The U.S. Supreme Court has now agreed to hear arguments about Alice, litigation that squarely raises a question with which lower courts have struggled ever since the Bilski decision in 2010 failed to offer them any guidance: is all software 'abstract' in the legal sense, and thus as such unpatentable? If not, then what is the legal sense of "abstract"?
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A new report, which concerns specifically the post-trade operations of equities and fixed income instruments, says that since the crisis of 2008 the management of costs has become "an utmost priority." Cost management, though, isn't the same as downsizing.
It is certainly true that a lot of foreign-denominated debt would worsen prospects for South Africa. But even in the absence of such a trap: can a nation boast of anti-fragility (or even, more aptly, of robustness) simply because it has the option of devaluation?
Even after the worst of the U.S. debt ceiling crisis passed, concerns about the Yen and unsatisfactory second-quarter performance numbers weighed the Nikkei down.
For pension managers these days, decision making is about managing a glide path that doesn't become a fiery crash. In appealing to such clients, consultants shouldn't think of themselves as sales people selling particular products in separate boxes.
A recent decision from the Second Circuit constitutes the latest fall-out from the criminal behavior of Edward Strafaci, who as portfolio manager for the Lipper funds overstated the value of the assets they held between 1998 and 2002.
The share of equity trading volume accounted for by dark pools has risen steadily in the U.S. in recent years. What have been the preconditions of this? what are its benefits and what are its costs?
The QFII advisory business will for tricky for the smaller fund management companies, because the private firms with which they compete there "tend to boast better investment teams."
A new youtube video that seems aimed at building public sentiment for preserving section 716 of the Dodd-Frank Act intact, is actually after bigger game. And the bigger game is a far better target. But the word "derivatives" is not really that tricky to pronounce.
The average billionaire owns four homes. Though most billionaires are “still based” we’re told, “in the same locations where they were raised,” it must certainly be nice to have the three getaway locales.
October saw some outflow of money from hedge funds in North (and Latin) America, though there were net inflows in the other regions. Eurekahedge attributes the North American outflow to profit taking and portfolio shuffling, and expects that money will be back.
The good news is that there is a general consensus that QE-infinity is not sustainable. "The notion that QE has distortionary effects is widely accepted," says the CSAM white paper.
In a traditional lawsuit over the sale of swampland in Florida I would have to show not only that the salesman lied to me, but that I relied on that lie, and accordingly built a house there and glub glub glub.
NACUBO President and CEO John D. Walda and his Commonfund Institute counterpart John S. Griswold said in a statement, “the data concerning alternative strategies will bear watching as more colleges and universities report their FY2013 results.”
A new report from Celent wonders why the mutual fund industry is growing so slowly in India, and why it is so over-represented in just five of the cities of the subcontinent.
The key to understanding the mechanics of bitcoin is that at ten minute intervals the 'miners' gather up the recent proposed transactions and try to add them to the block chain, the universal ledger of bitcoin transactions.
In the Endicott case, the Tax Court adopted the Internal Revenue Commissioner's view against the taxpayer. But on the central interpretive question involved, there remains no bright line test.
Two institutional investors challenged the legality of a forum selection bylaw favoring the management of Chevron Corp. They have lost this battle in the Delaware courts. How significant is that loss?
Consider TMX index futures: volume and open interest were both heading up sharply in the period 2005-06. But OI peaked in 2006, while volumes continued up for another two years. Going forward, too, the two are not expected to move in tandem.
A big story came with Beijing and London datelines on Tuesday, October 15: a deal that may make the City of London a major trading hub in the Chinese yuan, while making life easier for British investors who want to invest directly in China. What does this mean for the U.S. dollar?
Managers broadly are of the view that the more complex a regulation, the more expensive it is for those affected. The regulations that concern them the most in this respect are: FATCA and AIFMD.
Numbers indicate that specialist advisory firms manage nearly twice as many assets as the industry average. As Cerulli Associates observes in a recent issue of The Cerulli Edge, this "validates the strategy."
A recent article on the use of catalytic events to predict volatility, written by Paul Rowady of the TABB Group, provides food for thought for derivative traders, crystal-ball gazers, and compliance officers alike.
The hedge portion of a liability-driven portfolio can be dominated by long-duration fixed income instruments. One of the points of a new Cerulli report is that by offering those, asset managers can get a valuable 'in' with the sponsors of DB plans, to whom LDI appeals.
Challenges brought about by the 2007-08 crises and their long wake have interacted in the U.S. with what was then a new fair-value hierarchy, the three levels of valuation as established by the FASB.
Cerulli acknowledges that buying an existing boutique, as a way in which an established long-only mutual fund manager might start offering alternative products, is quicker than is the build-from-within approach. But the M-and-A shortcut ought to come with a warning.
A new paper addresses a group of industrial metals, the platinum group, and suggests that its components might be a wise addition to many portfolios on CAPM grounds.
In his WSJ piece on Oct. 4, Ferguson said that the "fiscal arithmetic of excessive federal borrowing is nasty even when relatively optimistic assumptions are made about growth and interest rates." Although he made a noteworthy error in expounding on this point, the point itself is solid and important.
I would expect that some numbers-thirsty alpha seekers have suffered a reaction in recent days -- since the budget impasse -- analogous to that of the regular customer of a bottle shop who arrives there at the usual time only to find a "Closed" sign unaccountably still front-and-center.
A decision by Judge Nathan on a case arising from the failure of two Bear Stearns branded hedge funds in the spring and summer of 2007 involves a remarkably aggressive application of Daubert, the standard for accepting the testimony of scientific experts.
Comparing the 2011 and 2012 data, some correlations that seemed clear in the former year either disappeared entirely, or become a good deal blurrier, in the 2012 data.
Anshuman Jaswal, senior analyst, Celent, has prepared a report on execution quality in the NYSE market that measures such quality along two axes: pricing and speed. Speed is straightforward, the metric for price as an execution issue is a bit trickier.
As a matter of fiduciary responsibility and best business practice, Woodbine says, firms need to conceive of a trading strategy that will optimize their trade execution against objective and quantitative benchmarks, and connect with counterparties who will advance this goal.
The David Swensen inspired "Endowment Model" came under heavy criticism in 2009-10. More recently, opinion has mellowed, and now comes a project, the Portfolio Whiteboard Project, in which the participants view Swensen in a spirit as collegial as it is critical.
A newly issued report by the Bank for International Settlements speaks volumes about what is happening to the world banking system as the new millennium enters its troubled teen years. I refer to the special feature, “How have banks adjusted to higher capital requirements?” written by Benjamin Cohen and included with the BIS’ latest quarterly [...]
Both the total population of ultra high net worth individuals in the world and the amount of wealth they together represent have increased over the past year. The latter metric increased by a little less than $2 trillion.
In early 2011, Jason Kelly, a Bloomberg News reporter, decided that he had to write this book to explain to the general public how PE works. That sort of epiphany makes it a little surprising that there isn't more of an over-arching theme in the book that resulted.
Cerulli reminds us that risk-on/risk-off environments now alternate with dizzying speed. Even within the course of 2013 there has been a swing from cautious optimism to just-plain cautious.
A forthcoming paper suggests that the old risk premium in crude oil futures has essentially disappeared, at least as averaged out over (rather modest) spans of time, and proposes commodity index funds as an explanation of the disappearance.
Risk aversion is a foundational consideration in finance. Oddly, the examples usually given to explain it sound a bit like incidents from an old game show with Monty Hall.
All that dry powder on the sidelines means good news and bad for PE GPs: first, that there is room for a lot of new demand for their services (the good news); second, that investors remain hesitant – they have deliberately kept that powder in the horn and many will likely continue to do so (the bad news).
The CFTC has issued a thoroughly researched report, or 'concept release,' on algorithmic trading, high frequencies, and related issues in todays derivatives markets. Christopher Faille looks at the report and marvels at the term 'execution throttle,' employed for a monitoring system the report suggests.
On the too-big-to-fail front, for example, AIMA observes that risks associated with the failure of any particular entity "should be adequately addressed...." That is quite unobjectionable. All problems should be adequately addressed.
Christopher Faille contemplates a newly listed blank check company looking to acquire a specialty chemicals concern, and he asks an expert what exactly "specialty" chemicals are. "And while I have you on the line...."
On August 28, President Cristina Fernandez of Argentina announced a new bond swap plan. Argentina will offer to swap its outstanding bonds, apparently either of the FAA or of the exchange bondholder vintage, with newly issued bonds that will not have the New York or U.S. law connections the older issuances did.
Ronald Coase died Sept. 2, 22 years after the receipt of his Nobel Prize. He leaves behind him the distinctive pair of goggles with which he taught his fellow economists to look at the worlds of markets and hierarchies.
The CFTC is said to be close to issuing a concept release on high-frequency trading, pushing the regulatory process beyond the agency's earlier talkfests. Christopher Faille muses about an approach the concept release will almost certainly not advocate.
The U.S. marks Labor Day, and we at AllAboutAlpha consider the lessons that unions and others might learn about collective bargaining from a successful negotiating tactic employed by two actors in the infant television industry of 1951.
The BRICs as a group have been a disappointment to those who thought they were at a take-off point at the turn of the millennium. In the cycles of investment-market hype, BRICs have been replaced by CIVETS. PrevInvest offers words of caution.