Posts filed under “Hedge Funds”
This was a terrific conference. Mad props to Anthony Scaramucci & Skybridge for a top notch show.
I really enjoyed my panel — Austan Goolsbee is a very interesting guy — moderate, intelligent, sharp. FCIC vice chair Bill Thomas was fascinating in the green room (but practically filabusted on stage!). (Faber is always a pro).
Some of the highlights of the rest of the conference:
The lunch speaker Wednesday was Frank Abagnale, the subject of the Spielberg movie,“Catch Me if You Can.” He gave a fascinating speech — the first half of which was about how he became this wild teenage fraud/counterfeiter/impersonator, was fantastic. The ease in which he scammed people as a 16 year old runaway was astonishing. (The second half, which kinda rationalized his own bad decisions, coated in gooey wrapping of familial love, wasn’t resonant for me. It was too defensive, too rationalizing, too exculpatory). Regardless, it was quite a barnburner.
The Hedge fund panel was excellent: James Dinan of York Capital, Glenn Dubin of Highbridge, Ken Griffin, Citadel and Marc Lasry, of Avenue Capital. How often do you get to watch 4 superstars discuss running funds?
Michael Milken gave an interesting speech — though he played way too fast and loose with the facts for my taste. No, Mike, the 18 states with non recourse mortgages did not cause the credit crisis. Overall, he gave a pretty good presentation, but he repeatedly set my bullshit detector off. Milken’s speech had lots of good points, but it would have been MUCH stronger if he simply stuck to hard, proven facts.
Bill Clinton gave a very strong speech — no notes, extemporaneous, just standing and speaking. I was surprised and impressed. The audience of hedge fund managers gave him a standing O when he came out, and when he was finished. (That was even more surprising).
On Thursday morning, the Macro Panel took place. Nouriel Roubini, Jeremy Siegel, Paul Kasriel, and Scott Minerd (of Guggenhiem Funds). Roubini and Siegel got into it, but it was the same shtick I’ve heard from each of them for the past 5 years. Three years ago, Siegel was the aggressor and Roubini was sheepish; Now, it was the same story, but the roles were reversed. BTW, Paul Kasriel was terrific — funny, dead on, and reality based. Scott Minerd was a fish out of water . . . I got the sense he is from a long only, fully invested shop. He was outgunned on the panel — silly rhetoric, political talking points, mostly empty buzzwords. If he ran a fund, I would go 2 to 1 short. Kasriel disemboweled him.
The Bellagio is a nice joint — made you wonder if there is any more granite left on the planet. My hotel room was huge — tastefully decorated, well appointed — and $159 a night. Same room in a NY hotel would have been $800 – 1,000 per. Someone should tell the builders in Vegas about the laws of Supply & Demand.
I walked through the casino, and was stunned at the people there. Imagine an entire industry built upon the innumeracy and stupidity of Humans. (I guess you can say the same thing about Wall Street).
The night life here is pretty whack. The crowd moved to Tao, but I got pulled somehow into one of the villas — just enormous, 5,000 sq foot hotel suite, with its own terrace and pool. Lots of hotties; I apparently, missed the long trade in silicone. As a happily married man, I steered clear of trouble, and spent the evening speaking to a delightful women who runs a pile of cash thru a Canadian bank . . . (I let the other boys do the Vegas 2 step).
I kept thinking, in this giant suite filled with all manner of potential temptations, that if this was 1987, or even 1997, the room probably would have spent the night snorting blow off of some dancer’s ass. Funny how things change when you grow up.
Anyway, I am off today to San Diego for a StockTwits weekend event. More on Lindzon-palooza later . . .
Former WSJ reporter Jesse Eisinger teamed up with author and reporter Jake Bernstein at ProPublica.org. They spent 7 months investigating a series of hedge fund trades made against subprime mortgages, CDS, etc. The result is this thorough detailed analysis of how this took place: The Magnetar Trade: How One Hedge Fund Helped Keep the Bubble…Read More
This video is utterly hysterical (and perhaps in ways more than the way its writers intended): Toxic assets get the full Broadway musical treatment. Gee, I wonder if by the time the hedge funds that made money betting against subprime mortgages become the subject of a Broadway showtunes (even if its only NPR) if its…Read More
Here are the top 10 managers for 2009 in terms of net compensation. The majority of this comp is based on performance fees, plus investment returns on their own money. The top 25 earners were paid a collective $25.3 billion. The lowest earner on the list earned a puny $350 million — a shanda! —…Read More
I met Richard Bookstaber at an event recently — very nice guy — and we briefly discussed A Demon of Our Own Design (excerpted here). This week, he discussed The 7 Habits of Highly Suspicious Hedge Funds (The Journal of Investment Management), which he posted on his own blog as a preview. Here’s the overview: 1. No…Read More
Arthur Samberg, among the best-known hedge-fund managers, is closing down his firm amid an ongoing investigation into possible insider trading WSJ: “Public disclosures about the continuing investigation have cast a cloud over the firm and have become a source of personal distraction,” Mr. Samberg wrote in a letter that was sent to investors of his…Read More
From Alpha Magazine via the NYT, comes the latest list of earners, in order of 2008 take home pay. Unlike the weasels who ran Merrill, Morgan, Bear & Lehman into the ground, then grabbed the cash and ran, these boys actually made their money the old fashioned way: They earned it, via outperformance. Read ‘em…Read More