bankers join Uber; Private equity goes after Premier League; Baby Cheesus; and more.