Why Hedge?

The news last Monday was a shock — the Calpers California earthquake. For a variety of reasons, the California Public Employee’s Retirement System, the nation’s largest public-pension fund, said it was dropping hedge funds from its roster of investment allocations. This tremor will be felt far and wide.

We are unlikely to know the full impact of Calpers’s decision for some time, as other pension-fund managers digest the thinking that goes into managing $300 billion in assets. It will, however, be influential. Calpers is not only the largest pension fund, but is often thought of as the most powerful. Its thoughtful managers have a reputation for making measured decisions after deep research and internal debate.

It isn’t just hedge funds that have come under close scrutiny: All of the alternative investments of the pension giant are being treated to a similar cost-benefits analysis. Last December, Calpers said it was “culling 269 private equity managers to boost performance and oversight.” This too followed a long internal review.

Some of the reaction from the hedge-fund community missed the point of why Calpers did what it did. One wag even criticized Calpers and its ability for picking hedge funds. This missed the point entirely. And Mark Anson, a former chief investment officer of Calpers who helped to steer the pension giant into hedge funds, noted that Calper exit probably didn’t signal the start of a “mass exodus anytime soon.”

Continues here



Category: Asset Allocation, Hedge Funds, Investing

10 Monday AM Reads

I’m back at my desk on Monday morning — these reads aren’t going to read themselves: • What is Alibaba? (WSJ) • The Dumb Money Is Getting Smarter Every Day (Bloomberg) see also   Markets’ Best Friend: Miscalculation (WSJ) • Rosenberg: Market volatility is back; here’s how to play it (Financial Post) • Are the Federal Reserve’s…Read More

Category: Financial Press

Category: Think Tank

Amazon ‘Targeting’ Hachette Writers

Roxana Robinson, president of the Authors Guild, and Bloomberg Contributing Editor Paul Kedrosky, talk about the dispute between Hachette Book Group and Amazon Inc. over e-book pricing and distribution.

Source: Bloomberg, Sept. 16 2014

Category: Retail, Video, Web/Tech

Comparo: iPhone 6 Plus vs. Samsung Galaxy S5

From the inimitable Onion:   click for larger graphic Source: The Onion:

Category: Humor, Technology

What I Learned After 30,000 Blog Posts . . .

>   My Sunday Washington Post Business Section column is out. On the anniversary on my 30,000th blog post, I looked back at what I learned. That is a lot of posts over the past dozen years — The Big Picture blog was begun back in 2003. Here’s an excerpt from the column: “After more…Read More

Category: Apprenticed Investor, Psychology, Weblogs

10 Sunday Reads

Good Sunday morning. Pour yourself a tall cup of hot black coffee, and start your SUNday — the day before MOONday — with these quality reads: • 7 Fascinating Insights Into Why Scotland Voted Against Independence (Buzzfeed) • Mutual Funds From Good to Great (A Wealth of Common Sense) • Be like Calpers: Dump your…Read More

Category: Financial Press

Turkey and Islamic State

Turkey and Islamic State David R. Kotok September 20, 2014     While we watch the war unfolding against the Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq, it is critical to keep an eye on neighboring Turkey. There is a lot at stake; Turkey holds a key position. The news reports today are replete with…Read More

Category: Think Tank


Nick and Mia meets for the first time. They know nothing about each other and seem to know everything about everyone else. But sometimes the less you know, the better… Numbers from Robert Hloz Numbers from Robert Hloz on Vimeo. Nominated to the Czech Academy Award 2012 (Czech Lion) Cannes Court Métrage Visegrad Shorts On…Read More

Category: Film

The Origins of ISIS’s Recruits

Source: New York Times

Category: Digital Media, Politics, Really, really bad calls, War/Defense