THE FINTAG NEWSLETTER @ 21 October 2009

FINTAG COMMENT

Begging bowl.

So the UK’s debt is a few billion off the budgeted forecast. Like the USA, the UK has its largest ever debt since the Second World War when there was a good reason for a large amount of debt – War. This time around, the reason for the debt is …Investment Banking. So we defeated Hitler and a potential world of horror, spent decades paying off the loans for these loans to reappear because a few bankers needed to continue their lifestyles.

Seems rather bizarre, doesn’t it?

But not as bizarre as the Galleon sheep who are ripping out its hedge fund with panic like zeal. It looks like the fund will be forced into liquidation and this always results in less for those who stand last and I am surprised Galleon hasn’t just gated the fund. Even so, when panic sets in, panic sets in. Has anyone checked out who these investors are? I got a sneak preview from a disgruntled to be out of work Galleoner and hey presto, a few of these also had Madoff exposure. Bad luck seems to follow those who are useless.

Benality
A few days ago I tried to tweet the 5 billionth tweet. I was close but not close enough. I must try harder:

http://twitter.com/fintag/status/4999882493

U.S. STOCK FUTURES POINT TO SECOND STRAIGHT DIP

market watch

Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, said the U.S. equity rally from the lows of March can continue. He sees nominal GDP rising and unit labor costs declining next year.

“If we’re right, the spread between sales and cost growth next year should be nearly six percentage points, which is consistent with S&P earnings rising by around 25%,” he said. That would put the S&P 500 on a forward earnings multiple of about 14.2%.

“On that basis, it is hard to argue that U.S. equities are overvalued.”

Fintag says
Hey Presto. The world is over valued.

GALLEON STAFF EYE EXITS

deal book

Dozens of employees at Galleon Group are hunting for new jobs as investors debate how to react after the hedge fund’s founder was arrested and charged with running one of the biggest insider trading schemes, Reuters reported.

For years, Galleon prided itself on hiring only the best in the technology and healthcare industry — top-notch analysts and portfolio managers boasting Ivy League degrees and stints at Goldman Sachs and Needham & Company.

Fintag says
Ship. Rats. Jumping.

wall street journal says “Rakoff Gets Galleon Case And Will Bharara Become the Great Preetinder? “

Mind you seems ironic that Australia, the world’s only booming economy has a Sri Lankan boat problem. Given Galleon owned a lot of the SL stock market, we may see a few more immigrants looking for new homes.

KING CALLS FOR BREAK-UP OF BANKS

financial times

Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England, called on Tuesday night for banks to be split into separate utility companies and risky ventures, saying it was “a delusion” to think tougher regulation would prevent future financial crises.

The economic crisis has prompted governments across the world to re-evaluate their financial regulatory frameworks

Mr King’s call for a break-up of banks to prevent them becoming “too important to fail” puts him sharply at odds with the direction of domestic and international banking reform.

The Treasury and the Financial Services Authority have specifically rejected the idea of spliting up the banks, while the Conservatives think action in Britain alone along these lines would not be feasible.

Fintag says
Looks like King is prepping himself for the job of top regulator once the FSA is binned. His statements are so obvious and a sentiment we have been espousing for years. Glass Steagall 2.0. Alternatively GS 2.0. Spooky.

THE FINTAG NEWSLETTER @ 22 October 2009

FINTAG COMMENT

Black armband day.

So Goldman, JPM et al who were saved from bankruptcy have lobbied Obama to avoid comp caps and instead thrown BoA, ML and AIG into a cesspit where country club membership will be banned and a few top earners will not get paid. Savings? I reckon less than 100m. Pathetic.

I am therefore on strike.

THE FINTAG NEWSLETTER @ 09 November 2009

superdry

FINTAG COMMENT

Now where was I.

Bullionvault.com is the new retail haven of safety ….RBS should have gone the way of Lehman …EU Directive is pants and whoops of whooping are heard all over Mayfair …Hedgies are on the streets fighting over Lehman cash …

FINANCIAL NEWS

financial news

New international guidelines on the way investment banks pay their staff could prove to be “unworkable” and are unlikely to lead to the level playing field for compensation across the industry that regulators are hoping to create, according to industry professionals and consultants.

Fintag says
Income and Pricing policies were big in the 1970s but soon abandoned because controlling wages doesn’t work.

The ultimate problem is the banks are too big. They need to be broken up and regulated pre Clinton.

It is very obvious.

cityam says ” No to Tobin “

times says ” I’m doing ‘God’s work’. Meet Mr Goldman Sachs “

BAD CREDIT CARD DEBTS ‘WILL SOAR’

bbc

Bad credit card debts may reach as much as 9% of all outstanding balances by the end of next year, an accountancy firm has said.

“Bad debts in the sector have reached historic highs,” according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. The figure stands at about 6% now.

This is despite the fact that there has been a “cooling passion” for credit cards, with borrowing down 3% to £64bn.

Fintag says
Low rates mean this isn’t going to be a big problem. I thought it would be; it isn’t.

CITI SAID TO EYE RELAUNCH OF HEDGE FUND UNIT

dealbook

Citigroup is preparing to relaunch its hedge fund business operations, after months of debate on the unit’s future, The Financial Times reported.

The move comes after two years of performance problems and investor unrest at the unit, Citi Alternative Investments. Now, it seems, the only problem facing Citigroup executives is what to name the unit, which has $14 billion of assets under management.

Fintag says
Pandit only knows hedge funds. Makes sense.

THE FINTAG NEWSLETTER @ 10 November 2009

NOMOS

FINTAG COMMENT

Read it before Murdoch takes it away.

Soon only the rich will be able to buy internet news …nomos capital suffers from dirty old man syndrome …bear sterarns (gordon brown spelling) verdict is imminent …guilty all round …barclays make profits thanks to the arabs …dow is on an up …USA unemployment is the highest in a lifetime …conscription and national service is back on the agenda …shoplifting in the UK is the new black …gold is the new oil

LAPDANCERS, CALL GIRLS AND THE ‘HUMILIATED DUMB BLONDE’ SUING HER CITY BOSS FOR £4M

daily mail

A blonde executive who claims she was hounded from her job by a hedge fund boss who openly used prostitutes and made her visit strip clubs is suing him for £4million.

Jordan Wimmer, 29, felt ‘completely soiled’ after Mark Lowe, 55, made a string of degrading jokes about blondes and brought high-class escorts to business meetings.

Fintag says
NOMOS has always recruited attractive young things and now we know why. I wonder who Fintag’s Angels are …

JURY OUT IN HEDGE FUND TRIAL

telegraph

After a month of complex legal arguments, the eight man and four woman jury in the trial of Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin are now considering their verdicts.

The pair – both former senior hedge fund managers at Bear Stearns – are accused of a number of counts of securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy in relation to the funds’ collapse, with Mr Cioffi also facing a charge of insider trading. Both men, who face maximum sentences of 20 years if convicted, deny all charges.

Fintag says
They were stupid, they weren’t crooks. However given Investment Bankers are the equivalent of Nazi war criminals they will get long sentences.

times says ” Hedge funds should be encouraged to launch in UK “

THE FINTAG NEWSLETTER @ 11 November 2009

Man In Prison

FINTAG COMMENT

Mohammed.

On the way up:
Gold
Managed Accounts
Goldman Sachs Body Guards
Dow
Hedge Fund AUM
Meetings with NOMOS

On the way down:
Fund of Hedge Funds
GBP (thanks to the CRA’s)
Windows 7
SEC litigation against hedgies

AVENUE WINS ON SIX FLAGS REVAMP PLAN

emii

Hedge fund manager, Avenue Capital Management, has succeeded in getting Six Flags to submit a new reorganization plan, Reuters reports. Avenue’s bondholders had accused theme park operator’s management for transferring almost all its stock to senior lenders, including JPMorgan Chase, in return for cutting its debt.

Fintag says
Galleon …one flag …Bear Stearns …six flags

EX- BEAR STEARNS FUND MANAGERS CIOFFI AND TANNIN CLEARED IN BLOW FOR US GOVERNMENT

telegraph

The men who managed a pair of highly leveraged, sub-prime-laden hedge funds until their $1.4bn (£840m) collapse in June 2007, were found not guilty on all nine counts by a jury at Brooklyn’s federal courthouse.

The pair had been accused of misleading investors about the financial health of the two funds while privately admitting that they were in danger.

Between them the duo faced eight counts of securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy, with Mr Cioffi facing one separate count of insider trading. Each man faced up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Fintag says
Yahoo! The jurors recognised these people as good ‘n’ honest hedgies and not greed tax lovin’ investment bankers.

bloomberg says ” Bear Managers’ Acquittal May Hamper U.S. Fraud Prosecutions “

GOLDMAN: OUR STAFF DESERVE EVERY PENNY

cityam

THE boss of Goldman Sachs yesterday defended the bank’s pay policies, insisting his staff were paid more because they were “among the most productive in the world”.

Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman’s chair and chief executive, also rejected calls to break up the bank and said the firm was easier to manage than its larger rivals.

“I often hear references to higher compensation at Goldman,” Blankfein told a banker’s conference in New York.

Fintag says
God demand’s only the best. A big thank you to AIG and the US taxpayer that Goldman can satisfy the big one’s demands.

DEUTSCHE BANK: HEDGE FUND ASSETS HEADED TO $2 TRILLION

finalternatives

Hedge funds could be back at $2 trillion by the end of next year, eclipsing their previous asset peak as investors return, Deutsche Bank’s prime brokerage chief predicted.

“We fully expect to see material inflows into 2010 and beyond,” Bary Bausano, global co-head of prime finance, told Bloomberg News. Hedge fund assets, which topped out near $2 trillion last summer, had dropped to just $1.3 trillion but the end of the first quarter of this year, battered by poor performance and an avalanche of redemptions. But the industry is back up to about $1.5 trillion, according to Hedge Fund Research.

Fintag says
We are back. Not that we went away.

new york times says ” Guilty Plea in Scheme to Defraud Hedge Fund “

market wire says ” Morgan Stanley, BNP Paribas Are Hedge Funds’ Top Brokers, According to Institutional Investor Survey “

HEDGE FUNDS SET FOR PARTIAL EU VICTORY

guardian

London-based hedge fund managers are set to secure a partial victory in their battle against tougher European controls on their industry.

A European Parliament committee working on the proposed directive will not impose limits on the amount that hedge funds and private equity firms can borrow to invest. Instead, it will give general guidance, leaving it to national regulators and the future pan-European supervisory body to intervene.

The measure will please the hedge fund industry in the UK, which has lobbied against any leverage limits as hedge funds typically borrow large amounts. The government, led by City minister Lord Myners, has also voiced concerns about the proposals as most European hedge funds and private equity firms are based in London.

Fintag says
God is looking after us hedgies too.

THE FINTAG NEWSLETTER @ 20 October 2009

FINTAG COMMENT

Pop.

Funny how the people I talk to are waiting for the big pop. And yet they are piling into the markets because they believe it has some way to go before the big bang 2.0.

Many commentators have gotten bored about debt, protectionism, Bernanke china bashing, export crazy Asians and living off bread and water and aren’t discussing it anymore. Most markets are fundamentally overvalued because the huge wall of cash that is rushing around like a tsunami on speed is looking for returns that are safe and known. When demand exceeds supply prices go up but that doesn’t mean that the underlying asset bought is worth the price paid. But hey, who cares. Rising markets give us optimism and keeps people employed and only a deluded bear sucking moron would dare predict a crash.

Thankfully this one has already tried and had to readjust but given I am no longer actively trading, I am pouring everything into commodities. Why? Why not? When the pop pops, those with real stuff will win out. Be warned.

In the meantime, 3 cheers to Apple! We all love your products even if they fall to pieces after 1 year less 1 day. My Macbook of the same age has a bust cd drive, two stuck keys and a screen that has vertical lines going down it.

U.S. SAID TO TARGET WAVE OF INSIDER-TRADING NETWORKS

bloomberg

Federal investigators are gearing up to file charges against a wider array of insider-trading networks, some linked to the criminal case against billionaire hedge-fund manager Raj Rajaratnam that shook Wall Street last week, people familiar with the matter said.

The pending crackdown, based on at least two years of investigation, targets securities professionals including hedge- fund managers, lawyers and other Wall Street players, the people said, declining to be identified because the cases aren’t public. Some probes, like the one focused on Rajaratnam, rely on wiretaps. Others stem from a secret Securities and Exchange Commission data-mining project set up to pinpoint clusters of people who make similar well-timed stock investments.

Fintag says
If only the UK’s FSA could take a leaf out of the SEC book given regulation doesn’t work anymore. Britain’s own Jabre the Crook was long gone before the sleepy FSA prosecuted him and the small spate of low life insider trading has been pathetic. Of course I used to keep a “Rumors” policy document (as required by the FSA) and this stopped my traders from carrying 3 mobile phones and visiting websites using vtunnel.com and using PGP encryption for their emails.

HEDGE FUND LEGEND ROBERTSON LIKES PLASTIC NOT GOLD

reuters

Hedge fund pioneer Julian Robertson, whose Tiger Management once oversaw $22 billion in assets, told a conference of money managers on Monday he is bullish on credit card companies, but would steer clear of gold as an inflation hedge.

Speaking at the New York Value Investing Congress, a private event where hedge fund managers share trading ideas, Robertson reaffirmed his positive view on the shares of Visa Inc (V.N) and MasterCard Inc (MA.N), citing their growth potential.

Fintag says
For a moment I thought I was going to have start wearing those plastic wrist bands. I am sorry but I don’t have the same view on plastic. While interest rates are low then this is fine but the CCC are hiking up rates. Default rates are going to rocket.

BRAZILIAN HEDGE FUNDS LURE $19.7 BILLION THIS YEAR

bloomberg

Brazilian hedge funds are luring more money than any type of investment pool in the country after record withdrawals last year, offering returns four times the yield from certificates of deposit.

Local hedge funds attracted a net 33.7 billion reais ($19.7 billion) this year through Oct. 15 after posting 54.6 billion reais in redemptions in 2008, preliminary data from the National Association of Investment Banks’ Web site show. Third-quarter inflows surged to 36.3 billion reais, according to the data. The figures will be revised and re-published this week, said a spokesman for the association known as Anbid.

Fintag says
I am going to have to divert towards Brazil meez thinks asap. We all love an emerging market play when the west has run out of Alpha.

GOLDMAN SACHS MUST FAIL

here is the city

That’s the message. In just one short year, Goldman Sachs has morphed from an organisation that was ‘too big to fail’ into one which is now ‘too successful to exist’.

At a time when we should be celebrating that the world’s largest financial institutions, vital to our own economic wellbeing, have come back from the brink, we are pointing the finger of blame at the likes of Goldman, and complaining about how successful they have become. And Goldman, of course, is being beat about the head for government interference it never wanted, and a bailout it never sought.

Fintag says
Word on the legal street is that by this time next year, GS will be a private partnership hedge fund manager.

SCHRODERS LAUNCHES UCITS PLATFORM WITH EGERTON FUND

hedge funds review

he platform, Schroder GAIA (Global Alternative Investor Access), will be run jointly by Schroders and its fund of hedge fund (FoHF) subsidiary NewFinance Capital.

NewFinance’s business development manager Eric Bertrand said the platform had been in development since 2007.

Bertrand said GAIA would build on Schroders’ existing expertise in Ucits funds but would open up hedge fund expertise to more investors.

Fintag says
I didn’t know Schroders had any Hedge Fund business left. If you are a fund of funds in doubt, launch a UCITS platform (with a few cta managers only). That will revive your business.

BERNANKE WARNS ON IMBALANCE RISKS

financial times

Ben Bernanke said on Monday that it was “extraordinarily urgent” that the US and Asia adopt policies that prevent a revival of global economic imbalances as the financial crisis ebbs.

The Federal Reserve chairman warned that global imbalances – the big gaps between national saving, consumption and investment rates reflected in large trade deficits and surpluses – had helped cause the crisis and needed to be corrected.

Fintag says
Go on Benny. Nuke those Chinks … [Editor: Is this your Jan Moir moment?]

This is truly an offensive speech. The man is deluded.

THE FINTAG NEWSLETTER @ 19 October 2009

FINTAG COMMENT

Marriage.

Trading is like being married. It is a contract between an ego and a lifestyle that starts out on the right tracks but can often lead to a hatred of that Bloomberg or Reuters screen and turns into a nasty love hate scenario what-if denial depression. My divorce started at the beginning of this month and my first and only love has been sold on. I sold out and now my soul is selling out too.

My brain is struggling to cope. It is used to constant stimulation. News, market data, lunches and email avalanches. Today it is going to sleep and it is not pleasant. I have never slept more than 6 hours and I am losing an extra 2 hours a day to the sandman. This is not right. I am turning into a welfare addict, a human being who has no responsibility.

Roll on next year when I can get back into the game. Leisure is not what it is cracked up to be.

HEDGE FUNDS GAIN CLOUT ON CAPITOL HILL

deal book

Hedge fund managers appear to have a new degree of clout on Capitol Hill in shaping legislation that will determine how they will be regulated, according to The Boston Globe.

To gain that clout, industry leaders are using a congressman-turned-lobbyist, a major increase in campaign donations and a strategy that relies heavily on advancing their own reform ideas, making them active players in the legislative process and perhaps staving off more rigorous regulation measures.

Fintag says
Just like Investment Bankers, we have learned to lobby and lobby hard. If it involves lunches, then I am in.

DUE DILIGENCE KEY TO HEDGE FUND INVESTING

investment news

The losses of 2007 and 2008 in the [hedge]-fund-of-funds industry showed us that some funds of funds turned out not to be as diversified or non-correlated as they claimed and that some funds of funds were not performing the level of due diligence required to avoid the problems experienced by others. The events of 2007 and 2008 demonstrated that strategies that were supposed to be non-correlated were in fact correlated, and managers were exposed when the financial markets ceased to function. Trades were taking place, but not at rational levels. We believe that many funds of funds were not doing enough research into portfolio management, and as a result, their performance did not deliver the steady results they once provided. Remember, however, that one bad apple does not spoil a bunch, nor does it mean that the whole industry is spoiled. Quite the contrary; the funds-of-funds industry is alive and well, and thriving in the post-meltdown world. That’s the beauty of what the hedge funds industry is all about.

Fintag says
Hasn’t it always been? Well I guess Optimal, UBP, et al thought they knew what they were doing but as usual checking an AIMA DDQ is not really DD is it? DD is having a decent lunch and touching and feeling your hedgie.

A LOOK AT THE HEDGE FUND CHIEF ACCUSED OF FRAUD

dealbook

In 2004, Raj Rajaratnam started a charity for victims of the devastating tsunami that hit his native Sri Lanka. On Friday, Mr. Rajaratnam, a 52-year-old hedge fund manager, was caught in a storm of his own as one of six people charged by federal investigators in a $20 million insider trading scheme.

While he was born in Sri Lanka, Mr. Rajaratnam, founder of the hedge fund Galleon Group, studied engineering at the University of Sussex in England and earned a business degree from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania in 1983. He started his career as a lending officer in the technology group at Chase Manhattan Bank before becoming an electronic analyst at Needham & Company, the boutique investment bank.

Fintag says
I wonder how many others didn’t carry out a proper DD on Galleon? Unfortunately Inside Trading is a tricky one to catch. My theory is to be wary of those with the letter “J” in their names. You know, Jabre, The Junk Bond King, Rajaratnam ….

CALIF. BANK BECOMES 99TH IN US TO BE SHUT IN 2009

yahoo

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was appointed receiver of San Joaquin Bank, based in Bakersfield, Calif. It had $775 million in assets and $631 million in deposits as of Sept. 29.

The FDIC said Friday the bank’s deposits will be assumed by Citizens Business Bank, based in Ontario, Calif. Its five branches will reopen Monday as branches of Citizens Business Bank.

Fintag says
Some banks are just too small to survive. Big is best. We all want monopolies and banks with large middle fingers.

EU HEDGIE BILL TO COST £2.9BN

city am

EUROPEAN UNION plans to crack down on hedge funds and private equity houses could cost the industries as much as €3.2bn (£2.9bn), according to the first official report into the directive.

The study, conducted by Charles River Associates for City watchdog the FSA, also said the affected firms would be hit with annual costs of around €311m.

The EU is planning to force fund managers to sign up to a costly registration and disclosure regime, and to adhere to caps on leverage.

Fintag says
We are not worried. Its your Private Equity and Real Estate girls and boys who are worried. What is the point? Yes, to create jobs in Ireland and Malta at the expense of London and hit Investors with more costs. Not that the FSA are bothered – its more regulation work for them.

THE FINTAG NEWSLETTER @ 15 October 2009

FINTAG COMMENT

Back to ordering the last wine on the list.

Why the media is so surprised at the latest stellar profits from the Investment Banks is rather bizarre. Any company that can offload its bad debts and get a decent fair value as well as pushing its hard to price illiquid assets into off balance hedge funds (I mean Goldman have been doing this for years) despite socialist regulators capping their remuneration policies and restricting their business practices by demanding a strong balance sheet, could not do anything but make profit is madness.

Risk is about mitigation. When the mitigation is a government, taking large risk becomes a no brainer. We have all been duped because socialists are on the whole simple people and fighting against some of the smartest people on the planet is rather dumb.

Never in history has socialism benefited the rich at the expense of the poor. Actually, that is a complete lie. Socialism is a dictatorship and the selected few always benefit at the expense at the poor and stupid. Obama should get the Nobel Prize for Being a Pratt.

Of course this is all good news for luxury product providers and despite down sizing my demands on my current soft marketing trip, it is clear that from hotels to night clubs, the Incompetent Bankers are back.

Except they are no longer Incompetent but Incredible. The Incredible Bankers are back. Except Bruce W who never got to retire. I never met the guy but he seemed to be a smooth operator. Maybe he passed away because he too couldn’t believe what was happening to Investment Banking?

GOLDMAN NET BEATS ESTIMATES ON TRADING, INVESTMENTS

bloomberg

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the most profitable securities firm in Wall Street history, reported third-quarter earnings that exceeded analysts’ estimates on trading gains and investments with the company’s own money.

Net income more than doubled to $3.19 billion, or $5.25 per share, in the three months ended Sept. 25, from $845 million, or $1.81 a share, in last year’s third quarter, the New York-based company said today in a statement. The average estimate of 22 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for $4.18 a share, with forecasts ranging from $3.48 to $4.75.

Fintag says
Of course this is wonderful news for all of us involved in Financial Services. A bit like the Airline Industry being propped up by Governments of old, where all the side industries were indirectly subsized by the tax payer, Hedge Funds and the like have to embrace this new socialism because it benefits us as much as the banks. The fact all these short term wins are at the benefit of the next generation, who gives a hoot?

There was a time when protectionism was frowned upon but in todays collaborative market place, the banks are the first industry in the world to be protected by all countries.

Socialists protecting Capitalists.

If you look carfeully, it is the same old same. Fixed Income bond issuances based on crap underlyings. Subprime 2.0 lives on.

LIGHTS DIM FOR AMERICAN BANKS IN LONDON, BUT RIVALS RUSH TO FILL THE GAP

telegraph

An American downgrade of London leaves a gap, which others are rushing to fill. Compared to their US rivals, Barclays, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank have more international management teams but each has to struggle to gain market share from US firms. Japanese Nomura did it in one big move, by taking over the European operations of Lehman Brothers.

By the time US banks are ready to rediscover their Anglophile tendencies, it will be much harder to rush back in.

Fintag says
Tax.

EU: BRITAIN IS AT HIGH RISK OF GOING BUST

this is money

Britain’s economy was consigned to an EU list of those at ‘high risk’ yesterday because of the spiralling national debt.

The European Commission issued a humiliating warning that the worsening budget deficit poses ‘serious concerns’ that the country will be unable to meet future spending commitments, such as pensions.

Fintag says
The UK set the agenda and it ends going bust while the US rides high. Don’t you get the feeling you have been conned?

DAMIEN HIRST PLUMMETS DOWN ART WORLD POWER LIST

times

The day after suffering the most brutal critical pasting of his career, Damien Hirst woke up today to discover that he is no longer considered one of the real movers and shakers in contemporary art.

Last year, after capping a long line of pickled sharks and sheep with a £50 million diamon-encrusted skull, Hirst was ranked No 1 by the influential ArtReview magazine in its annual Power 100 list, which is released to coincide with the Frieze Art Fair in London.

Fintag says
So where is his bailout?

THE FINTAG NEWSLETTER @ 14 October 2009

FINTAG COMMENT

Disenchanted.

Spending all day and night grinding my teeth to the sound of the opening and closing bells takes its toll. I have been so selfish and focused on nothing but performance for the past few years. Performance on the race track, performance of my funds, performance of my cars, performance in nocturnal activities. It is all about being better, faster and cleverer than the rest. Now the rest are running the race while I take it easy in the pit stop, I am getting closer to the real world where performance doesn’t seem to feature very much.

The problem is I don’t like what I see. 99% of the world is populated by, as Aldous Huxley once cited, semi-morons. Sometimes I wish I was as thick as manure for life would be easier. My complaint today is my once trusted personal assistant has a new boss and I am pa-less. It is a shocking state of affairs.

My luggage exceeded 23 KG by 1 KG and I didn’t know what to do. A call to my PA and she would normal sort this sort of stuff out but alas she is no loner there so I had to take some initiative. This involved removing a pair of trusty shoes and putting them in my hand luggage. Well that is not true because my leather tumi tote was packed full so I tied the laces together and hung the shoes around my neck.

When I got on the plane they tried to push me into economy so I waved my First Class boarding card and only then was I treated as a human being and escorted to my cubicle. And that is where I am now. Up in the sky.

Spread Betting
Following an exclusive interview in a German magazine with a 100,000 circulation, some rather cruel commentators who scrutinized the photographs of me in various model like poses, said I had a beer belly. I can assure you, and my personal trainer will testify too, that my stomach is so tight that dust settles in the groves. So there.

AS SUN SETS ON 2009, ARE INVESTORS BACK IN LOVE WITH HEDGE FUNDS?

all about alpha

Today, we learned of a recent survey of institutional investors that found just that. According to Preqin (see other interesting research from this rather prolific organization) over half of institutional investors surveyed said they invested in hedge funds for diversification purposes. The runner-up reason was “to improve the risk/return profile” of their portfolio” – another reference to the diversification properties of hedge funds.

Curiously, the survey also found that investors are now far more concerned about all issues except fund performance. This time last year, over half said that the performance record was a “key consideration when choosing a hedge fund manager.” This year, the number has fallen to a third.

Fintag says
We are always loveable, even those who are retired or between hedge funds.

HEDGE FUND COUPLAND CARDIFF ASSET MANAGEMENT THREATENS TO QUIT LONDON OVER EU’S DIRECTIVE ON ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENT FUND MANAGERS

telegraph

Coupland Cardiff Asset Management, a $300m (£190m) Asia-focused hedge fund, will quit its London base to set up outside Europe if the Directive on Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFM) goes ahead as planned.

Fintag says
There are about 30 to 40 large managers, according to my sources at Simmons & Simmons, who are preparing to leave. Does anyone care? Well those who are employed do as they are likely to lose their jobs and the taxes will be paid elsewhere.

finalternatives says ” Hedge Fund Hiring Bounces Back “

bloomberg says ” Hedge Funds Headed for Best Year Since 2003, Eurekahedge Says “

HEDGE FUNDS ‘MISREPRESENT FACTS’

ft alphaville

One in five hedge fund managers misrepresents their fund or its performance to investors during formal due diligence, according to New York University’s Stern School of Business. Using confidential data taken from 444 due diligence reports commissioned by investors between 2003 and 2008, Stern academics analysed hedge fund managers’ representations and identified “noted verification problems”, characterised as “misrepresentations or inconsistencies”, in 42% of due diligence reports.

Fintag says
And I bet most of these don’t have independent Administrators are so are wholly based in the USA. Given 10o% of the banks lie about their balance sheets. 20% is a good result indeed. Mind you, taking this from a DDQ is a bit silly really. DDQs are soft marketing material mostly.

THE FINTAG NEWSLETTER @ 13 October 2009

FINTAG COMMENT

Flying high.

The problem with luxury is it wears thin pretty quickly. It soon becomes a real hindrance as it is supposedly meant to be the best but it never is. Once you find yourself flying First Class you demand the best seat (having checked out seatguru of course), complain about the films available and more importantly the poor service provided by the crew. This is why flying at the back of the plane is better; one’s expectations are always so low that if you are given a decent seat and a nice person next to you, the experience can be uplifting and rewarding and you haven’t paid the price of a VW Golf.

However, despite attempts to wean myself off this luxury fix, I flew First again yesterday. I was very disappointed. Really low. The reason? It was empty. Literally no-one in there except someone given an upgrade who I complained about and had them demoted (I didn’t like his loud voice). It is like having millions in the bank but not having anything to spend it on or show off too. It is a cliche, the man who has everything but it is also a lie because the more you have the worse it is.

So where am I? Who knows and who cares. The hotel sheets are almost perfect, the gadgets all very new and the internet connection is fast. Spotify works without adverts and I have developed a six pack after watching a 10 minute exercise segment on the wall size LED TV. The fridge is laden with undrunk booze and everything is in place.

The go live for FabTent Capital is Feb 2010 and it seems such a long way. All this soft marketing is so tiring. What is your track record? Why did you leave the company you founded? Do you still have your mojo?

Today my mojo is lost in the room safe and I have forgotten the combination.

Jetlag Fun
For those who like a bit of German, you can read about me in business punk. I think. I see Richard Branson has displaced me on the cover. I mean who is this guy? He has a beard for cripes sake …

PROPERTY IS FLAVOUR OF THE MONTH IN HONG KONG’S IPO MARKET

finance asia

Four Chinese real estate companies start pre-marketing, undeterred by the struggles faced by three recent property IPOs.

A wave of initial public offerings from Chinese property firms is set to hit Hong Kong over the coming weeks. With at least four Chinese property developers currently at the pre-marketing stage, one might think that the three most recent listings in the sector had sailed through. In reality, though, the IPOs for China South City Holdings, Glorious Property Holdings, and Powerlong Real Estate Holdings were all plagued either by a lack of investor demand or by poor secondary market performance.

Fintag says
I have looked out of the window. It looks like Hong Kong outside. Or is it Switzerland?

RATE HORIZON LOWERS AS INFLATION FALLS TO 1.1%

this is money

The rate of consumer price inflation fell further than expected in September as the UK economy struggled to emerge from recession.

Official figures from the Office for National Statistics today showed that consumer prices index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.1% in September from 1.6% in August.

Analysts had expected a fall to 1.2-1.3%, and it is the only month this year except April that the CPI figure has undershot expectations.

Fintag says
Deflation is a bit like depression …it just sneaks up on you.

AROS CAPITAL PARTNERS OFFERS ONSHORE FUND OUTSIDE UCITS STRUCTURE

hedge funds review

Both the fund vehicles and management company are domiciled in the European Union, making it a complete onshore hedge fund structure but not constrained by Ucits III. The structure has gained the approval of three regulators – teak Financial Services Authority (FSA) regulating the sub-adviser, the Maltese Financial Services Authority (MFSA) which regulates the investment fund and manager and the Danish regulator (Finanstilsynet).

The founding team behind the company consists of Nicolai Borcher Hansen, Peter Brink Madsen, Christian Falster and Jacob Madsen. Three of the founders recently broke away from Denmark’s largest privately owned asset manager, Formuepleje.

Fintag says
Malta? Is that where I am? I never thought Malta would become an onshore fund destination. The island that likes to say yes to everything …

BANKERS WILL FOLLOW HEDGE FUNDS TO SWITZERLAND

bloomberg

Geneva? Zurich? Perhaps even Zug, Switzerland? Between deciding whether to be long or short of the dollar, or pondering whether we are in the middle of a bear rally or a new bull market, London’s hedge funds also need to decide which Swiss canton they want to move to.

A new top income-tax rate of 50 percent, coupled with heavy-handed regulations planned by the European Union, are prompting the funds to quit the British capital for somewhere more sympathetic to their hypercompetitive brand of capitalism.

Fintag says
Despite UBS almost killing off Switzerland, it seems to have recovered quickly. Perhaps I am here.

BEAR STEARNS EX-MANAGERS ON TRIAL

bbc

The trial of two former managers at investment bank Bear Stearns on fraud charges opens in New York on Tuesday.

Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin, who managed two failed hedge funds that collapsed in June 2007, could be jailed for 20 years if convicted.

Fintag says
As much as I used to berate Bear Stearns, this is a really sad day. They borrowed too much and got caught out.

THE FINTAG NEWSLETTER @ 12 October 2009

FINTAG COMMENT

Erratic.

Like my predictions of late, the next few newsletters will be erratic in delivery. During boom times, managers love to tell you how good they are; come the slump and the excuses run out and those newsletters run dry. My excuse is travelling. For the next 3 weeks I shall be continuing my horrendous schedule of 1 star hotels, run down bars, pitching and failing to close, flying at the back of the plane and being charged roaming charges on my Blackberry that could pay off half the UK’s debt.

This week I am outed by a German magazine. It comes out on the 16th October and I shall not be linking to it (although I am hoping the pictures are good). Its a spread article in a magazine called Business Punk.

In the meantime, enjoy the weekend’s news whilst I learn how to speak Spanish.

For those of you who like to comment on my views, can you stick to point? Off pisting is for Italians and overly tanned Frenchmen.

FOR SALE: ONE BRIDGE, A BOOKMAKER AND MILLIONS OF STUDENT LOANS

independent

A fire sale of public assets will be announced by Gordon Brown today to help cut the Government’s mounting deficit.

The Tote, the Dartford crossing, the student loan book, the Channel Tunnel rail link and the Government’s stake in Urenco, which enriches uranium for nuclear power stations worldwide, will all be offered to private bidders in the next two years, in an attempt to raise £3bn.
Related articles

Fintag says
Thatcher was lambasted for selling the silver. For Gordon Brown, this is part and parcel of his psyche. I quite fancy a piece of those student loans, you know securitizing them and selling them as bond on an ABS subprime style. If I have to sit next to them on the tube and at the back of planes, then why not join them and flog some of their liabilities?

financial times says ” Barclays to sell £4bn assets “

THE LOST GENERATION

business week

The continuing job crisis is hitting young people especially hard—damaging both their future and the economy. Bright, eager—and unwanted. While unemployment is ravaging just about every part of the global workforce, the most enduring harm is being done to young people who can’t grab onto the first rung of the career ladder.

Affected are a range of young people, from high school dropouts, to college grads, to newly minted lawyers and MBAs across the developed world from Britain to Japan. One indication: In the U.S., the unemployment rate for 16- to 24-year-olds has climbed to more than 18%, from 13% a year ago.

Fintag says
Perhaps these students can get radical. Students for the past 30 years have been MBA greed is good wimps. Let us see if this new breed of smart but unfulfilled can help kick start a new music / art / underground scene to alienate us grown ups.

ICAHN SAYS 2ND DOWNTURN COULD CAUSE ‘BLOODBATH’

dealbook

Carl C. Icahn, the billionaire investor, warned Friday of the potential for a second economic downturn that could cause serious pain for investors.

“If you get a double-dip recession and they start coming down, it’s going to be a bit of a bloodbath,” Mr. Icahn, whose funds recently trimmed their stake in the Web company Yahoo, said in an interview on CNBC.

Despite the months-long stock market rally, Mr. Icahn took a generally cautious tone in Friday’s interview. He did say he sees an investing opportunity in real estate — an opportunity to sell it short, that is.

Fintag says
Maybe the new 1969 will be a student revolting 2010? 21 Sept 2009 may in fact turn out to be 21 September 2010 …? [Editor: uh?]

here is the top firm says ” Firm CEO Incompetency League Table “

alea says ” Fluctuation in Haircuts => Fluctuations in Balance Sheet Quantities “

UK CORPORATE EXILES FACE YEARS OF TAX SCRUTINY

financial times

UK companies seeking to minimise tax bills by locating abroad would face years of scrutiny to ensure senior management decisions have genuinely relocated, a senior official at HM Revenue & Customs has said.

Firing a warning shot across the bows of companies thinking of emigrating, Dave Hartnett, permanent secretary for tax at HMRC, told the Financial Times he was not convinced that relocations could be done in a “clean way” and warned that a challenge could come years after the move.

Fintag says
This is nothing new. With the growth in outsourcing overseas, Intellectual Property rights and virtual computer programming running most companies, this is becoming near impossible to prove. Many companies are partnerships and don’t have board meetings. Why don’t the UK government just bring in a flat tax and stop messing around. HMRC have been slashed and burned and Gordon Brown will most likely outsource it all to India anyway …

FIRMS ‘MISHANDLE SENSITIVE DATA’

bbc

About a third of UK employees throw sensitive documents in the bin instead of shredding them, research suggests.

The study also found almost three quarters of workers felt their organisations could do more to protect their customers’ sensitive information.

The data was compiled for National Identity Fraud Prevention Week.

Fintag says
I find this truly irritating. KYC, AML, Identity verification is a farce. I am changing my name to Fatima Zabaglione and learning to speak Spanish.

HEDGE FUND CHIEF JOINS THE GREAT SURVIVORS

times

Philippe Jabre spent much of last October and November flying economy. Times were tough as he tried to convince investors not to pull their money out of his hedge fund.

When he was not in the air, Jabre rarely moved from the trading floor of his Geneva office. With a phone glued to his ear, he tried to make sense of the markets.

Although he was bearish as the credit crunch began to unfold, he did not expect the markets to slump so violently. He certainly did not expect a threat to the existence of his hedge fund, Jabre Capital. “It was touch and go,” he said. “The run [on the fund] was not justified, but the large institutions and the funds of funds, those that were ticking boxes, didn’t want to stay.”

Fintag says
Jabre the Crook. You have to hand it to the guy.

HEDGIES PLOT NEW DIRECTIVE

city am

REPRESENTATIVES of the hedge fund industry will this week put forward an alternative to the European Commission’s (EC) alternative investment fund managers (AIFM) directive, which they say would devastate Europe’s hedge fund industry.

The Alternative Investment Managers’ Association (Aima) has been leading lobbying efforts to revise the directive and believes that it has secured sufficient support in Europe for changes to the EC’s plans.

Aima will now focus its attention on proposing an alternative and is expected tourge Brussels mandarins to focus on increased disclosure and registration of fund managers.

Fintag says
This new directive is called Abusing UCITS 3 and living in Switzerland.

telegraph says ” Ditch the Directive: UK stands up for hedge funds “

My immediate concern is which end has the headboard?

THE FINTAG NEWSLETTER @ 09 October 2009

FINTAG COMMENT

Economy.

I tried but I couldn’t cope, so bought an upgrade to First Class. This game of down sizing is not as easy as I thought. Like going cold turkey, one needs to be locked away for a few weeks or you take the easier path and wean yourself off luxury which is what I am doing. My excuse for upgrading was the threat of catching DVT and my nose being sensitive to strange smells. I would prefer not to fly than be treated like a student so I flew First. Next time I will fly Business and then try the back of the plane again.

But enough if this. I decided to start my new company as Fat Tail Capital. However, as pointed out by a concerned reader, this already exists and I apologize for passing myself off as an existing manager. So it is back to the drawing board.

Today’s name will be First Class Capital (sounds better than Economy Capital). Let me know if that has gone too.

I didn’t realise how many unemployed bankers there were out there. My inbox has been hammered with requests from the once great and the good and this is flattering. Investors want fixed income on volatile and hard to price underlyings. Apparently. Once you are an ABS / MBS / CDO junky you will always be one. So it looks like my new funds will be just this. Junk with a bond on top. And I don’t have to pay these people until the fund is up and running (which they will fund too). Now that it is what I call a proper business model.

U.S. DEFICIT FOR 2009 TOTALS $1.4 TRILLION, BUDGET OFFICE SAYS

bloomberg

The U.S. government ended its 2009 fiscal year with a deficit of $1.4 trillion, the biggest since 1945, the Congressional Budget Office reported.

The deficit amounted to 9.9 percent of the nation’s economy, triple the size of the shortfall for 2008.

The nonpartisan CBO said yesterday the government was squeezed on both sides of the budget ledger in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. Tax revenue fell by $420 billion, or 17 percent, to the lowest level in more than 50 years.

Fintag says
And the markets keep on going up …

Taxes at a generational low and debt at a generational high. Staggering, truly staggering. Ben Bernanke, Hanky Paulson and Alan Greenspan are the goblins of future children.

I mean what is Bernanke talking about …

reuters says ” Bernanke sees tighter policies as economy heals “

financial news says ” New threat emerges to London’s financial crown “

city am says ” Rates held by central banks “

TROUBLES AT THE MAIL

tax payers alliance

Troubles within the Royal Mail roll on, with a national postal strike likely in the near future. This adds to the disruption still being felt after recent industrial action, which has lead to serious delivery problems across the country; millions of items of mail have yet to be delivered.

Unions are unhappy about the Royal Mail’s modernisation plans. Redundancies have already taken place, and plans for greater mechanisation of sorting – for instance – will likely lead to more, but more than anything they feel Royal Mail management has handled the process badly. Royal Mail’s bosses retort that these are the only way the post office can remain a sustainable business, in light of the falling volumes of post.

Fintag says
Of course I expect you think I shall be ranting about state owned monopolies but I wont.

I am more interested in the author of this post. Emily de Looze. Surely that is not here real name? The men who work on TPA are surrounded by highly intelligent women of a knowing nature. Who would have thought tax was so much fun? I hope I get an invite to their Christmas party. [Editor: Steady on the jet lag]

financial times says ” Cameron attacks ‘big government’ “

HEDGE FIRM SAYS CHIEF WILL RETIRE

new york times

James H. Simons, one of the most respected money managers in the hedge fund industry, told investors Thursday he planned to step down from day-to-day management of Renaissance Technologies, the firm he founded over 30 years ago.

Fintag says
Now this man is not a goblin but a hero to us all.

HEDGE FUNDS STRUGGLE TO KEEP PACE WITH EQUITY MARKETS

finalternatives

Hedge fund struggled to keep pace with equity markets in September, with the Hennessee Hedge Fund Index gaining 3.18% during the month (20.89% YTD).

At the same time, the S&P 500 increased 3.57% (17.03% YTD), the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 2.27% (10.66% YTD), the NASDAQ Composite Index advanced 5.64% (34.59% YTD), and the Barclays Aggregate Bond Index advanced 1.05% (5.72% YTD).

“Hedge fund managers we talk to are concerned that the markets are rallying while the real economy is shrinking,” said Charles Gradante, co-founder of hedge fund advisory the Hennessee Group. “Liquidity is driving this market, and that is likely to continue with more than $3 trillion on the sidelines. However, liquidity driven markets eventually dry up. Hopefully, credit expansion and GDP growth arrive to support the market in 2010.”

Fintag says
That is because we are (sorry, in my case was) Hedge Funds. We hedge our bets.

ft alphaville says ” The pitfalls of being market neutral “

EX-BEAR STEARNS FUND MANAGER TANNIN WORRIED ABOUT ‘BLOW UP’

bloomberg

Former Bear Stearns Cos. hedge fund manager Matthew Tannin, accused of misleading investors, said “We could blow up” in a 2006 e-mail, according to documents released by prosecutors.

Tannin, 47, is set to go on trial Oct. 13 for securities fraud with fellow ex-manager Ralph Cioffi, 53. In a message with the subject title ‘Thoughts” that Tannin sent to himse

Fintag says
And I was telling you all the same thing at the time…

33 HEDGE FUND STAFF SHARE £30M PAYOUT

telegraph

The hedge fund, which was set up by Stephen Zimmerman, the former Mercury star manager, paid the employees a total of £29.4m, according to accounts filed at Companies House.

The accounts show that NewSmith wrote down the value of its listed and private equity investments by £7m, including a £3.3m write-down on its holding in FibreChem Technologies. The group’s profits were also lower after NewSmith sold its debt advisory unit to Unicredit Group. NewSmith manages $3bn (£1.86bn) of assets having lost $2bn in the past 18 months because of redemptions and the market downturn.

Fintag says
Big deal. After tax that will be enough for each of these people to buy a Mini Cooper.

THE NOBEL PRIZE FOR ECONOMICS MAY NEED ITS OWN BAILOUT

guardian

The economics award is usually the last of the Nobel prizes to be announced. Correctly so, for it was also the last to be created – and strictly speaking is not even a real Nobel prize. The five original awards, first given out in 1901 for literature, peace, medicine/physiology, physics and chemistry, were intended by Alfred Nobel to recognise contributions that enhanced the quality of human life, through scientific advance, literary creativity or efforts at bringing about peace.

The economics prize is not a prize of the Nobel Foundation; rather, it was created in 1968 by the Central Bank of Sweden as a “prize in economic sciences in memory of Alfred Nobel”. However, it now has the same procedure of selection by the Swedish Academy, and the same cash award presented at a similar ceremony as the Nobel prizes.

Fintag says
And the winner is …Finbar Taggit … [Editor: In your dreams]

HEDGE FUND MANAGER PLEADS GUILTY TO FRAUD CHARGE

dealbook

A Chicago hedge fund manager pleaded guilty Wednesday for his role in an alleged $3.5 billion Ponzi scheme.

Gregory Bell, founder of Lancelot Investment Management, was accused of feeding client assets to a fraud scheme run by a Minnesota businessman, Thomas Petters.

Fintag says
I know we did this yesterday, but I forget to mention the company name – Lancelot. Sounds like a porn star …

LEHMAN ADMINISTRATORS ASK TO PAY BROKERAGE CLIENTS $3.3 BILLION

bloomberg

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s U.K. administrators are seeking a London judge’s permission to pay as much as $3.3 billion to prime brokerage clients, funds the investment bank took in after its collapse.

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP asked the High Court in London at hearings scheduled to conclude today to determine how it should distribute securities, redemption proceeds, dividends and interest payments that have accumulated since Lehman’s September 2008 bankruptcy. The administrators have legal duties to the prime brokerage clients, most of which are hedge funds, PwC’s lawyer, William Trower, said in a court filing.

Fintag says
PWC are truly parasites of the worst nature. They are my new bete noir, my new hate figures. Private Equity jockeys were the scum of 2007, the CRA’s in 2008, and PWC are the new anti-christ (or is that anti-Mohammed) of 2009.

‘MENACE OF MAYFAIR’ JEWELLER DUPED VICTIMS OUT OF FAMILY HEIRLOOMS

telegraph

A fraudster, Andrew Batchelor, branded the ”Menace of Mayfair” posed as a reputable jeweller to dupe a string of victims out of watches, necklaces and earrings including family heirlooms.

Fintag says
Personally, I like to be known as the “Russell Brand of Mayfair”

REGULATORS CRITICISE ‘UNWORKABLE’ EU PLANS FOR HEDGE FUND REFORM

telegraph

Eddy Wymeersch, chairman of the Committee of European Securities Regulators (CESR), said the proposed legislation on alternative investment funds was unworkable and needed a rethink.

“I hope they will come forward with something more balanced,” he said. “It really doesn’t work. They have pooled everything together, the scope is absolutely too wide, everything is caught.”

Recent research from trade body AIMA showed that the hedge fund and private equity industries contribute £7.9bn in tax to the coffers of EU governments each year – including £5.3bn to the UK Government alone.

Fintag says
Please see my twitters at the last FSA conference for my comments which are broadly exactly the same.

THE FINTAG NEWSLETTER @ 08 October 2009

FINTAG COMMENT

Expenses.

So I took a lot of money out my business and bought a few depreciating assets like USD, Spanish real estate and a Latvian night club. Having to manage my own money as well as others was easy but managing my own isn’t in a low interest environment. Thankfully the yields on T-Bills are fine and dandy but my real problem is more important. As a Chairman, or Chairperson for those of a nervous disposition, I get no expense account.

Having to pay the rack rate for a meal at Murano (the Square is so 2007) one feels the pain. Throwing my own money after food is not right. I hate being a snob so on my travels I shall be eating cheap food and staying in 4 star hotels. [Editor: As your new pa / accountant I think you mean 1 star hotels]. My flights are being paid for p.a. so any mishaps and those involved will get my wicked tongue [Editor: Steady].

Today I am flying across the USA, staring down at all that space and backward people. And I too shall be at the back. Of the plane. Fingers crossed I don’t sit next to someone who doesn’t wash.

HEDGE FUND CROSSROADS: SURVEY FINDS MANY HAVE “NO CONFIDENCE” IN OWN MARKET TIMING, YET THEIR NET EXPOSURE IS ON THE RISE.

all about alpha

If there’s one prevalent complaint among investors of all stripes, it’s that the majority of hedge funds “didn’t do what they were supposed to” during last year’s market collapse and subsequent economic downturn: hedge.

Which begs the question, “How good are hedge fund managers at predicting the future direction of markets anyway?”

A series of reports in the past week seem to suggest that although hedge fund managers aren’t sure which way markets are going, they aren’t complaining about rising markets.

Fintag says
W, V, U, L, M, – which one and why? We are all beta monkeys and always have been. Alpha is a myth.

emii says ” Ex-GLG Manager Launches Paris HF “

DEBT-MARKET PARALYSIS DEEPENS CREDIT DROUGHT

new york times

The continued disarray in debt-securitization markets, which in recent years were the source of roughly 60 percent of all credit in the United States, is making loans scarce and threatening to slow the economic recovery. Many of these markets are operating only because the government is propping them up.

But now the Federal Reserve has put these markets on notice that it plans to withdraw its support for them. Policy makers hope private investors will return to the markets, which imploded during the financial crisis.

Fintag says
My new hedge fund manager, FatTail Capital will be launching a number of esoteric funds. Distressed debt is something I love as are long only exotic musical instruments and equity long short where there are less than 2 vowels in the name of the equity.

LLOYDS PLANS A £12.5BN SHARE ISSUE

city am

LLOYDS Banking Group will turn to traditional investors rather than a sovereign wealth fund to help it raise up to £25bn to exit the government’s Asset Protection Scheme (APS), City A.M. can reveal.

Sources familiar with the bank’s plans said last night that it had submitted a proposal to the Financial Services Authority (FSA) that would see it raise up to £25bn, around £12.5bn in a cash call and the remainder in “a variety of other instruments”.

Fintag says
In some ways this is really a UK gilt auction ….

CLARKE TRIES TO APPEASE HEDGE FUNDS OVER NEW RULES

times

Ken Clarke, the Shadow Business Secretary, does not believe that Brussels poses any grave threat to the hedge fund industry and that proposed legislation inevitably will be watered down as a matter of course.

Speaking to The Times at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, the former Chancellor also said he did not believe that hedge fund managers were genuinely concerned about the prospect of new European rules governing their industry.

Fintag says
The Cliff Richard of the Tory party should get back to his whisky and cigars. The man is an ignorant tw*t.

Setting up a hedge fund in the UK is horrendous. The Due Diligence is painful, I have to put up capital and report my doings to the FSA all day long. In the US I just incorporate a company, grab a series 7 license and off I go.

I should really demand to be a finance adviser to the next UK government.

OBAMA UNDER FIRE OVER FALLING DOLLAR

financial times

The falling US dollar is giving ammunition to the critics of the Obama administration and fuelling broader concerns about the potential erosion of America’s reserve currency status.

The depreciation of the US dollar is sparking growing jitters among critics of the Obama administration over the potential loss of America’s reserve currency status. Economists point out that a declining dollar could prove a boon to the US economy in the absence of credible anxiety over inflation.

Fintag says
I think the blame should fall at Bernanke’s feet. Looks like the US will have to raise interest rates. Hahahahaha that would cause the market to wobble but it is the only course.

The man needs a hot bath, sorry, hot money.

THE WORLD’S TOP 100 UNIVERSITIES LISTED

guardian

The world’s top universities
2009 Rank / 2008 Rank / School Name / Country

1 1 HARVARD University United States
2 3 University of CAMBRIDGE United Kingdom
3 2 YALE University United States
4 7 UCL (University College London) United Kingdom
5 6 IMPERIAL College London United Kingdom
5 4 University of OXFORD United Kingdom
7 8 University of CHICAGO United States
8 12 PRINCETON University United States
9 9 MASSACHUSETTS Institute of Technology (MIT) United States
10 5 CALIFORNIA Institute of Technology (Caltech) United States
11 10 COLUMBIA University United States
12 11 University of PENNSYLVANIA United States
13 13 JOHNS HOPKINS University United States
14 13 DUKE University United States
15 15 CORNELL University United States
16 17 STANFORD University United States
17 16 AUSTRALIAN National University Australia
18 20 MCGILL University Canada
19 18 University of MICHIGAN United States
20 24 ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) Switzerland

Fintag says
The UK is holding on but like everything in this country is slipping fast.

bloomberg says ” Harvard Losing Money Externally Helps Mendillo Return to Roots “

WALL STREET’S NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCE

vanity fair

With the implosion of Lehman Brothers, in September 2008, the realization dawned: Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs could be next. In an excerpt from his new book, the author reveals the incredible scramble that took place—desperate phone calls, seat-of-the-pants merger proposals, flaring tempers—as Washington got tough and Wall Street titans Lloyd Blankfein and John Mack fought for survival.

Fintag says
We were all part of this and it was terrifying. However, I have never mentioned this before but I found LTCM way more frightening. Even so, this makes a fun read.

Goldman was deemed not only too big to fail but the world would destruct into nuclear war. In hindsight that theory is a little over the top but if there were x-men of Wall Street, Goldman would have been Iron Man and Lehman the Joker.

HEDGE FUND OWNER PLEADS GUILTY IN PETTERS CASE

wcco

A Chicago hedge fund owner accused of helping prop up the alleged Tom Petters Ponzi scheme has pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.

Appearing in federal court in St. Paul on Wednesday, Gregory Bell admitted helping set up 86 “round-trip” money transfers between his company, Lancelot Investment Management, and Petters Co. Inc.

Bell could face 20 years in prison.

Fintag says
I thought Petters would be the pre Madoff fraud of its time. A sort of Refco part 2. The media thought otherwise and Petters hardly gets a mention these days.

ECB EXPECTED TO KEEP BENCHMARK RATE ON HOLD AT 1%; BANK INDIRECTLY FUNDING HALF OF EUROZONE COUNTRY DEFICITS IN 2009

finfacts

Fintag says
Imagine if the ECB increased its rate by 25 bips? The USD would go into free fall. Go one, be brave, shake up Obama and his pathetic cronies. But of course they won’t.

THE FINTAG NEWSLETTER @ 07 October 2009

FINTAG COMMENT

Hello.

FunTimes Capital? FugTin Asset Management? Figtan Advisors? FatTom Fund Capital? NagNag Capital? FitNag Fund Management? GitNaf? GaffIt? How can thinking up a name be so difficult? My compliance officer has set up a couple of companies and I have the Change of Name resolutions ready for signing. Starting a new business, even if you have done it before, is not as fun second time round.

It was pleasing to hear that the next UK government is to scrap National Insurance tax for companies with less than 10 employees; given most Asset Managers set themselves up as Limited Liability Partnerships where there is no NI for the partners, this is a kind gesture but doesn’t go far enough. NI should be abolished completely.

Not that have a simplified tax system has helped Latvia. With projected growth of -30% and the country being bailed out by me and the rest of the EU, I still don’t understand why the Euro is such a popular currency. Spain and Ireland are bankrupt too and France is lying through its teeth.

Another day of inactivity and I opened up a spread betting account (after getting sign off from the new Compliance Officer that I wasn’t breaching Personal Account dealing rules: it seems not – betting is fine but running a portfolio is not).

I am getting itchy feet already but I have to learn to be patient. Today I travel British Airways. I hope they don’t go on strike because I do hate it when my plans don’t go to plan. A bit like my prediction of crash 2.0. It will happen, and is happening, it is just that there are lots of newbies piling in at the top of the W. In the case of BA I just hope the unions are slow to do anything.

GOLD SURGES AS TRADERS DITCH DOLLAR

cityam

THE? PRICE?of gold surged to an all-time high of over $1,040 a troy ounce yesterday, as falls in the US?dollar caused investors to go on the hunt for alternatives.

A surprise interest rate rise in Australia contributed to the US currency falls, as the higher yields on offer Down Under caused traders to ditch the dollar.

Spot gold prices rose as high as $1,043.45 an ounce during intra-day trading yesterday, while US gold futures were as high as $1,045 an ounce in New York.

Fintag says
Gold going up at the same time as Equities? Of course this new Arab currency has been discussed here many times. The Euro will soon replace the Dollar as the oil currency of choice. All this talk about a Chinese basket is pants. Most of the Asian currencies are implicitly or explicitly pegged to the USD anyway.

telegraph says ” Gold price hits record high “

breaking views says ” Appreciation when it’s due “

RECESSION IS OVER; DEPRESSION HAS JUST BEGUN

seeking alpha

For the last few months I have been casting around looking for bullish data points as counterfactuals to my more bearish long-term outlook. I have found some, but not enough. If you recall, early this year, I stated that we are in depression, making the case for the ongoing downturn as a depression with a small ‘d.’ Nevertheless, I was quite optimistic about the ability of policymakers to engineer a fake recovery predicated on stimulus and asset price reflation and I certainly saw this as bullish for financial shares if not the broader stock market. But, I saw these events as temporary salves for a deeper structural problem.

Fintag says
Denial. Pure an’ simple.

green faucet says ” The Quant View: Looks Like Groundhog Day “

HEDGE FUND ASSETS MAY RISE 10% IN SECOND HALF

dealbook

After suffering through a tough period of falling asset values and client withdrawals, the hedge fund industry may see assets rebound by 10 percent or more in the second half of the year, according to one data provider.

HedgeFund Intelligence said on Monday there were signs that investors were beginning to put money back into hedge funds, while continued performance gains in the third quarter would also increase asset levels, Reuters reported.

Fintag says
Now that is good news. Unfortunately most of this rise is outside of Europe.

bloomberg says ” Asian Hedge-Fund Assets to Double on New Money “

finalternatives says ” Hedge Funds Up 2.2% In September “

PRIVATE BANKS REACH OUT TO THE LESS WEALTHY

reuters

Private banks are starting to target the not-so-wealthy as they look to win market share after the financial crisis, financiers told the Reuters Wealth Management Summit. “We would also take people with 800,000 (Swiss francs),” said Boris Collardi, the company’s chief executive, referring to the amount potential clients could invest.

Fintag says
Poor ol’ Switzerland. UBS has trashed its banking model and nobody wants to bank there.

financial times says ” ING to sell Swiss private banking unit to Julius Baer “

EUROPEAN COMPANIES FEAR OTC CURBS

financial times

Europe’s biggest industrial companies face the prospect of having to raise tens of billions of euros because of a proposed regulatory crackdown on “over-the-counter” derivatives.

Eon , Europe’s largest utility, said that it could have to raise about €7.5bn in new credit lines or extra cash reserves if the proposals from the European Commission were passed.

Fintag says
It is clear the Socialists of the EU want to ban derivative trading. They want old fashioned loans and deposits. No more futures trading (welcome to volatile commodity prices), no more hedging (welcome to volatile NAVs), no more structured products (no more tax arbitrage).

After the Romans left the UK, for many hundreds of years we went back to living in mud huts and eating grass. Looks like Europe is going to be doing the same. History repeating itself.

The USA and Asia must be laughing themselves to sleep …


(First prize to the person who guesses which Bank this is…)

CHICKEN FEET AND CHUMP CHANGE

slate

Don’t worry about the U.S.-China trade war over poultry and car tires. Worry about the coming conflict over T-bills and derivatives. Has a mini-trade war has broken out between the United States and China? On Sept. 12, the Obama administration imposed a 35 percent tariff on tires imported from China. In response, China said it would look into the prices of chicken feet sent from the United States to China. Last week, the New York Times reported that tariffs have been slapped on U.S. imports of Chinese solar panels. Free-traders have begun to worry that President Obama might be back-pedaling on his commitment to open markets.

Fintag says
Funny how this has been kept quiet.

FOUNDER OF NEW FREE WOMEN’S MAG PLAYS DOWN THREAT TO GRAZIA

guardian

Take an exclusive peek at the first issue of Stylist – it targets women in their 20s and 30s and launches tomorrow. Free women’s weekly magazine Stylist hits the streets tomorrow – but founder Mike Soutar says it is not aiming to steal sales from paid-for rivals such as Grazia.

Around 400,000 copies of the magazine – which can be seen in digital form exclusively here – will be distributed in six cities across the UK.

Fintag says
Good to see GLG behind this. I shall certainly be reading it everyday or should I say looking at the pictures…

THE FINTAG NEWSLETTER @ 06 October 2009

FINTAG COMMENT

Partners Meeting.

Today I chaired my first meeting as a non founder. Weird. It didn’t have much to do except review the workings of other committees that do the real work. I have set the next meeting to just after Christmas so I can do some worthwhile work like giving homeless bankers some soup, clearing up discarded drink bottles from the River Thames and report cyclists who drive on the pavement and wear brightly colored latex to the police, during this time when I am not running a meeting.

As you can see, I won’t last long in this state of non productivity and will push hard to launch my new venture, Catnip Capital, RagStiff Capital, Funtugger Capital or whatever it is going to be called when it has obtained its FSA authorisation. The last time I did this, the FSA didn’t exist and we were authorised by IMRO. We had a lunch, filled in a form and we were off. Today, the form is hundreds of pages long, its MIFID that, BIPRU this, ICAAP all about and we have to write out a cheque for thousands of pounds and wait over 3 months for those hallowed civil servants to say “yes, you are a threshold competent person who can make money for your investors but be warned we are watching you and will make life difficult”.

In the meantime, I will be wearing jeans all day long. [Editor: weak]

FSA WARNED ON LIQUIDITY PLAN

cityam

THE Financial Services Authority (FSA) was told yesterday that its new liquidity rules could put London at a competitive disadvantage.

The FSA unveiled plans to force UK banks to hold an extra £110bn in government bonds, in a bid to prevent a repeat of the banking crisis.

Liquidity requirements will be delayed to allow banks time to prepare, FSA director of prudential policy Paul Sharma said, in order to “mitigate the knock-on effects to bank lending”.

Fintag says
Eerrrr, London already has one big disadvantage and that is the FSA. Roll on the next election and goodbye to the FSA …

NEW PWC SCHEME TO RETURN LEHMAN ASSETS TO CREDITORS

times

The administrator for Lehman Brothers is drawing up a plan to give $17 billion (£10.6 billion) of the defunct bank’s assets directly to creditors.

The original application by PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) to implement a scheme to return assets was turned down by the High Court at the end of August. Pending an appeal this month, PwC is drawing up a “plan B” to return billions of dollars of assets to hedge funds and other investors by coming to a contractual agreement with the bank’s creditors.

A PwC spokesman said: “At the moment we have been able to return about $13 billion of $30 billion on a claim-by-claim basis, but this process will take a lot of time. We are getting people to sign up for contracts, instead. We are looking to return house assets — such as shares — that Lehman were holding on behalf of hedge funds and the like, and to get people to come forward and tell us what they are owed, so we can sort out the mess.”

Fintag says
My problem no more. But my heart goes out there to those stuck in the mire of a PWC fee frenzy. PWC should be renamed to Parasitic Wasters Collective.

AUSTRALIA RAISES BENCHMARK INTEREST RATE TO 3.25% – – FIRST G-20 CENTRAL BANK TO HIKE; ECONOMISTS SEE SUBTLE SHIFT TO MONETARY TIGHTENING

finfacts

Australia’s central bank on Tuesday raised its benchmark interest rate 25 basis points to 3.25%, saying it was prudent to gradually take back policy accommodation since the worst danger for the economy had passed. The rate hike coincides with commentary from economists at US investment bank Morgan Stanley, which sees a subtle but undeniable shift underway in the central bank community towards eyeing not only the end of easing, but the beginning of tightening. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) announced its decision in a brief statement today, following its monthly policy meeting, making it the first of the G-20 central banks to hike.

Fintag says
Inflation, deflation, who cares. Here comes the hot money – out of the dollar, yen and euro and into nice and Australian bank accounts.

independent says ” The demise of the dollar “

HEDGEMARK ADVOCATES MANAGED ACCOUNTS PLATFORM FOR HEDGE FUND INVESTMENT

hedge funds review

Investors must demand greater risk transparency and use more sophisticated portfolio construction techniques in order to make the most of their investments in hedge funds, according to Ken Phillips, CEO of HedgeMark.

This year Phillips launched HedgeMark, an open architecture separately managed account (SMA) platform for investors in hedge funds.

As part of its service, HedgeMark is giving its clients access to an integrated set of portfolio construction and risk analytics and monitoring tools that Phillips said would help investors to build better portfolios and manage them more effectively.

Funds on the HedgeMark platform are required to provide position level transparency on a weekly basis. HedgeMark has signed a deal with JP Morgan’s Measurisk service which will analyse the data and provide investors with regular risk and exposure reports about their holdings.

Fintag says
Step by step Hedge Funds are turning into mutual funds. Mind you this managed account platform has Bear Stearns risk system overseeing the risk. Not good.

bloomberg says ” Bear Stearns Fund Judge to Weigh Lawyer’s Conflict “

HEDGE-FUND ASSETS FELL 8.5% IN FIRST HALF

news times

Global hedge-fund assets declined 8.5 percent to $1.67 trillion in the first half of 2009, although returns rose, according to HedgeFund Intelligence.

The drop extends last year’s decline, when global hedge funds posted record losses, according to the London-based industry research firm. Assets declined about 38 percent from a peak of $2.7 trillion reached during the first half of 2008, the firm said in an e-mailed statement.

Hedge funds had a median return of more than 5 percent in the first half, the statement said. The decline in asset values has slowed since July, HedgeFund Intelligence said. Assets may rise by at least 10 percent by the end of this year, it said. Hedge funds lost 19 percent last year amid the worst market rout since the Depression, according to data compiled by Hedge Fund Research Inc., the most since the Chicago-based firm began tracking returns in 1990.

Fintag says
New York – 47% of aum and London has a pathetic 15%. And this ratio is going to get worse for the UK thanks to the FSA and that EU Directive.

dealbook says ” Top Cadogan Executives Said to Quit After Talks Stall “

GOLDMAN SACHS: THE “SMART” MONEY?!

financial armegeddon

U.S. stocks rebounded today, aided by a rally in financials. Why was the group strong? Because a team of analysts at a well-known Wall Street firm upgraded the large banks sector. And why did they do that? Bloomberg gives us the lowdown in “Wells Fargo, Biggest U.S. Banks Raised by Goldman”:

Fintag says
I love it. Goldman pump their own stock up by telling the markets that their competitors are undervalued. You couldn’t make this stuff up.

finance asia says ” Nomura raises $4.4 billion from second share sale this year “

THE FINTAG NEWSLETTER @ 05 October 2009

FINTAG COMMENT

1 in 10.

Funding the long term unemployed is expensive. Now I am technically one of those who is without work, (being a chairman consultant is not really work) with plenty of leisure time, I shall be consuming without contributing for the next few months. In my case boredom will force me back into building a new hedge fund business, but for the time being my brain will be in chill out mode.

Today I feel like a student during the vacations. However, I hate sleeping and prefer to drink my wine from crystal than plastic so that was a poor analogy. As a minority, although the way things are going us unemployed could soon be a majority, I note the unemployment rate in Spain is about 25%, so Obama’s US has a long way to go at 10% although California is cheating because all its unemployed are going back to Mexico.

My strategy is to chill out for 3 months. This is how long it will take to get my new asset management company off the FSA ground although this time it will be an Adviser and my Management Company will be in Switzerland.

Jan 1st will see the launch of Gatnif Capital.

REGULATORS CLOSE BANKS IN COLORADO, MICH., MINN.

yahoo

Regulators have shut Warren Bank in Warren, Mich., and two small banks in Colorado and Minnesota, boosting the number of failed U.S. banks this year to 98 as loan defaults rise in the worst financial climate in decades.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. took over Warren Bank, with about $538 million in assets and $501 million in deposits as of July 31. The Huntington National Bank, based in Columbus, Ohio, agreed to assume the deposits and about $83 million of the assets of the failed bank. The FDIC will retain the remaining assets for later disposition.

Fintag says
…and nobody cares.

G-7 AVOIDS DOLLAR CRITICISM, WARNS AGAINST VOLATILITY

bloomberg

Group of Seven finance chiefs stopped short of singling out the weaker dollar for criticism and stuck to their mantra that “disorderly” swings in currencies threaten economic growth.

“Excess volatility and disorderly movements in exchange rates have adverse implications for economic and financial stability,” G-7 ministers and central bankers said in a statement after talks today in Istanbul. Officials welcomed China’s “continued commitment” to a more flexible currency, which they said would promote balanced global growth. The statement repeated language used at the last G-7 in April.

Fintag says
Come on Bernanke, put up those interest rates and get that dollar swinging again. I on the other hand will be taking up other pursuits. Maybe I should try out being a bicycle courier? Or a waiter at Spearmint Rhino?

RICHMOND-UPON-THAMES GOES “GREEN” WITH PARKING.

tax payers alliance

It looks like politicians have found yet another way that they can use climate change to justify new charges on motorists. This time it’s a green charge on parking, as Richmond-upon- Thames council becomes the first local authority in the world to set parking charges for drivers based upon their vehicle’s greenhouse gas emissions.

From today tariffs in all car parks and on street pay and display parking bays in Richmond are based on vehicle emissions. The rate will be 25 per cent above the standard rate for vehicles with CO2 emissions of 186 g/km or above and 50 percent below the standard rate for vehicles with CO2 emissions of 120 g/km or less. According to the council the main aim of the policy is to influence the motorist’s choice of vehicle towards ones which are more environmentally friendly and help the local council meet their targets for emissions.

Fintag says
Ooo hello Jennifer …move over Suzy.

IS THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA BANKRUPT?

credit write downs

It sure seems like California is insolvent. Just today we heard that Arnold Schwarzenegger contacted Hank Paulson to let him know that the State is having liquidity problems and needs help. California ranks as the world’s 9th largest economy with a population of over 30 million people, so this is quite worrying.

The state had an economy that was going gangbusters during the boom. That certainly aided U.S. GDP growth a few years back. Now, house prices are way down in California — San Diego down 31%, San Francisco down 28%, Los Angeles down 30%. And so goes housing, so goes California. The economy is a shambles, unemployment is skyrocketing and tax revenue is plunging. One city in California has already gone bankrupt. Could the whole state be next?

Fintag says
This article was written exactly 1 year ago. Today, California is in a real state [Editor: ooof] and is more bankrupt than ever before. I am flying to LA next week, just because I can and have some air miles to use up. Will I need to take personal protection?

guardian says ” Will California become America’s first failed state? (2009)”

RBC: ‘THIS TIME IT’S DIFFERENT’

ft alphaville

….Economists, accountants and credit rating professionals are under siege. Axioms of financial theory are being questioned. Many in the financial sector doubt the ability of policymakers to set the economy on a path of sustainable growth. And unlike crises that stem from cracks in investor psychology, this one is also intertwined with fundamental structural imbalances that have yet to be addressed: massive and continuing dollar purchases by the BRICs, Japan and Germany; multi-year periods of negative real interest rates in the U.S.; and extreme price movements as the unsustainability of these financial flows becomes apparent….

Fintag says
I am still standing by my 21 September 2009 being the top of the W. Thankfully I have the source code for my models and all the data feeds so can still see it is about right. My quants love me and given I have promised them huge jobs at Tagnif Capital, they will give me anything I want (except performance…).

financial times says ” HSBC chief fears a second downturn “

U.S. JOB LOSSES MAY BE EVEN LARGER, MODEL BREAKS DOWN

bloomberg

The U.S. economic slump earlier this year was so severe it short-circuited the government’s model for calculating payrolls, raising the risk that today’s jobs report may be too optimistic.

About 824,000 more jobs may be subtracted from the payroll count for the 12 months through last March when the figures are officially revised early next year, a Labor Department report showed today. The revision would be the biggest since at least 1991.

Fintag says
I know all ’bout bust models or is that busty models? I prefer the ones that wear short [Editor: Stop it].

OFFSHORE HAVEN CONSIDERS A HERESY: TAXATION

new york times

He points to the low $3,000 annual fee that multibillion-dollar hedge funds pay to register here (even Mr. Bush calls this figure “ridiculously low”), and proposes a tiny tax on the trillions of dollars that he says flow in and out of the island on a daily basis.

But wouldn’t that cause wealthy people to move their money elsewhere?

“Where the hell they going?” he snorted. Yes, a recent upswing in crime is a problem, “but people can still walk around with their jewelry. That is what brings all these hedge funds and offshore partnerships. They like to visit their money.”

Fintag says
I pay USD4000? Or used to. But that is not the point. This article is silly. If they put the annual registration fee up to USD5000, they would easily get them USD60 million and the islands could continue as is. This is all a smoke screen. If Cayman is the next California then Bermuda will be the new black.

The Caymaners need to be more creative …

times says ” Dinner with David Cameron reaps Tories £5m “

THE FINTAG NEWSLETTER @ 02 October 2009

FINTAG COMMENT

Recruitment.

Many of my friends are headhunters but it is time to out them as devils in skirts. Many commentators have picked up my rantings over the years about who and what caused the crash, you know the usual suspects: CRA, Private Equity, short term bankers, Excel etc but a group I have never talked about are still a menace to society.

Headhunters. These people promote fear and loathing and force employers to shake like spoiled children who cave in too easily to their demands. Lowly accountants are propelled into jobs that are way above there mental capacity and PhD’ers who are more suited to hiding in Labs are given hundreds of millions of dollars to play around with. MBA’s are asked to run huge marketing campaigns and History graduates learn how to structure complex products. Headhunters put out that X bank has people making more money than Y bank and play out bidding wars. They take 35% of the first years comp and push up prices. They create their own markets and control the people who run banks.

Thankfully with the restrictions on bonuses, these people will struggle but they won’t be penniless which is a shame. Like me, we know what we are doing.

Happy Days
Yesterday was a 3 year anniversary. I was unable to tell you then but I sold a controlling interest in my management company and have been earning out my compensation. Consequently I have been, to be very franked, quite bored hence have spent too much time at eating out, staying up late (my hangover today is the worst I have had in years but the food at La Trompette was exceptional), going to mickey mouse seminars (I was at the State Street Roubini show at the IoD yesterday morning), visiting strange countries because I have not been to them before and twittering while being beaten up at a G20 riot.

What does this mean Basil? Well I will still be working but it is likely some headhunter is going to find a replacement and I will end up on the board as a General Partner with no authority. Or I may go off fishing. Who knows. Tomorrow I am traveling to find myself but will keep you updated.

Crash 2.0
In the meantime I am taking out my earnings from my funds and buying USD. That is what Roubini said I should do. He thinks Q110 is the correction that will bring asset prices down to the level of the slow and painful growth in GDP. I don’t want income anyway because most of it ends up in being wasted by the UK government.

SWFS MOVING AWAY FROM PENSIONS ROLE

global pensions

Many sovereign wealth funds did not rebalance in the wake of the financial crisis, suggesting their roles as pension providers has lost importance, one expert said.

BNP Paribas Investment Partners head of central banks, supranational institutions and sovereign wealth funds Gary Smith said as the asset pools controlled by national wealth managers has shrunk, the priority has been to use these schemes as national stabilization funds, rather than pension funds.

Fintag says
Have you ever been to a SWF? They are run using Excel spreadsheets. If you think they have complex asset allocation algorithms, you would be wrong. I would so love to get my hands on their assets [Editor: steady]

TOSCAFUND SELLS ABERDEEN STAKE TO JAPANESE

telegraph

The hedge fund, run by Martin Hughes, has slashed its shareholding in Aberdeen, which ran as high as 25pc at one stage last year, from 18pc to 9pc. It is unclear whether Toscafund has made a profit on the sale with Aberdeen’s share price closing yesterday at 148.7p, against a low of 80p last November.

Mitsubishi, the Japanese bank which was once touted as a potential predator for Aberdeen, in understood to have picked up Toscafund’s stake. Mitsubishi is now the second biggest shareholder with almost 19pc.

Although Toscafund made a return of 40.3pc in the first eight months of this year, in 2008 it lost more than half its value, and it is thought that the fund which at its height had $8bn of assets under management now looks after closer to $4bn. In a letter earlier this year, Mr Hughes asked investors to think again about withdrawing their money, saying the potential of Aberdeen, its largest single investment, was a strong reason to
stay.

Fintag says
Well let’s face it, we all dumped everything stamped “Made in Scotland” a while back (Lockerbie, HBOS, RBS, Gordon Brown, A Darling, George Burley) so what took them so long?

IT’S NOT COOL, AND IT’S NOT SEXY…

taxpayersalliance

It’s reported today that Manchester City Council have spent £8,000 on producing booklets telling over 50s how to have sex. This extraordinary and misguided pamphlet includes what can only be described as graphic pictures and raunchy tips to spice up your sex life.

Naturally, my first objection is to the cost. I really feel, as do many others, that in these straitened times there are better uses of £8,000.

Fintag says
Unlike you Ms Squire .. [Editor: steady]

EUROPE UNEMPLOYMENT RISES TO HIGHEST SINCE MARCH 1999

bloomberg

Europe’s unemployment rate rose to the highest in more than 10 years in August as companies continued to cut jobs even as the region’s largest economies emerged from recession.

Unemployment in the 16-member euro region increased to 9.6 percent from 9.5 percent in July, the European Union statistics office in Luxembourg said today. That’s the highest since March 1999 and matched the median forecast from a Bloomberg survey of 23 economists.

Fintag says
Asset Bubble versus falling disposable income. You see unemployment, higher taxes, public sector cost cutting all equals less demand for goods and services. Stick to cash for a couple of months. This all feels like the dot com as everyone is piling in at the top. Short the pants of Financials if you dare.

FSA CONFIRMS DISCLOSURE REGIME FOR SIGNIFICANT SHORTING POSITIONS

hedge funds review

The UK Financial Services Authority (FSA) has issued a feedback statement confirming short selling of significant short positions in all equities must be reported to the regulator.

The FSA said it will work “towards agreement on future requirements at an international level rather than introducing a separate domestic regime.” In a statement the regulator said it has no plans for “immediate changes to its current short selling requirements”.

Currently, the FSA requires disclosure to the market of net short positions of 0.25% or more of the issued share capital of UK financial sector companies or companies carrying out a rights issue.

Fintag says
Another complete waste of time. So what are they going to do with this data? Nothing.

3A LAUNCHES UCITS FUND OF UCITS HEDGE FUNDS

finalternatives

The fervor for UCITS III-compliant hedge funds has gone meta, with the debut of a UCITS-compliant fund of UCITS-compliant hedge funds.

The new vehicle is the brainchild of Switzerland’s 3A, which launched the fund yesterday. 3A Dynamic UCITS III invests exclusively in UCITS-compliant hedge funds, and is itself UCITS-complaint, the firm said. The fund, which offers bi-monthly liquidity, will invest in between 18 and 25 hedge funds, seeking returns of between 6% and 8% annually. It is available denominated in U.S. dollars, euros and Swiss francs, and will be marketed exclusively to professional clients.

Fintag says
Brainchild! Good luck …

U.S. 30-YEAR YIELD DROPS BELOW 4% FOR FIRST TIME SINCE APRIL

bloomberg

Treasury 30-year bond yields fell below 4 percent for the first time since April as reports showed jobless claims increased, manufacturing declined and inflation remains subdued.

Bonds rallied as signs recovery from the worst slump since the Great Depression will be slow prompted traders to reverse bets that yields would increase before tomorrow’s monthly employment report. The amount of Treasuries trading hands surged to the most since June. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said the economy probably lost more jobs in September than it previously anticipated.

Fintag says
So inflation is off the menu and we are back to deflation …oh dear.

FSA TO VET APPOINTMENT OF BANK DIRECTORS

financial times

The City is to revive some of its old ways of doing business by setting up a regulatory committee to vet the appointment of directors to Britain’s banks.

According to people close to the process, experienced bankers such as Sir Brian Pitman, the former chief executive of Lloyds, and Sir Peter Middleton, a former Barclays chairman, have been lined up by the Financial Services Authority to serve on the committee.

Fintag says
That will put a lot of people off. I mean who would want to be a Director of a bank? You would have to pay me USD5 million a year plus huge pension and secure my tenure for at least 5 years. Plus huge D&O insurance and a huge bonus. Shame the FSA are capping bonuses.

Monkeys only need apply.

cnn says ” BofA CEO: $53 million retirement score “

CAPITAL LOSING IN CONTEST FOR HEDGE FUNDS

financial times

London’s position as the world’s number two city for hedge funds is beginning to slip after almost a decade of gaining ground.

New York is reasserting itself in spite of the Madoff scandal, the fall of Lehman Brothers and a series of high-profile fund liquidations.

According to statistics in a new report from International Financial Services London (IFSL), a promotional body run in conjunction with the City of London and the government, London saw its share of the world’s hedge fund assets fall by 2 percentage points in 2008, while New York’s portion grew by the same amount.

Fintag says
Thanks go to France, Germany, Darling, the FSA and that EU Directive. Maybe I will go fishing for a couple of years.

cityam says ” Firms hit by tax hike on office space “

GUERNSEY LITIGATION FUND PLANS GBP200M AIM FLOTATION

hedge week

A Guernsey-based investment fund is anticipated to become the second largest listing on London’s Alternative Investment Market this year.

Burford Capital is aiming to raise GBP200m (USD318m) in an initial public offering to finance commercial litigation in the US.

It plans to start trading shares on Aim on or around 16 October.

Fintag says
I like this. I really do.

THE FINTAG NEWSLETTER @ 01 October 2009

FINTAG COMMENT

Making Love.

We all love making the stuff but the second best activity is eating a good biscuit. When I visit an investor, bank or whoever wants to listen to me prattling on about whatever is on my mind, a corporation’s true self is exposed. The quality of the reception, the type of security card and how easy it is to navigate the lifts show off an organisation’s efficiency. The meeting room, the number of windows, the views, the art work, the type of chairs and the quality of the wooden table are instantaneously judged and a view is taken about the corporate identity, its taste and warmth.

But this is nothing compared to the quality of the biscuits on offer. After a good pitch, one can feel elevated and uplifted after stuffing ones face with some quality sugar and carbs. There is nothing worse than biting into a hardened biscuit that rips off a veneer or some dried up piece of cardboard that sticks in the throat for many days.

So here are my top 5 biscuit providers from recent visits this year:

5. BarCap.
4. Deutsche Bank (not the ones with raisins)
3. Goldman Sachs
2. Cazenove (the chocolate especially)
1. Morgan Stanley (all hand made)

So what is going on in the real world? Well rumors are the number 3 best biscuit organisation is actively looking at going private to avoid all the regulation but is struggling to get permission from the US government. Today we see how banking is becoming tiered and all the best MBA grads will be following the money.

PETITE ANGLAISE LOGS OFF FOR THE LAST TIME

telegraph

The blogger known as “Petite Anglaise” won international fame and thousands of followers with her racy internet musings about life as a single woman living in Paris. But she has decided to end her online diary, saying the confessional genre “leaves a nasty taste in my mouth”.

Catherine Sanderson, 37, won a £450,000 Penguin book deal after her account of life as an expatriate single mother in Paris began attracting tens of thousands of hits per day.

Fintag says
My best wishes go out to PA. You see, us bloggers are not immortal although thankfully like your average newspaper, Finbar Taggit is actually a number of people and will be filling up your inboxes for many years to come. [Editor: I am handing in my notice]

LESSONS FROM U.S. FOR PRIVATE EQUITY

new york times

Europeans pride themselves on their history. But in private equity it’s the United States that has the benefit of experience. Outfits like Alchemy Partners and Permira are among the European buyout firms that have been forced by the financial crisis to adjust management teams and funds. Firms in the United States have problems too, but stronger debt markets, stickier investors and more mature operations are a few reasons the Americans are in better shape.

Fintag says
Slavery, revolution, child exploitation, corsets? Private equity, an industry that helped cause the crash with its government like attitude to debt has kept a low profile and with its closed ended marked to carry interest valuations is slowly but surely picking itself up again. They are tough besturds.

REPORT ON SPECIAL PURPOSE ENTITIES

alea

The number and complexity of special purpose entity (SPE) structures increased significantly over the prior several years through 2007 in conjunction with the growth of markets for securitisation and structured finance products, but have declined since then. It must be emphasised that the usage of SPE structures is not inherently problematic in and of itself. SPEs have been used for many years and have contributed to the efficient operation of the global financial markets by providing financing opportunities for a wide range of securities to meet investor demand. In instances where parties to an SPE possess a comprehensive understanding of the associated risks and possible structural behaviors of these entities under various scenarios, they can effectively engage in and benefit from using SPEs. The current market crisis that began in mid-2007, however, essentially “stress tested” these vehicles. As a result, serious deficiencies in the understanding and risk management of these SPEs were identified. While recent market events have resulted in a dramatic reduction in issuance of securities using SPEs, we expect that SPEs will continue to be used for financial intermediation and disintermediation going forward. These structures provide institutions and investors with a variety of uses and benefits.

Fintag says
We all love an SPE, an SPV, an ICC and a PCC. Without these, there would be no fund industry, no Enron and no Structured Products.

BOFA CEO LEWIS OUT BY YEAR’S END, SEARCH ON FOR SUCCESSOR

reuters

Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) CEO Kenneth Lewis announced he was retiring, after months of being dogged by a series of government investigations into the company’s acquisition of Merrill Lynch last year that had become a major distraction for the biggest U.S. bank.

The reputation of the 62-year-old Lewis had been badly bruised by massive credit losses and the need for two government bailouts. But experts believe it was the intense scrutiny from federal regulators, state attorneys general and the courts that forced his hand.

Fintag says
I have to hand it to the man who overpaid for Merrill and just wouldn’t fall on his sword despite his arrogance.

MAN GROUP ASSETS RISE ON LOWER OUTFLOWS

dealbook

The Man Group, the world’s largest listed hedge fund firm, said slowing outflows helped lift assets to an estimated $43.8 billion at the end of September, at the top end of forecasts, bolstering its shares.

The firm, which has private investors putting money into its products even as institutions withdraw cash, said on Wednesday that net client outflows slowed to $500 million in the third quarter, well below the $1.4 billion in the previous quarter, Reuters reported.

“The mix has shifted toward private investors, which is good for margins,” the chief executive, Peter Clarke, said in a call to investors and analysts.

Fintag says
Mmmm. So redemptions fall and subscriptions rise. This means assets rise. We also need to consider if the value of these assets rise too. Or are they saying the rate of change of outflows was lower than last time and assets rose because of this?

LONDON BANKERS BALK AT EU REGULATION AS LEA INVOKES SECESSION

bloomberg

In a Georgian townhouse four minutes walk from Parliament, bankers, lawyers and economists held an off-the-record evening meeting to plot how to fight European Union financial regulation that they deem a threat to London.

“I am extremely worried about the City of London,” said Ruth Lea, a director at Arbuthnot Banking Group Plc, who agreed after the Sept. 24 meeting at the Institute of Economic Affairs for her comments to be published. “Britain may be able to influence EU regulation, but we won’t be calling the shots. Britain should consider the nuclear option of leaving the EU.”

Fintag says
I hope there was blood drawn.

UK BANKS FACE STRICTER BONUS RULES THAN US

financial times

A divide has already emerged between Europe and the US over how to implement new Group of 20 rules on bankers’ bonuses, with British banks facing a stricter regime than is likely to apply in the US.

The UK government on Wednesday night rushed out a statement trumpeting the agreement of Britain’s top five banks to apply the bonus restrictions agreed at last week’s G20 meeting in Pittsburgh, in a bid to become the first member nation to implement the accord. France is expected soon to follow suit.

Fintag says
So if you want to work for a bank, here is guide. In reverse order:

The last place a graduate would want to work at is any Dutch or French bank followed by any bank in the UK followed by any Tarp constrained US bank followed by any Asian bank and then Goldman Sachs.

NEW SYSTEMATIC QUANT. FUND RETURNS 54% IN 14 MONTHS

finalternatives

Many hedge funds that debuted last July would consider themselves lucky to be alive—if, in fact, they were still alive. Quantum Global Financial Corp.’s Holon Fund hasn’t just survived, it has thrived as few other hedge funds have during the last 14 months.

The Victoria, British Columbia-based firm has seen its systematic quantitative hedge fund soar 54.65% since its debut on July 1, 2008. The fund, which employs modest leverage of 1.5 times, has been in the black in 10 of its first 14 months and has never been in the red overall. It’s up 25.25% this year after running its winning streak to three months in a row in August with a 1.86% return.

Fintag says
Nice return. Nice volatility.

THE FINTAG NEWSLETTER @ 30 September 2009

FINTAG COMMENT

Television.

So on-line advertising is beating TV adverts for the first time. I rarely watch TV although yesterday I was glued to a socialist ranting on about how he was going to spend even more of my money and a comedy-tragedy drama about the lost Lehman weekend. The casting was strange and Dick Fuld was quite a lovable character. Thain was good but Paulson wasn’t hard enough.

The programme may have been a repeat but I saw it for the first time and found it quite gripping.

Given I am out of words today, today is more of a pic-fest. Enjoy.

BILL WINTERS EXITS JP MORGAN AFTER 25 YEARS

financial news

JP Morgan’s top manager in Europe has quit after a quarter of a century at the US bank as chief executive Jamie Dimon announced a major reshuffle of the investment banking division.

Fintag says
As I mentioned yesterday, the man had turned sour and it appears he knew he was being pushed and he opened his mouth or he opened his mouth and was pushed. I met the guy a few times. Very quiet and a real lifer of the old school.

cityam says ” Winters is ousted from JP Morgan”

BRITISH AIRWAYS BEGINS ITS FIGHT BACK

cityam

AIRLINES can still put on a great show, as yesterday’s inaugural British Airways flight from City Airport to New York JFK testified. We were treated to water salutes from firefighters, cheerleaders and champagne on tap. And apart from the fun of flying on a brand new, 32-seater all business class luxury Airbus A318, the exercise was a good opportunity to catch up with BA’s top brass, not least Willie Walsh, the firm’s ever-energetic CEO.

Fintag says
I loved EOS. But its timing was poor. For those in the Wharf this is good news – no more missing flights by getting stuck on the M4 but more importantly no more screaming babies or students flying on airmiles spoiling the ride.

Let us hope the BA crew are as cool and trendy as the black clad EOS ones …

GORDON BROWN TRIES TO RESCUE LABOUR WITH DEFIANT PERFORMANCE

times

Gordon Brown tried to revive his party yesterday with a conference speech packed with policy announcements designed to appeal to middle-class voters and prove that he had not run out of steam.

The Prime Minister promised to remodel the economy, clean up politics and create a more responsible society during a defiant performance in Brighton in which he set out the lines on which the looming election battle will be fought. He told MPs and delegates not to give in to defeatism but to “dream big dreams”.

Fintag says
I hope you enjoyed my Labour Conference Bingo on twitter yesterday. If the man gets re-elected, I shall leave. My bags are packed.

fintag’s twitter

WARNING ON MUSCLE AND JOINT PAIN

bbc

Muscle and joint pain – musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) – account for almost half of all sick leave, both in the UK and across Europe, a study has found.

No less than 49% of all sickness absence is caused by MSDs, said the Fit for Work Europe report by the Work Foundation business consultancy group.

It estimates that this costs the UK economy £7bn each year, rising to 240bn euros (£$349bn; £219bn) across Europe.

Fintag says
On 16th October a new magazine is being launched in Germany called BusinessPunk. It will have an initial circulation of 100,000 and I feature heavily with an in depth interview and lots of photographs. Given it is a lifestyle magazine about how the rich, successful and good looking live their lives, readers of fintag should prepare for some more stories like this to get you in the mood.

[Editor: This news story is about being sick?]

GAM PREPARES FOR INDEPENDENCE WITH BIG PLANS

finalternatives

Swiss fund of hedge funds group GAM will split from parent Julius Baer Group on Thursday. And for the new asset management group, independence means an ambitious new growth plan.

On Thursday, Julius Baer will list its private bank on the Swiss Exchange under the parent company’s existing name, Julius Baer Group. The existing listing will become GAM Holding, and include the fund of funds arm, Swiss & Global and a minority stake in Artio Global Investors, which Baer listed in New York last week.

Fintag says
Nice but dull.

GORE VIDAL: ‘WE’LL HAVE A DICTATORSHIP SOON IN THE US’

times

He is single now. “I’m not into partnerships,” he says dismissively. I don’t even know what it means.” He “couldn’t care less” about gay marriage. “Does anyone care what Americans think? They’re the worst-educated people in the First World. They don’t have any thoughts, they have emotional responses, which good advertisers know how to provoke.” You could have been the first gay president, I say. “No, I would have married and had nine children,” he replies quickly and seriously. “I don’t believe in these exclusive terms.”

Impaired mobility doesn’t bother him — he “rose like a miracle” on stage at the National — and he doesn’t dwell on mortality either. “Either you accept there is such a thing or you’re so dumb that you can’t grasp it.” Is he in good health? “No, of course not. I’m diabetic. It’s odd, I’ve never been fat and I don’t like candy, which most Americans are hooked on.”

Fintag says
I love listening to crotchety old men. We don’t pay enough respect to our elders.

THE FINTAG NEWSLETTER @ 29 September 2009

FINTAG COMMENT

Investment Bankers.

What a strange place it must be. You are smarter than the average, work longer hours, burn out younger. You like to shout a lot, wave your arms around are wear loud clothes. Your pay packet is huge compared to your true abilities and responsibilities and your job is about finding loopholes, stitching up the competition and screwing your stake holders and investors.

You are hated. Really hated. People would prefer to invite real estate agents or traffic wardens to their weddings. Your greed and self loathing is beyond contempt. Your bosses hate you as much as you hate yourself and every morning you look in the mirror and see the devil.

The G20 have decided to burn you at the stake. Send you to Death Row. They want to burn you, tax you and force feed you government debt.

I have never really thought about it before but why do you have to pay a charge to buy government debt? Hedgies are always being lambasted for fees and yet here the UK government charging some hefty basis points to own its debt. I mean 0.375% may not sound much but it really stacks up. The sort of fees that pay a civil servants pension.

These people are crooks. Almost as bad as Investment Bankers. Why don’t they set an example and charge no fees?

If you look at a copy of this letter, you will note something that will irritate the FSA. It should say you must see an FSA approved organisation and it doesn’t. In fact it should have the usual financial product disclaimers. So in fact the Bank of England / Treasury are mis-selling and should be fined by the FSA.

Rules for us, none for them.

EX-RBS BANKER HOUNDED OUT OF THE CITY

cityam

ONE of Sir Fred Goodwin’s former sidekicks at the Royal Bank of Scotland was last night forced to resign from his new City role at headhunter Odgers Berndtson, after his connection to the beleaguered bank cost his firm one of its most lucrative contracts.

Johnny Cameron, previously head of investment banking at RBS, said he had decided to step down immediately as a senior adviser to Odgers after UK Financial Investments (UKFI), the group set up to manage the government’s stakes in part-nationalised banks, last week vetoed the firm’s involvement in the search for its new chief executive because of his appointment.

Fintag says
See what I mean?

financial news says ” JP Morgan’s Winters hits out at ‘industry greed’ “

STARBUCKS KILLS COMMUNITIES, ACADEMIC CLAIMS

telegraph

Small and widely spaced tables, free wireless internet access and a preference for take-away customers are among the conversation-killing factors that have encouraged patrons to cut themselves off, Bryant Simon claimed.

The seemingly ubiquitous Starbucks, which has 16,000 outlets worldwide and last year earned nearly $10.4?billion (£6.5 billion), had made great play of how it encourages people to come together, he said.

Many branches had community message boards and – borrowing from sociology – the company marketed itself as a “third place” between work and home. But Prof Simon, an academic at Temple University in Philadelphia, said the communal feel was an “illusion”.

Fintag says
I thought hate Starbucks as much as your local Credit Suisse Investment Banker.

DOW CLOSES IN ON 10,000 LEVEL AGAIN; FIRST TIME OVER THRESHOLD WAS IN MARCH 1999

finfacts

The Dow is closing in on the 10,000 level again over ten years after it first breached the threshold in March 1999.

The 30-component Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 124.17 points, at 9,789.36, on Monday, boosted by news of two large mergers. Abbott Laboratories, the drug maker, agreed to acquire a unit of Belgium’s Solvay for $6.6 billion, and then Xerox, the photocopier company, announced plans to buy Affiliated Computer Services, a business services outsourcer, for $6.4 billion.

Fintag says
Should I laugh or should I cry? This is almost as unreal as when the markets were in denial in 2007 that debt was going to kill them off. Thanks to governments insuring all the markets, this is what you get; distortion on a huge scale. The fundamentals don’t stack up. But hey ho, we are all long only beta monkeys so we might as well enjoy the ride.

JAPAN PRICES CONTINUE RECORD FALL

bbc

Japan’s core consumer prices dropped 2.4% in August year-on-year, the fourth successive month of record falls.

Official figures showed core prices, which exclude those of volatile fresh food, fell for a sixth month in a row.

Fintag says
Deflation. Nasty indeed although the West is immune thanks to all those dollars and pounds and euros being printed. So the Dow is shooting upwards and yet deflation will reduce profits, demand falls as nobody wants to get ripped off and wages fall.

Japan just cannot escape out of its predicament. Let us hope the rest of West can avoid this too.

Buy that Yen …

FDIC CONSIDERS CALLING FOR BANK ADVANCES

financial times

US banks will have to advance tens of billions of dollars to the cash-strapped fund protecting depositors at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation under a proposal to be to be put forward by regulators on Tuesday.

The fund, which insures up to $250,000 per depositor in each bank, has been depleted this year after the failure of 95 lenders. It now stands at about $10.4bn, the lowest since the peak of the savings and loan crisis in 1993.

Fintag says
Banks are failing every week and the FDIC is bankrupt. This is not being reported because the G20 are gagging the media. It is world wide propaganda and we are falling for it.

HEDGE FUND COO VELLANTI DIES IN FALL FROM ESCALATOR

bb (By Michael J. Moore)

James Vellanti, chief operating officer of hedge fund JNF Asset Management LLC in New York, died after accidentally falling from an escalator at The Pier Shops at Caesars in Atlantic City, police said.

Police were called to the mall at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday after Vellanti, 42, fell an estimated 30 to 40 feet, the Atlantic City Police Department said today in an e-mailed statement. An autopsy by the Atlantic County Medical Examiners Office ruled “the cause of death as multiple traumatic injuries due to the fall and the manner of death is accidental,” according to a second statement today.

Fintag says
Sad news.

AUDIT FIRMS LEFT UNPROTECTED AGAINST CLAIMS OF NEGLIGENCE

times

Britain’s big four auditing firms have been left exposed to a surge in negligence claims after the Government refused to limit further the damages they could face.

Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) lobbied hard for a cap on payouts. Senior figures involved in the discussions said that Lord Mandelson, the Business Secretary, appeared receptive to their concerns but stopped short of changing the law.

Fintag says
More fees. Total expense ratio up. Investors lose more. Nice.

finalternatives says ” Pallotta Seeds Protégés’ New Hedge Fund “

ft alphaville says ” GLG launches company debt fund “