Guest columnist Bob Swarup, CAIA, looks at good governance and best practices and what the alternative investment industry needs to do to "grow up."
There exists “robust evidence of informed trading during lockup periods ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee … monetary policy announcements” say three authors. Some agencies can embargo news effectively. The FOMC doesn't seem to be among them.
GFIA says that most of the Asia Pacific managers it tracks generated substantial returns above the relevant index in May 2014. The long-biased firms did best there, their event-driven peers … not so much.
Guest columnist Andrew Beer looks at the consistency of hedge fund returns and finds them, well, lacking...
Guest columnist Donna Howe examines diversity at the board level. Does it make a governance difference?
Guest columnist Donna Howe, CFA, looks at the different aspects of private equity and the associated risks.
Neither liquidity nor a small spread is the be-all and end-all of markets. A spread is a sort of price and, like other prices, spreads can sometimes get too small because someone is cutting corners.
Starting with 350 available metrics of corporate governance and/or forensic accounting, GMI Ratings has boiled their model down to just 64, and from those they get three scores.
Why it is possible that the recent uptick in animal spirits in Japan comes largely from a sense that Abenomics as originally conceived has run its course, and that Abe and the rest of the gang there will have to move on shortly.
One takeaway, from the point of view of the managers, is that a close engagement with institutional investors requires a lot of time and effort, and those commodities have to be budgeted. How to handle the circumstances of industry maturity is an individualized call.
Justice Scalia's opinion has the support of Justices who aren’t, to say the least, reliable allies of Scalia’s in the kind of ideologically driven splits that draw so much MSM attention, Obama appointee Elena Kagan as well as Clinton appointee Stephen Breyer are on board. On Monday, June 16th, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered a stunningly complete victory for NML Capital, the holdout bondholder in the much-watched litigation arising out of Argentina’s 2001 bond defaults. On the one hand, SCOTUS refused to hear Argentina’s appeal from the Second Circuit’s decision on what the issuing documents meant by the pari passu language. A decision not to decide has no precedential significance itself, but this of course leaves the Second Circuit’s decision, issued in October 2012, intact. Both as a matter of the law as it applies to this case, and as a matter of precedential significance for many similarly worded documents, the Second Circuit is the circuit that counts. What is Left Standing? The Second Circuit left standing, and now the Supreme Court has also left standing, a district court injunction against any payments that in any way rank holders of the restructured debt over the hold-outs. What the Second Circuit said was that in the pari passu clause in the issuing documentation of these Fiscal Agency Agreement bonds (FAA), the sovereign “manifested an intention to protect bondholders from more than just formal subordination.” The language was there to protect them precisely from what Argentina has more recently tried to do, that is, to protect them from any arrangement by which “Argentina as payor [discriminates] against the FAA bonds in favor of other unsubordinated foreign bonds.” On the same day (a few minutes later) SCOTUS also delivered a full-dress opinion on a related issue. The New York district court has interpreted the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 narrowly, so as to allow for discovery orders that assist NML in its search for Argentina assets in third countries where they may not be immune. Since Argentina owes NML more than $1.5 billion, it has plenty of incentive to continue this search. The Supreme Court upheld that statutory construction. The opinion wasn’t closely split. There was one dissent (Justice Ginsburg) and one recusal (Sotomayor). Still, the opinion for the other seven Justices, written by Justice Scalia, had the support of Justices who aren’t, to say the least, reliable allies of Scalia’s in the kind of ideologically driven splits that draw so much MSM attention. The 7-justice majority included Obama appointee Elena Kagan as well as Clinton appointee Stephen Breyer. What Happens Next? Argentina’s immediate reaction was that it will fight on, apparently by continuing to pay the favored creditors [Exchange Bondholders] and by continuing to exclude from these payments the FAA hold-outs. “What I cannot do as President is submit the country to such extortion,” says President Cristina Fernandez. The legal fight is over, though. And I should add that part of what SCOTUS has let stand here is a district court order the copies of its pro-holdout injunction be provided to “all parties involved, directly or indirectly, in advising upon, preparing, processing, or facilitating any payment on the Exchange bond.” Argentina’s New York agents cannot now give out money to the Exchange bondholders without aiding and abetting the defiance of a court order. Argentina must now either pay $907 million to the plaintiffs by the end of this month, or lose the ability to use U.S. financial intermediaries of any kind to pay the holders it has favored. The only possible means by which Argentina can resist the “blackmail” now and continue to pursue the policy it has in recent years is if it can pay the favored creditors without the involvement of any financial intermediary subject to U.S. court orders. This would prove tricky, especially with a tight schedule. The Rest of the World And of course even success there leaves Argentine open to the second of SCOTUS’ two punches, discovery and perhaps successful seizure of assets in third countries. Leaving Argentine matters to the side: what will be the consequence of NML’s victory in this matter, and the now-regnant Second Circuit reading of the pari passu clause, on the market for EM nation bonds? If, as at least some authoritative sources have indicated through this long fight, the pari passu language used in Argentina in the FAA followed “standard language included in substantially the same form in numerous credit documents” and if this decision changes how that language has been understood, then the markets will have to develop work-arounds: because from time to time sovereigns will default, and some sort of restructuring will have to occur. How those work-arounds will work is beyond me. But then, given my poor record trying to predict the twists and turns of this saga that is perhaps for the best.
Justice Thomas writes, "Deciding whether or not a particular claim is abstract can feel subjective and unsystematic, and the debate often trends toward the metaphysical, littered with unhelpful analogies and generalizations.” He has not given the debate a different turn, it will continue to trend toward the metaphysical etc.
"Isn't there anything good to be said for the practice of historical cost accounting, especially when the cost figures are higher than the mark-to-market figures? Well ... no. It's reality avoidance."
Given recent political news, it is perhaps unsurprising that, in the words of Eurekahedge, hedge fund managers "investing with an India focus and employing systematic trading strategies [posted] strong gains" in May 2014.
Who or what is responsible if an ATS' self-learning behavior drifts into terrain that, performed by a human, would constitute manipulative behavior? Does it matter than another algorithm has lately passed the Turing test?
If the old line from Cabaret--"money makes the world go around"--is true, what happens when crypto-currencies go around the world? Vikas Shah explores the world of e-monies.
An aphorism of Warren Buffett's once again making the rounds can be understood in at least three distinct ways. Faille looks at the possible constructions and decides that, whatever exactly Buffett meant to say or do, his reasoning here does little harm to his target, modern finance theory.
Investors need benchmarks, especially benchmarks of likely infrastructure return, because the long-term illiquid nature of that investment increases information asymmetry between investors and managers, whereas benchmarks keep this asymmetry bearable. So explains Frédéric Blanc-Brude of EDHEC.
Many of recent history¹s most significant market events have manifest in what was (previously) the extreme of the market. These"bubbles" and "crashes" follow power laws, meaning that (in theory) they could reach any size and fundamentally threaten the functionality of the entire financial system. Could random trading be the solution?
Guest columnist Rick Ehrhart looks at hedge fund incentive compensation.
Crisis-ridden banks yield crisis-ridden sovereigns, and vice versa. One way to make both institutions more resilient going forward is to loosen the feedback loop that connects their troubles. How to do that?
As always, government wants revenue, and by what is now a reflex action heads have turned to the issue of carried interest. Faille speculates that little, if anything, will happen at the federal level, but that we may soon see a shift in the location of the action.
Some Japan-focused long/short equity funds did produce positive returns in April, swimming against the stream in a month when Topix, Nikkei, and TSE Mothers all fell.
Vikas Shah looks at the future of money--paper vs. electronic.
Guest columnist Diane Harrison applies some time-honored strategies to asset raising.
We catch up with litigation and administrative actions over the market data fees that exchanges are allowed to charge their customers, issuers, brokers, or dealers. One of the Lake Poets clues us in to what all the fighting means.
A recent survey of firm-valuation experts from 10 European countries indicates that they can produce wildly different values given the same inputs. Okay: maybe that’s not too surprising. Any valuation model will necessarily include parameters that will in turn require a best-guess approach, often as subjective in inspiration as it is objective in aspiration. So […]
HFTs and trading venues alike have worked hard to fit their practices into the Reg NMS framework. As a consequence, violations of NMS “are unlikely” Dolgopolov writes, “to provide a basis for civil liability of HFTs who use such orders because of their compliance – however formalistic – with this regulatory norm.”
Andrew Beer, guest columnist, takes another look at the never-ending debate about hedge fund fees. Do they or don't they justify themselves?
Guest columnist Ginger Szala looks at the conflicts of interest in trading.
ESMA defines HFT as “a special class of algorithmic trading in which computers make decisions to initiate orders based on information that is received electronically, before human traders are capable of processing the information they observe and of taking a decision in relation thereto.” It then decides that needs further definition.
Pershing Square owns 9.7% of Allergan's equity. Further, Valeant's proposal is structured so that Pershing Square is more of a co-bidder than a seller.
What is the big picture for these authors? Are China and the U.S. trading places, so that China will have a middle class and the U.S. won’t? No. What is happening is a bit more subtle than that.
Charles Skorina revisits his famous "public Ivys" study.
Investors continue to "crave for exposure" to Asia, and even to Japan. India is especially exciting to some, perhaps because of hopes for the near-term political success of the BJP.
Recently we discussed Dr. Stiglitz' view of the Eurozone, a view offered to an Italian audience, with Italy (and Greece) foremost in mind. Today we complement that with Deputy Governor Hakkarainen's view of the Eurozone. He looks down at the same map from the north, with Finland and Sweden foregrounded.
Europe's index providers, by their own account, already have strong incentives to offer optimal transparency and, in their self-interest, they do so. A survey and report from EDHEC examines this claim.
Seventy-one percent of private equity/real estate investors, and 89% of hedge fund investors, say they have decided against investing in at least one new fund due to their concern over its lack of transparency.
After some preliminaries, McGonagle got around to the central subject of his testimony, the Concept Release on Automated Trading that the CFTC had issued back in September 2013. Much of his testimony was designed to give Congress an inkling of the range of reactions the CR has since elicited.
Stiglitz seems to think the euro can be saved, but that the “structure” of Europe as a political entity has to change. His ideas for a reformed structure sound a lot like a consolidation of Europe into a single nation state.
The latest news from Eurekahedge shows a spotty performance for the global hedge fund industry in April, and generally in the year to date. The report also makes a casual remark about low inflation numbers that gives our Christopher Faille an opportunity to grouse about its Keynesian premises.
Guest columnist Don Steinbrugge looks at why allocators continue to invest in hedge funds, even when the media thinks they shouldn't.
On Barhydt's view, we have to see Bitcoin and other currencies like it as part of an evolution of the whole world of commerce, payments, and exchange, a vast movement of disintermediation that threatens to disrupt the banking and finance industries.
Jeff Malec, CAIA, looks at why large hedge funds have all the fun and get all the money.
Europe's pension fund managers embrace LDI quite generally, and many embrace the "dynamic" version of that strategy. But four scholars at EDHEC find it curious they don't do so for the right reason -- they don't seem to see LDI as the risk-management imperative it is.
The Big Items subsector of the luxury industry sells yachts, private jets, etc. Fifty-eight percent of the respondents in this subsector told researchers that they would soon increase their digital footprint as part of a growth strategy.
Guest columnists Andrew Beer and Michael Weinberg look at the opportunities that lie in the largely untapped alternative mutual fund markets.
As the TABB Group and SEI remind us in a new report, "Reinventing Buy-side Infrastructure," the legacy systems widely in use on the Buy side are inadequate to post-legacy challenges, both for traditional and for alternatives managers. There's got to be a better way.
Doug Friedenberg talks about investing in the climate and what real investors can and are doing with it.
In the recriminations that followed the demise of Enron in 2001, the whole idea of mark-to-market accounting acquired a taint. A lot has changed since then, but fair value debates we will always have with us.