Posts Tagged ‘hedge fund’

Fat Finger Friday – Business as Usual, Really

Wow, we are sinking to new levels of idiocy now.

The MSM would have you believe that the tremendous sell-off in the markets was just a trading error.  If it was a trading error, then these markets SUCK!  Are you telling me we put TRILLIONS of dollars, including our retirement savings into a system that can be completely thrown into chaos because a single guy hits the wrong button on a single transaction?  It's a good thing Faisal Shahzad isn't still working on Wall Street anymore, or he could have just pushed a button and caused a lot more damage that way than he did with a faulty car bomb

This is financial terrorism folks, retail traders were stopped out and margined out while the pros made Billions picking up the pieces.  Don't worry though, if you are rich enough and connected enough, the Nasdaq will reverse your losses but if they really wanted to make ammend, they would cancel the day's trading for ALL traders.  My Members don't care, we were, of course, in cash and generally short on our fun plays so we made out like bandits or, should I say, like banksters!  Heck we even used our cash to do some bottom fishing in that ridiculous sell-off.   

This market didn't just sell off because of a trading mistake.  Whatever really happened, it happened because there were no real buyers when the selling came – something I have been warning would happen during the last 3 months of low-volume run-ups.  I keep using the house of cards/Jenga metaphore and that's exactly what we have so be very careful when the same idiots who have been telling you BUYBUYBUY are now telling you to "come back in – the water's fine."   We all know how that advice worked out in Jaws

I'm certainly NOT saying not to buy now.  We dumped our short yesterday as I told member Members during Chat to take the ridiculous money we were getting for the day and run:

  • 2:17: Well you can assume today is a very nice move down and get out now.  Tomorrow, even if jobs are bad and we head lower, then you can still flip to a June spread.  Don’t foget that VIX keeps climbing as we head lower.   Also, don’t forget how nice it is to be in cash and


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Rant of the Day: No Ethics, No Fiduciary Responsibility, No Separation of Duty; Complete Ethics Overhaul Needed

I’ve posted a lot on the Goldman Sachs fraud charges and hope it marks the beginning of change. Many of my favorite bloggers believe this is a mere distraction, and GS, the corporation, will get a slap on the wrist and a fine – which means essentially nothing happens to the people responsible for an ongoing parade of front-running, misrepresentations and frauds, even if the SEC is only permitted to file civil charges.  That said, here’s Mish on the subject. (My highlights) – Ilene 

Rant of the Day: No Ethics, No Fiduciary Responsibility, No Separation of Duty; Complete Ethics Overhaul Needed

AFIS BILLBOARD POSTERS ETHICAL BEHAVIOR DEFENSE BILLBOARD #21

Courtesy of Mish  

Goldman Sachs Shares Drop After Goldman Sachs Accused of Fraud in Mortgage Deals

Goldman Sachs, which emerged relatively unscathed from the financial crisis, was accused of securities fraud in a civil suit filed Friday by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which claims the bank created and sold a mortgage investment that was secretly devised to fail.

The move marks the first time that regulators have taken action against a Wall Street deal that helped investors capitalize on the collapse of the housing market. Goldman itself profited by betting against the very mortgage investments that it sold to its customers.

The suit also named Fabrice Tourre, a vice president at Goldman who helped create and sell the investment.

The instrument in the S.E.C. case, called Abacus 2007-AC1, was one of 25 deals that Goldman created so the bank and select clients could bet against the housing market. As the Abacus deals plunged in value, Goldman and certain hedge funds made money on their negative bets, while the Goldman clients who bought the $10.9 billion in investments lost billions of dollars.

“The product was new and complex, but the deception and conflicts are old and simple,” Robert Khuzami, the director of the S.E.C.’s division of enforcement, said in a statement. “Goldman wrongly permitted a client that was betting against the mortgage market to heavily influence which mortgage securities to include in an investment portfolio, while telling other investors that the securities were selected by an independent, objective third party.”

In recent months, Goldman has repeatedly defended its actions in the mortgage market, including its own bets against it. “We certainly did not know the future of the residential housing market in the first half of 2007 anymore than we can


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Goldman Sachs (GS) VP Email Jan 2007: “The whole building is about to collapse anytime now.”

Goldman Sachs (GS) VP Email Jan 2007: "The whole building is about to collapse anytime now."

Courtesy of Trader Mark at Fund My Mutual Fund

I have no idea the implication but for those of you around a decade ago you know what this parallels… Eliot Spitzer made his career on almost the same exact thing a decade ago.  Investment banks bringing product (IPOs) public, their analysts cheerleading the stocks to the public while writing internal emails about how the companies were complete trash.

Well this London based VP looks like the sacrificial lamb.

  • The suit also named Fabrice Tourre, a vice president at Goldman who helped create and sell the investment

As usual the snake oil never really changes… but in the past the snake oil salesmen would be run out of town.  Now they are protected by government, backstopepd by our Federal reserve, and glorified.  We’ve really evolved as a society :)

  • According to the complaint, Goldman created Abacus 2007-AC1 in February 2007, at the request of John Paulson, a prominent hedge fund manager who earned an estimated $3.7 billion in 2007 by correctly wagering that the housing bubble would burst.
  • Goldman let Mr. Paulson select mortgage bonds that he wanted to bet against — the ones he believed were most likely to lose value — and packaged those bonds into Abacus 2007-AC1, according to the S.E.C. complaint. Goldman then sold the Abacus deal to investors like foreign banks, pension funds, insurance companies and other hedge funds.
  • But the deck was stacked against the Abacus investors, the complaint contends, because the investment was filled with bonds chosen by Mr. Paulson as likely to defaultGoldman told investors in Abacus marketing materials reviewed by The Times that the bonds would be chosen by an independent manager.

———————————

Fascinating to see John Paulson’s firm involved as well – I don’t see any wrong doing on his part but apparently one of his former lieutenants, Paolo Pellegrini was the ‘snitch’. [Oct 2, 2009: Paolo Pellegrini, Formely of John Paulson's Hedge Fund, on Bloomberg]

Full pdf file of SEC complaint here.

p.s. bought some SPY puts to get some hedging going on.


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To The SEC: Prove It

Here’s a handy list of coincidences to file under insider trading in plain site. – Ilene

To The SEC: Prove It

Police tape

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker


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Julian Robertson’s Interview With The Financial Times

Julian Robertson’s Interview With The Financial Times

Courtesy of Market Folly

On his recent media escapade, Tiger Management founder and hedge fund legend Julian Robertson stopped off to chat with the Financial Times about many topics. He has been out talking a lot about his curve caps play lately where he essentially is buying puts on long-term treasuries as he expects prices to fall and yields to rise. Julian again touched on this position in this interview but we want to turn the focus to other topics that he hasn’t previously discussed in his other recent media appearances. Here are some notable excerpts from the Tiger Management founder and hedge fund legend’s interview with the FT:

"Julian Robertson on market cycles and hedge funds

FT: You were famously bearish about technology stocks ahead of, during the tech bubble; did that experience influence you in predicting 2007, 2008?

JR: No, I don’t think so. What really caused me to predict the problems we had in 2007 and 2008 was the fact that we were spending so much more and no one was balancing the budget; no family can keep doing that forever, no corporation can keep doing that forever, and no nation can continue doing that forever. I think that’s, we did it on all three fronts; as individuals we did it, as corporations we did it, and as a nation we did it – and it blew up in our face.

FT: Why do you think corporations and in particular financial institutions were so bad at seeing that; why did they keep on dancing too long?

JR: Well, I think it goes back to greed and bad judgement, I mean that’s the thing I see. A lot of people were trying to get more risk in their balance sheets, they really were during that period, and once the risks caused their problems they then rushed out and blamed hedge funds – and that was ridiculous. These people were responsible for their own problems because they had levered up too much and made some very bad investments.

FT: One of the fascinating things about your own performance as a fund manager, particularly around the tech bubble is, you were right, but being right wasn’t such a great thing to be. How can people use that


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Money Markets are the New Suspenders

Money Markets are the New Suspenders

By EB, courtesy of Zero Hedge

The Financial Times recently reported on the Fed’s latest exit strategy to eventually contain the inflation zombie:

 During the crisis, the Fed created roughly $800bn of additional bank reserves to finance asset purchases and loans. This total is likely to rise in the coming months as the central bank completes its asset purchases and the Treasury unwinds financing it provided to the Fed. Fed officials think they could raise interest rates even with this excess supply of reserves by offering to pay banks to deposit their surplus funds with it rather than lend them out. However, they also want to use reverse repos in tandem to soak up some of the excess reserves. Policymakers call this a “belt and braces approach”. [The latter, clearly a nod to the great Gekko.]

nice suspenders, zero hedgeTD touched on this last Thursday, and we will expand upon it here as it is particularly relevant to our ongoing theory that it is the proceeds from permanent open market operations (POMOs) and their close cousins that are driving equities.  Though this may be received wisdom to ZH readers, the Fed has done us the favor of providing additional evidence through the FT story.  A bit of background, as we are new contributors to this forum:

Money Supply:  Based on our previous research on the effects of swings in M2 non-seasonally adjusted money supply (M2) on the stock market, we were a bit surprised in July 09 by the resiliency of the rally, which continued in the face of such a dramatic contraction in M2.  The dismal Durable Goods report from last Friday confirms that the capital goods sector is still under significant pressure as a result of a lack of money in the general economy.  With banks not lending to normal businesses and consumer credit contracting equally as violently, what is the basis for this rally and from where does the never-ending flow of equities juice flow? 

Bank Non-Borrowed Excess Reserves:  The Fed statistic that most closely correlates with the 2009 equities run-up appears to be bank non-borrowed excess reserves (bank NBER), which


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Market Insights From Hedge Fund D.E. Shaw & Co: Common Trading Mistakes

Market Insights From Hedge Fund D.E. Shaw & Co: Common Trading Mistakes

Courtesy of Market Folly

This is a first for Market Folly in that we’ve been able to track down some market insight from none other than hedge fund firm D.E. Shaw & Co. While the commentary is from July of this year, it is theoretical and applicational in nature so it’s still very relevant. Not to mention, it’s probably worth your time regardless, considering it is coming from a firm who has their hand in all different types of markets. After all, they are a hedge fund, a private equity firm, and technology development shop all rolled up into one.

This particular research report focuses on intuition versus reason. Additionally, it deals with analyzing trades and what they call the "time-portal" fallacy. It makes for interesting reading so definitely check it out as they delve into the topic of common trading mistakes and the consequences that follow. You can download the .pdf here. For more on DE Shaw, check out our recent portfolio coverage on them.

Market Folly

 


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Michael Milken, 60,000 Deaths, and the Story of Dendreon

It’s very been very exciting to bring terrific new authors together at Phil’s Favorites and today I’m pleased to welcome Mark Mitchell of Deep Capture to our site. Mark’s written a fascinating account of the real story behind Dendreon’s (DNDN) most unusual trading activity in recent years. Here’s the first chapter of Mark’s 15 part series. – Ilene

Michael Milken, 60,000 Deaths, and the Story of Dendreon (Chapter 1 of 15)

drugs, pharmaceuticals, studiesCourtesy of Mark Mitchell at Deep Capture

What follows is part 1 of a 15-part series. The remaining installments will appear on Deep Capture over the next several weeks, after which point the story will be published in its entirety. It is a story about the travails of just one small company, but it describes market machinations that have affected hundreds of other companies, and it contains a larger message for anyone concerned about the “deep capture” of our nation’s media and regulatory bodies.

This story, like too many others, begins with Jim Cramer, the CNBC personality, making “a mistake.”

On September 26, 2005, Cramer  announced to his television audience the sad news (punctuated by funny sound effects – a clown horn, a crashing airplane) that Provenge, an experimental treatment for prostate cancer, had flopped. Thousands of end-stage patients had been pinning their hopes on Provenge, but according to Cramer the treatment had just been rejected by the Food & Drug Administration. It would never go to market.

This seemed odd, because Dendreon (NASDAQ: DNDN), the company developing Provenge, had not yet submitted an application for FDA approval. As everybody in the biotech investment community knew, Dendreon had, in fact, only recently completed Phase 3 clinical trials and probably would not face scrutiny from an FDA advisory panel for at least another year.

As for the likelihood that the advisory panel would eventually vote in favor of Provenge, the odds looked quite good. The Phase 3 trials had demonstrated that Provenge significantly increased patient survival with only minimal side-effects, such as a few days of mild fever. Moreover, Provenge was an altogether different sort of treatment – one that fought tumors by boosting patients’ immune systems rather than subjecting them to the ravages of chemotherapy.

Provenge was not a magical elixir of life, but Dendreon was doing more than just developing a new technology. It…
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Boone Pickens Seeks Investors For Hedge Funds

Boone Pickens Seeks Investors For Hedge Funds

Boone PickensCourtesy of Market Folly

Well, here we go again. After his energy fund lost 98% and his equities fund lost 64% in 2008, Boone Pickens is back for more. Yep, he is raising money for new iterations of essentially the same hedge funds that his hedge fund BP Capital previously ran. Well, we don’t even really need to say "essentially" because they literally are the same funds just with a "II" at the end of the name, signaling their second incarnation.

His Energy fund will trade futures and his Equities fund will trade energy related equities and some futures as well. His "II" Energy Fund started trading back in February and is already up a whopping 79%. It’s funny how they are undoubtedly using that as marketing material and you can’t blame them. However, investors should be aware that the exact same types of funds were obliterated last year. So, a 79% gain this year is not much when you consider how much they were down the year prior. According to fund documents, Pickens will aim to hold investments between 3 months and two years. If you’re curious as to what his firm owns, we’ve covered Pickens’ hedge fund portfolio recently here.

As our friend TraderMark over at FundMyMutualFund.com so poignantly asked, is Boone turning into the next John Meriwether? For those unaware, Pickens had an absolutely brutal last year as his funds lost money, he personally lost money, and every bet he made seemed to go against him. John Meriwether, on the other hand, blew up Long Term Capital Management back in the day and we just recently got word that he is closing yet another hedge fund down. We like to call it the hedge fund boom-bust cycle. Manager starts hedge fund, goes boom to the top of the charts, then goes bust. They then re-group, raise more money, and then start over again. Rinse and repeat. And, repeat again. You get the picture.

So, we like to poke fun at both the fund managers themselves for their propensity to ‘blow up’ and come right back from the dead with a new fund offering. At the same time, we like to poke even more fun at the investors who continually come back for more. Such is life in hedge fund land. Speaking of ‘pokes, we…
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Phil's Favorites

An epidemiologist explains the new CDC guidance on 15 minutes of exposure and what it means for you

 

An epidemiologist explains the new CDC guidance on 15 minutes of exposure and what it means for you

A girl wearing a mask walks down a street in the Corona neighborhood of Queens on April 14, 2020 in New York City. Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

Courtesy of Ryan Malosh, University of Michigan

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has new guidance clarifying what exactly “close cont...



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Biotech/COVID-19

An epidemiologist explains the new CDC guidance on 15 minutes of exposure and what it means for you

 

An epidemiologist explains the new CDC guidance on 15 minutes of exposure and what it means for you

A girl wearing a mask walks down a street in the Corona neighborhood of Queens on April 14, 2020 in New York City. Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

Courtesy of Ryan Malosh, University of Michigan

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has new guidance clarifying what exactly “close cont...



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Zero Hedge

76% of US CEOs Will Slash Office Space As Remote Work Dominates 

Courtesy of ZeroHedge

The virus pandemic has accelerated more flexible work options for employees, with many companies instructing employees to work remotely through 2021, or in some cases, permanently. As a result, according to a new survey, CEOs have said they will slash office space, a move that could ripple through commercial real estate markets, all the way down into local economies. 

In collaboration with Deloitte, Fortune surveyed 171 CEOs between Sept. 23 to 30, found 76% of respondents are expected to reduce office space size in the near...



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ValueWalk

Coronavirus stimulus checks: Pelosi, Mnuchin point fingers as talks stall

By Aman Jain. Originally published at ValueWalk.

The last hope of a stimulus deal hinged on negotiations between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Now Pelosi and Mnuchin have stopped negotiating on the coronavirus stimulus package and checks and started blaming each other for the lack of a deal.

Coronavirus stimulus checks: Pelosi and Trump- Mnuchin play blame game

Until Thursday, both Pelosi and Mnuchin were optimistic on reaching an agreement this week. However, the two started blaming each other on Friday for the impasse, saying a deal could be reached if the other side compromised.

Pelosi ...



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Politics

How to track your mail-in ballot

 

How to track your mail-in ballot

Make sure you know when your ballot is arriving, and whether it’s been accepted for counting back at your election office. erhui1979/DigitalVision Vectors via Getty Images

Courtesy of Steven Mulroy, University of Memphis

Many voters who want to participate in the election by mail are concerned about when they’ll receive their ballot – and whether it will get back in time to be counted.

The pandemic has caused interest in ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Doc Copper/Gold Indicator Breaking Out Again?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

The Doc Copper/Gold ratio broke above a 2-year falling channel back in 2016 at (1). Following this breakout, it rallied for the next year. During that year, Copper related assets did very well!

The ratio peaked in the summer of 2018 and created a series of lower highs over the past two years.

The strength of late has the ratio attempting to break above dual resistance at (2).

If the ratio continues to push higher and succeeds in breaking out, Copper, Basic Materials (XLB), and ...



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Chart School

Dow Gann Angle Update

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Time to see what happens to the Dow post US elections.

The Dow Gann Angle Target 3 (from 2007 top) is on the table, and what a ride that will be. The FED went BRRRRR is all the fundamental news you need to know. Gann angles are very good tool to see how the masses are pushing price.


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The last two US elections saw Bitcoin and the DOW rally well for 6 months, due to stimulus. The most bearish 2020 US Election case for the markets is a Biden win with the Senate and Congress controlled by the Democrats, somehow this blog feels that is very unlikely. So what could go wrong!


...

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Digital Currencies

Bitcoin: the UK and US are clamping down on crypto trading - here's why it's not yet a big deal

 

Bitcoin: the UK and US are clamping down on crypto trading – here's why it's not yet a big deal

Where there’s a bit there’s a writ. Novikov Aleksey

Courtesy of Gavin Brown, University of Liverpool

The sale and promotion of derivatives of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to amateur investors is being banned in the UK by the financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It is a...



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Mapping The Market

COVID-19 Forces More Than Half of Asset Management Firms to Accelerate Adoption of Digital Marketing Technology

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

There is no doubt that the use of technology to support client engagement initiatives brings both opportunities and threats but this has been brought into sharp focus this year with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The crisis has brought to the fore the need for firms to enable flexibility in client engagement – the expectation that providers will communicate to clients on their terms, at their speed and frequency and on their preferred channels, is now a given. This is even more critical when clients are experiencing unparalleled anxiety from both market conditions and their own personal circumstances.

...

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The Technical Traders

Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling System Suggests Market Peak May Be Near

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Our Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling system is suggesting a moderate price peak may be already setting up in the NASDAQ while the Dow Jones, S&P500, and Transportation Index continue to rally beyond the projected Fibonacci Price Expansion Levels.  This indicates that capital may be shifting away from the already lofty Technology sector and into Basic Materials, Financials, Energy, Consumer Staples, Utilities, as well as other sectors.

This type of a structural market shift indicates a move away from speculation and towards Blue Chip returns. It suggests traders and investors are expecting the US consumer to come back strong (or at least hold up the market at...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia - The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

 

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia – The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

Courtesy of Lee Adler, WallStreetExaminer 

The numbers of new cases in some of the hardest hit COVID19 states have started to plateau, or even decline, over the past few days. A few pundits have noted it and concluded that it was a hopeful sign. 

Is it real or is something else going on? Like a restriction in the numbers of tests, or simply the inability to test enough, or are some people simply giving up on getting tested? Because as we all know from our dear leader, the less testing, the less...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Data on nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate for March will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • US Services Purchasing Managers' Index for March is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.
  • The ISM's non-manufacturing index for March will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.
...

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Promotions

Free, Live Webinar on Stocks, Options and Trading Strategies

TODAY's LIVE webinar on stocks, options and trading strategy is open to all!

Feb. 26, 1pm EST

Click HERE to join the PSW weekly webinar at 1 pm EST.

Phil will discuss positions, COVID-19, market volatility -- the selloff -- and more! 

This week, we also have a special presentation from Mike Anton of TradeExchange.com. It's a new service that we're excited to be a part of! 

Mike will show off the TradeExchange's new platform which you can try for free.  

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.