It's that time of year when investment advisers are talking about asset allocation. Guest columnist Diane Harrison explains why you should never give up on your alternative investments.
After a hard look at the evidence, Judge Polster couldn't say that the FTC was likely to prevail after a full hearing on its objection to the merger of two medical-equipment sterilizers, so he denied the preliminary injunction. Why this matters.
Baltas and Kosowski begin a recent paper with the observation that time-series momentum strategies have compiled an unsatisfactory record in the years since the global financial crisis. They ask why, and suggest how the strategies can be re-jiggered to improve performance.
China has a classic central-planners’ economy, and planners hate to lose control. As a logical consequence, the central authorities have only very slowly loosened their grip either on money coming in from outside or on money going out from inside. Still ....
Guest columnist Don Steinbrugge on the basics of reinsurance as an investment strategy.
Investors may well add to their alternatives portfolio allocations in the months to come. What will this mean for small and medium sized hedge funds, many woman-headed funds among them?
For years, actually for decades, the facts that corporations often combine the posts of chief executive and chairman of the board in the hands of a single powerful individual and that this is a U.S. based proclivity in particular have been the targets for high-minded complaint and pontification. So: how much do activist hedge funds care?
A reflection on the newly released trailer for the forthcoming Paramount movie The Big Short, with Christian Bale front and center as Michael Burry. Brad Pitt shows up, too.
IBM has now purchased Strongloop, and this has gotten Faille thinking about APIs, a potential multi-trillion dollar market. Where technology's imperatives press again the law: how to bet?
We will certainly hear more of this whistle blower case, because it isn’t at all clear whether there is majority support on the U.S. Supreme Court for the interpretation of Lawson in which the district court is engaged in Anthony.
Risk parity may just be one of many strategies that follow a familiar arc, from promising new idea to crowded trade to crowded unwind. If this is so: where in that arc is it now?
Guest columnist Jill Eicher looks at how public pension funds are cutting out the middle man and leveraging the power of their own capital for infrastructure investments.
As two IMF economists see it, the trend toward the outsourcing of manufacturing by Japanese firms has a downside for the domestic economy, which has become less resilient than it once was. This explains why the familiar nostrums aren't working.
BATS now proposes to define spoofing in an elaborate and narrow two-part manner. An investor, commenting to the SEC, accurately notes that this is a good deal different from the statutory definition, or from a definition endorsed recently in another context by BATS itself.
Eurekahedge's latest round-up of hedge fund results by strategy and region makes quantitative what you, dear reader, probably knew: August was bad. The report also includes some discussion of HK/Shanghai arbitrage.
When Tapper brought the hedge fund taxation question directly to Mr. Trump, Trump replied that he was still working on the details, but that when his full plan is released "the hedge fund guys won't like me as much as they like me right now." Why that is the perfect Trumpian sentence.
Like, love or hate "The Donald," he knows how to elicit a reaction. Guest columnist Diane Harrison discusses "trumping" your competition.
If it is possible for bubbles to arise in frictionless circumstances, then it follows that any theory that treats bubbles as the consequence of friction is, at very best, incomplete. And that is important to know especially if policy makers are busy drawing their own conclusions from those incomplete-or-worse theories.
Sovereigns and their politicians are looking over the shoulders of the managers of their sovereign wealth funds. This is a pain in the neck for the latter, but it may mean opportunity for their counterparties.
A Wall Street analyst recommends bottom fishing in fossil fuel stocks and does an excellent job in analyzing all the market forces EXCEPT the primary one, rapidly increasing climate change. If he is typical of Wall Street expert analysis on fossil fuel stocks, be afraid. Be very afraid.
Paul Chadwick, chairman of AIMA Australia, says that the hedge fund industry in Australia is at an "inflection point." Faille reflects on that ubiquitous expression, and then turns to Australia's new Investment Manager Regime.
Presumably the U.S. Supreme Court's decision, in December 2008, that states can in fact make and enforce tougher labeling standards for cigarettes than does the federal government was a negative for tobacco stocks. But did that mean that stock prices had already anticipated the decision before it happened? or that they immediately adjusted downward on the morning the decision was announced? Or ... neither of those?
The Japanese economy deserves some credit for having pulled itself out of a recent recession, and it is "beginning to show signs of benefiting from a weaker yen" as a BlackRock strategist tells us. But (there is always a "but").
NML tried to get around the sovereign immunity of Argentina's Central Bank by arguing that it and the Republic were only one entity (the "alter ego" theory developed by the U.S. Supreme Court in an opinion concerning Cuba, in the 1980s), and that the one entity involved has waived its/their immunity. No dice.
As regular readers of this blog may recall, I have found much to admire in the writings of Nassim Nicholas Taleb. So I am happy that he had decided to put some distance between himself and a recent claim that Universa made $1 billion when bad news from China shook the world's markets in late August.
Guest columnist Charles Skorina looks at the potential for 2016 endowment returns and finds them to be somewhat lacking... Could alternatives ride to the rescue?
Both private and community foundations depend heavily on U.S. equities. Indeed, domestic equities remained the bright spot while other strategies underperformed in 2014. A new report from a collaboration of the Council on Foundations and Commonfund provides food for thought about the reversal in foundation returns in that year. The Study of Foundations by this […]
A new lawsuit against the corporate and individual enablers of a securities fraudster moves forward. The former are "alleged" enablers, but the latter is a convicted fraudster, already serving his time. Faille seeks to draw lessons. Part One of Two.
Not all benefits are as tangible as a suitcase of cash, and the question of law for the Second Circuit, for the Ninth, and now perhaps for SCOTUS is: is friendship enough? how about regard for one's brother?
The head of the New York Fed said on Wednesday, August 26th, that "the decision to begin the normalization process at the September FOMC meeting seems less compelling to me than it was a few weeks ago." We may be about to see another Fed retreat, analogous to that of a little more than two years ago.
Not even Schrodinger blamed the reporters for market irrationality. Saying out loud, "Hey, this cat is dead," doesn't kill the cat.
Guest columnist Andrew Smith, CAIA, provides an overview of real assets and their commensurate risks and rewards.
The CFTC has issued its first exemption from the CDO registration mandate under 5b (h). The successful petition for that exemption, from ASX Clear, has the additional merit of having inspired an idiosyncratic seeming, but concise, comment letter, quoted in full here.
In November 2014, Scott Stringer, New York City's Comptroller, launched a campaign he called the Boardroom Accountability Project. Bernard Sharfman makes a case that this BAP is a good example of much that is wrong with institutional/activist investing today.
Gold seems, to a larger extent than silver, and even more so to an extent larger than is true for palladium or platinum, to work as a true financial asset: decoupled from price developments in the commodity markets. It succeeds as a hedge against currency and stock-market trouble.
Faille spoke recently to Herman Weintraub, executive director and head of alternative investment practices at GFT, about the impact of the Basel III rule changes upon the HF industry. Weintraub says, one ought to look not at the parts, but at the whole.
Guest columnist Don Steinbrugge on why hedge fund AUM is set for an increase over the course of the next 12 months.
In the three month period that ends with July, Eurekahedge’s Greater China Index (which has 85 constituents) is down 9.39%. That has come about for precisely the reasons that a reader of the pertinent headlines would guess.
China's moves in recent days seem likely to set off a new Southeast Asia currency crisis, which will look a lot like the old Southeast Asia currency crisis. This was clear even on August 11th, when traders in the rest of the world were apparently working on the premise that China's move that day was a one-off.
Guest columnist Charles Skorina with a cautionary tale of greed and deceit and less-than-best practices at a large public pension plan.
Guest columnist Diane Harrison discusses the art communicating with investors.
What a difference a summer makes! In May of this year it was still taken for granted that the "normalization" of Federal Reserve policy and so of U.S. interest rates approached. Now, that cannot even remotely be taken for granted.
Obamacare's impact on the investment world may have been mitigated until very recently by the protracted and complicated litigation that the law immediately generated starting with its enactment in 2010. But now....
Commissioner Gallagher contends that some recent enforcement actions "have unfairly contorted the rule to treat the compliance function as a new business line," thus giving compliance officers the unwelcome role of business heads. In this and other respects, Gallagher says the agency is setting up a perverse system of incentives for those who ought to be its allies, the CCOs of IAs.
When it all hit the fan, U.S. investigators in particular (the Brits somewhat less so) came to see Hayes as a mastermind behind its digestive generation. But Arvedlund seeks in her new book on the Libor Rigging scandal to place the role Hayes played in context.
What does the road to passport status look like for the US, regarding Europe's AIFMD? It looks rocky, and ESMA seems disinclined to draw a legible map. Instead it offers ambiguity and links to further ambiguity in the footnotes of its report.
Guest columnist Shane Brett discusses a new RR Donnelley survey on the MMIF challenges facing fund administrators.
Faille returns to the matter of a recorded conversation in which a former Greek finance minister talked about German ideas that ought to have the French government worried. Specifically, it is allegedly Werner Schäuble’s intention to scare the French into abandoning sovereignty. Greece is just a pawn.
In a newly released recording (of a conversation apparently intended to remain secret somewhat longer), the former finance minister discussed the cloak-and-dagger task force that had drawn up plans for a Grexit. And, looking forward, he talked about German ideas that ought to have the French government worried.
Credit Suisse Capital Services says that appetite has increased of late, among institutional investors, for multistrategy funds. Faille offers some thoughts as to why.