Posts Tagged ‘insider information’

Insider Trading Is Legal For Members Of Congress – And They Refuse To Pass A Law That Would Change That

Insider Trading Is Legal For Members Of Congress – And They Refuse To Pass A Law That Would Change That

Courtesy of Michael Snyder at The American Dream

Is insider trading wrong?  Most Americans would say that it is.  In fact, some very wealthy and very prominent Americans (including Martha Stewart) have gone to prison for it.  It just is not right for those with inside information that is not generally available to the public to make huge profits in the stock market by making key trades based on that information. 

But there is one group, members of the U.S. Congress, that can do all the insider trading they want and get away with it.  That is because insider trading is perfectly legal for members of Congress.  Yes, you read that correctly.  So how would that work?  Well, for example, a member of Congress may know that a law that is about to be proposed would have a very positive effect on a particular company and could buy up a ton of stock in that company a few days before that law is introduced.  Isn’t that wrong?  Of course.  Is there any law against it?  Not at all. 

You would think that some of the more ethical members of Congress would want to close this glaring loophole, but it just isn’t happening.  Legislation has been introduced from time to time that would end this practice, but it has gotten very, very little support.  The Wall Street Journal recently published an article about this issue which described the current situation this way….

"A few lawmakers proposed a bill that would prevent members and employees of Congress from trading securities based on nonpublic information they obtain. The legislation has languished since 2006."

But even though insider trading is legal for members of…
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Do Hedge Funds Trade On Insider Information?

Do Hedge Funds Trade On Insider Information?

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

A very interesting research paper currently in publication by a team from York University headed by Nadia Massoud asks "Do Hedge Funds Trade on Private Information? Evidence from Syndicated Lending and Short-Selling" and analyzes whether or not hedge funds actively trade in the public securities of companies that had approached said hedge funds with private, capital structure specific (in this case loan syndication and amendment) information. The paper focuses on the period between 2005 and 2007, when the first wave of second- and third-lien debt that had been issued by crappy companies to hedge funds, was starting to become impaired and led to wave after wave of covenant and other bank loan amendments, designed to allow the borrower some breathing room.

Massoud also tracks whether or not in the days preceding the public announcement of a covenant amendment, traditionally seen as a sign of weakness by any borrower company, there was a spike in short-selling activity by hedge funds, courtesy of an interval between January 2nd 2005 to July 6th 2007, when RegSHO had made public extensive detail on equity short-selling data (why this is no longer the case one has to ask the corrupt SEC, but that is a question for after the next 10,000 point Dow flash crash when the SEC’s headquarters will finally be surrounded by rioting former investors who have had enough). The paper finds conclusive evidence that companies that come to lenders in hopes of amending syndicated credit facilities do indeed see aggressive shorting of their stock into the days preceding the formal announcement, implying that there is obviously material non-public information abuse and frontrunning. Here, the authors of the paper however, make a blatantly wrong assumption that this frontrunning originates almost exclusively from within the hedge funds that had been approached with the material non-public disclosure of weakness. We are happy to demonstrate that not only is that not necessarily the case, but to explain why certain sections of FT holding company Pearson can charge over $100,000 a year for premium subscription to their content by rich hedge fund subscribers, thereby once again creating a very tiered information market. We speak of course of Pearson niche media subsidiary www.debtwire.com

First, a brief observation of the York paper’s conclusions. As the charts below summarize, there is almost no doubt…
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HOW LONG WAS GALLEON TRADING ON INSIDER INFORMATION?

HOW LONG WAS GALLEON TRADING ON INSIDER INFORMATION?

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

Raj Rajaratnam, GalleonReader DanH was nice enough to forward us a recent copy of Galleon Groups performance going back to 1992.  It turns out that the fund was Madoff-like in its performance.  These guys just couldn’t lose.  Whether the market was up or down they cranked out 25% returns like they were printing money.  It makes you wonder just how long these guys were trading on insider information?

I have run the risk adjusted returns on hundreds if not thousands of portfolios throughout my career and I have never seen numbers like these.  NEVER.  There is virtually ZERO downside volatility in these figures.  Their largest one month drawdown was -6.19%!  That is simply unheard of for a portfolio with such high returns.  Gauging from the returns I would be willing to bet the insider trading was going on for most of Galleon’s existence and was likely much more rampant than currently reported:

Galleon 1Galleon2

 


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Insider Trading: Raj Rajaratnam Of Hedge Fund Galleon Group Charged

Insider Trading: Raj Rajaratnam Of Hedge Fund Galleon Group Charged

Courtesy of Market Folly

Raj Rajaratnam, founder of hedge fund Galleon Group has been charged with insider trading in a $20 million case as he and five other people were allegedly involved, including a former Bear Stearns executive and an IBM executive. The charges say that the six accused used insider information in two schemes where they traded shares of Google (GOOG), Polycom (PLCM), Hilton Hotels, and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).

This case is interesting in that it is the first time wiretaps have been used to target insider trading. The insider information apparently came from numerous sources, including other hedge funds, investor relations firms, and the companies listed above whose shares they traded. Rajaratnam faces 12 total fraud and conspiracy counts, many of which have up to a 20-year maximum sentence. Prosecutors had been investigating this case ever since 2007 when a non-named person began complying with the FBI. That person apparently had been using insider information and tipping off Rajaratnam since 2006.

The Wall Street Journal has dug into one particular case of the insider trading events regarding shares of now private Hilton Hotels. They write,

"The deal is the early July LBO of Hilton Hotels. According to the regulator, on July 2 at 2:20 p.m., Hilton executives called the lead analyst covering the hotel for Moody’s. The purpose of the 7-minute call isn’t detailed. The SEC does say that at some point in the call the Hilton executives informed Moody’s that their company was being taken private by Blackstone Group and that the deal likely would be announced sometime before the Fourth of July.

There are two Moody’s analysts mentioned in the complaint, a vice president and senior analyst that was the credit rater’s lead analyst on Hilton and an associate analyst “involved” in rating Hilton. The lead analyst took the Hilton call. One analyst then told someone identified as “the cooperating witness” of the pending deal. The SEC says it reviewed phone records for the Moody’s analyst’s cellphone that show the analyst made three phone calls to the cooperating witness from 3 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. that same day. The cooperating witness provided the Hilton information to Rajaratnam, saying that it was “a sure thing.” The SEC says trading records show that Galleon…
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Phil's Favorites

The Trade Deficit Isn't the Boogeyman

 

The Trade Deficit Isn’t the Boogeyman

Courtesy of John Mauldin, Thoughts from the Frontline

I have to confess something: I run a huge trade deficit. It’s not with China or Mexico, but with Amazon. I buy all sorts of goods from them and Jeff Bezos has yet to spend a penny with me. It’s just not fair.

Sound ridiculous? That’s exactly what it is. Totally absurd. I like Amazon. I’m happy with the items the company ships to me and (I presume) Amazon is happy to receive my money. We both win.

The same kind of relationship exists between the US and China, although with a few twists we’ll discuss below. That’s not to say Chin...



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Zero Hedge

More Free Money For Banks: St Louis Fed Discloses 'A Carry Trade In Liquidity'

Courtesy of Mike Shedlock, MishTalk

Not only do banks earn free money on excess reserves, they can borrow money and make guaranteed free money on that.

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis discusses the Carry Trade in Liquidity.

The IOER [interest on excess reserves] has been the effective ceiling of other short-term interest rates. The figure above compares the IOER with overnight rates on deposits and repos. ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

S&P Testing Strong Support, With Fear Levels High!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

This chart looks at the S&P 500 on a weekly basis over the past couple of years. Since the start of 2016, the S&P has spent the majority of the time inside rising channel (1).

In January the S&P hit the top of the rising channel and selling quickly took place, taking it down to test rising support in a matter of a couple of weeks.

The softness of late has the S&P facing rising channel support and its 200-day moving average at (2). 

CNN Fear & Greed Index-

...



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Insider Scoop

Marvell Holds Attractive Risk-Reward, BMO Says In Upgrade

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related MRVL Benzinga's Top Upgrades, Downgrades For October 16, 2018 The Week Ahead: Q3 Earnings Season, Canada Decriminalize...

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Digital Currencies

Tether Tumbles Below Critical $1 Threshold As Dollar-Pegged Crypto Doubts Soar

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Update: Careful to quickly assuage any potential loss of the narrative and 'full faith and credit' of the 'stablecoin', Tether released a statement on USDT drop:

"We would like to reiterate that although markets have shown temporary fluctuations in price, all USDT in circulation are sufficiently backed by U.S. dollars (USD) and that assets have always exceeded liabilities."

See, nothing to panic about.

*  *  *

The only cryptocurrency not rallying right now is the one pegged to the U.S. dolla...



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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Oct 14, 2018

Courtesy of Blain.

Wednesday and Thursday finally brought some fireworks to a very complacent market.   The S&P 500 had not had a 1% move in 74 days until Wednesday’s drawdown.

Rising yields were nailed as the culprit but months of rallying eventually require some sort of shake out – whatever the catalyst.  Wednesday’s sell off was the worst day for the S&P 500 since February and the worst for the NASDAQ since June 2016.

The market losses are “a reaction from investors finally realizing we are in a higher interest-rate environment, and given the elevated level of stocks, market participants were likely looking for a reason to sell,” said Charlie Ripley, senior investment strategist for Allianz Investment Management. “Higher interest rates typically bring on tighter ...



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ValueWalk

Vilas Fund Up 55% In Q3; 3Q18 Letter: A Bull Market In Bearish Forecasts

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

The Vilas Fund, LP letter for the third quarter ended September 30, 2018; titled, “A Bull Market in Bearish Forecasts.”

Ever since the financial crisis, there has been a huge fascination with predictions of the next “big crash” right around the next corner. Whether it is Greece, Italy, Chinese debt, the “overvalued” stock market, the Shiller Ratio, Puerto Rico, underfunded pensions in Illinois and New Jersey, the Fed (both for QE a few years ago and now for removing QE), rising interest rates, Federal budget deficits, peaking profit margins, etc...



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Members' Corner

Why obvious lies still make good propaganda

 

This is very good; it's about "firehosing", a type of propaganda, and how it works.

Why obvious lies still make good propaganda

A 2016 report described Russian propaganda as:
• high in volume
• rapid, continuous and repetitive
• having no commitment to objective reality
• lacking consistency

...

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Biotech

Gene-editing technique CRISPR identifies dangerous breast cancer mutations

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

Gene-editing technique CRISPR identifies dangerous breast cancer mutations

Breast cancer type 1 (BRCA1) is a human tumor suppressor gene, found in all humans. Its protein, also called by the synonym BRCA1, is responsible for repairing DNA. ibreakstock/Shutterstock.com

By Jay Shendure, University of Washington; Greg Findlay, ...



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Mapping The Market

Mistakes were Made. (And, Yes, by Me.)

Via Jean-Luc:

Famed investor reflecting on his mistakes:

Mistakes were Made. (And, Yes, by Me.)

One that stands out for me:

Instead of focusing on how value factors in general did in identifying attractive stocks, I rushed to proclaim price-to-sales the winner. That was, until it wasn’t. I guess there’s a reason for the proclamation “The king is dead, long live the king” when a monarchy changes hands. As we continued to update the book, price-to-sales was no longer the “best” single value factor, replaced by others, depending upon the time frames examined. I had also become a lot more sophisticated in my analysis—thanks to criticism of my earlier work—and realized that everything, including factors, moves in and out of favor, depending upon the market environment. I also realized...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union

...

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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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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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