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What we’re reading: Lunch with Bernanke and Bond villain profitability
<p>From a possible Chinese Ponzi scheme to SPECTRE’s annualized returns, here are some great reads for you this weekend.</p> <p>The Chinese exchange that lured 220,000 investors may have been a giant Ponzi scheme. A great look into the suspended trading platform-turned-asset manager, Fanya Metal Exchange. Was it really a failed money manager? Or was it – as one analyst put it – a massive Ponzi scheme? Quartz</p> <p>Lunch with the FT: Ben Bernanke. Call him what you want, but in my view the Ben Bernank was one of the most competent central bankers the U.S. ever had, and here he is talking to Martin Wolf about interest rates, the cathartic effects of a depression, and why you shouldn’t reduce risk too much. Financial Times</p> <p>Low-income Chinese men should share wives to deal with gender gap: Professor. Okay, this is a little off-beat, but the reasoning behind Professor Xie Zuoshi’s argument is – at the very least – interesting. The Nanfang</p> <p>Berkshire Hathaway's Charlie Munger on generalists vs. specialists.  Charlie Munger, much like Jim Rogers, is always a great read, and here’s a fun piece on his thoughts on the multidisciplinary approach. Climateer Investing</p> <p>On the profitability of SPECTRE Capital LLP. Crunching the numbers, an FT Alphaville reader argues that Ernst Stavro Blofeld’s organization – SPECTRE – despite its godawful risk management procedures against James Bond, may have actually produced annualized returns well north of 100% a year prior to Thunderball. Beat that, VCs. FT Alphaville<br /> Photo: Brookings Institution</p>
Nat Rothschild’s Brazilian bachelor pad hits the market
<p>Looking to live like a Rothschild? Well, now’s your chance.</p> <p>The Brazilian pied-a-terre of former Atticus Capital co-chairman Nat Rothschild is currently on the market, and man, does it look like the quintessential party pad.</p> <p>Built by noted Brazilian architects Claudio Bernardes and Paulo Jacobsen in the early 90’s and spruced up by Mlinaric, Henry, &amp; Zervudachi in the late 2000’s, the 9,700 square foot home – which was featured in Architectural Digest – is located in Rio de Jainero’s tony São Conrado neighborhood, and boasts “spectacular views to the ocean, to the islands and to the mountains.”</p> <p>Those views are also available in the home’s four bedrooms apparently, though the villa’s swanky infinity pool, deck, and “lake” might actually be better spots to check it out.</p> <p>How much for the whole thing? The realtors would rather you call and ask – and you know that means.</p> <p>Christie’s has the listing here, while the architects have older photos of the place, here.<br /> Photo: Sam valadi</p>
Weekend Scan: S&P 500 back in the black; PBOC slashes rates
<p>Good morning everyone. The bulls were all out this week after ECB President Mario Draghi signaled a Christmas treat from the ECB. Spoos wiped out all of its losses for the year, while the FTSE 100 surged to a two-month high. The Nikkei also posted its best session in a month, climbing over 2% just as the yen – always negatively correlated – chalked up its sixth-straight decline against the resurgent dollar.</p> <p>It wasn’t all Draghi’s doing though. Strong earnings in the U.S. also gave stocks a boost, while another round of cheap money from the PBOC added a bit of oomph to the party as well.</p> <p>Here’s what else you need to know:</p> <p>PBOC cuts rates. In a surprise move, China’s central bank slashed its benchmark one-year lending and deposit rates by 0.25 bps. This is the sixth rate cut from the bank since November. Interestingly, Capital Economics points out that this cut came 59 days after the previous one, which in turn came 59 days after the move before. Wall Street Journal (paywall)</p> <p>“Let Hong Kong elect its own leader.” British Prime Minister David Cameron, speaking to Chinese President Xi Jinping at Chequers, reportedly sought assurance that Hong Kong “would remain semi-autonomous and entitled to choose its own leadership without prior vetting by the Chinese government.” Hong Kong lawmakers however seem to be disappointed: “He should have raised it at a higher level occasion, such as a press conference or other public events...not raising the matter publicly has given people an impression the city a low priority for Britain” South China Morning Post (paywall)</p> <p>Deutsche Bank may slash bonuses by a third. Deutsche Bank, in what appears to be a trend in large investment banks, is expected to cut its bonus budget by $566 million – almost a third. Some MDs are reportedly getting stiffed altogether. Fortune</p> <p>Here comes Patricia. Mexico is battening down the hatches as the strongest hurricane ever recorded heads toward the country’s Pacific coast. Winds are reaching 200-mph, making this storm the most dangerous as well. CNN</p> <p>Nigeria bombing kills 37. At least 37 people were killed and more than 100 wounded Friday when bombs went off in mosques. Militant group Boko Haram is suspected to be behind the attack. Reuters</p> <p>Died: Pimco’s Walter Gerken. The 93-year-old Gerken served as chairman and CEO of Pacific Life Insurance from 1975 to 1986. In the 1960s, Gerken helped turn the firm’s investment unit into the separate subsidiary that became Pimco in 1971. New York Times</p> <p>Google, Amazon in the stratosphere on strong earnings. It wasn’t enough that Google, now a subsidiary of Alphabet, has joined Apple in the $500 billion+ club after blow out earnings.  Plus, the newly restructured company announced a $5.1 billion stock buyout. That is some debut. Meanwhile, Amazon shocked with two consecutive quarters of earnings, pushing its capitalization to more than $300 billion. </p>
People Moves: Nomura appoints new CIO; NPS chairman steps down
<p>Nomura appoints new wealth management CIO. Johnny Heng, a 20-year investment veteran, has recently been named chief investment officer, wealth management, Asia ex-Japan by Nomura.</p> <p>Prior to joining the Japanese firm, Heng was managing director and head of investment services, Asia for the British firm Coutts. Before that, he was head of investment consulting at Credit Suisse’s private bank, and held several positions at Singapore’s GIC, including membership on its management investment committee, as well as global head of equities trading. He will be based in Singapore and will report to Nobuhiro Sano, Head of Wealth Management, Asia ex-Japan. Nomura (pdf)</p> <p>National Pension Service chief steps down. Dr. Choi Kwang, chairman of Korea’s National Pension Service (NPS), has reportedly tendered his resignation from the mammoth sovereign wealth fund.</p> <p>Dr. Choi, who spent most of his career as an economist following his PhD from the University of Maryland, joined the NPS in 2013, and apparently had several months left on his three-year term. Asia Asset</p> <p>Rothschild names new North Asian head of wealth management. Audrey Zau, a 15-year veteran of HSBC, has been appointed head of wealth management for North Asia by Rothschild.</p> <p>Zau joins the firm from BHI Investment Advisors, where she held a similar role. Prior to that – and as previously mentioned – she spent 15 years at HSBC, holding several key roles in the British firm including senior director. She replaces Alois Mueller – who left the firm two years ago – and reports to Richard Martin, chief operating officer of Rothschild’s wealth management and trust business. She will continue to be based in Hong Kong. eFinancialNews</p> <p>&nbsp;<br /> Photo: Luke Ma</p>
People Moves: BNP appoints new APAC primary markets chief; Westpac names new Asia markets boss
<p>BNP appoints new head of primary markets for Asia-Pacific. Frank Kwong, BNP Paribas’ long-time syndicate man, has been appointed head of primary markets for Asia-Pacific by the French firm.</p> <p>He retains his role as head of Asia-Pacific bond syndicate, but will now have oversight over the fixed income group and securitization, among others. He will continue to be based in Hong Kong. Global Capital</p> <p>Westpac names new Asia head of financial markets. Sneha Sanghvi, a former fixed income sales, structuring, and trading heavy, was recently named head of financial markets for Asia by Westpac.</p> <p>Sanghvi joins the Australian bank after two years in Unilever, where she held the role of finance director, covering commodities and chemicals for the British-Dutch multinational. Prior to that, she was a managing director for Morgan Stanley, and had also worked at HSBC. She will be based in Singapore and will report to Balaji Swaminathan, Westpac’s Singapore-based general manager, as well as to Michael Correa, the firm’s Syndey-based head of corporate and international origination and distribution. Finance Asia<br /> Photo: Wendy</p>
HSBC Hedge Weekly: Hedge fund returns YTD 2015 week ending October 23, 2015
Hedge Funds
<p>HSBC Hedge Weekly: Hedge Fund Returns for notable names – YTD 2015 Week Ending October 23, 2015</p> <p>This story originally appeared in ValueWalk.<br /> Photo: Allan Ajifo</p>
CFA Institute opens office in Beijing, holds excellence award ceremony in Hong Kong
<p>CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals that sets the highest standards for education, ethics, and professionalism in a global investment industry, has opened its first office in mainland China, Finbuzz reports.</p> <p>Though the world’s second-largest economy has entered a “new normal” and is no longer a factory of economic growth, China requires world-class financial talents and a mature financial market. With the ongoing internationalization of China’s financial market, the CFA Institute will continue to collaborate closely with Chinese financial authorities and industry professionals to promote the CFA Institute ‘gold standard’ and put it into practice.</p> <p>The CFA Institute Beijing office was formally opened with a ceremony near the office in Oriental Plaza. Speeches were given by members of the CFA Institute global and Chinese leadership teams, financial regulators, and partners.</p> <p>“China is a key growth market for the CFA Institute, driven by the increasing need for talent in the growing financial and asset management industry,” the CFA Institute said in a press statement.</p> <p>Today there are more than 3,000 CFA charter holders in China. Last year alone, there were more than 36,000 CFA exam candidates in China, ranking first in the Asia-Pacific region and second after the United States globally in terms of the number of people taking the exam.</p> <p>“This important milestone in the history of CFA Institute underscores our commitment to China and to the global investment profession,” said Paul Smith, CFA, president and CEO of CFA Institute.</p> <p>A few days earlier the CFA Institute Russia was honored with the 2015 Excellence Award at the Shangri-La Kowloon hotel in Hong Kong. The award recognizes the work and dedication shown by CFA societies and volunteers in several categories. A total of 12 organizations around the world received recognition for their exceptional performance and outstanding innovation. Globally, there are 146 societies in 71 countries. Each society plays a significant role in supporting the CFA Institute mission on a local level by organizing member education, networking opportunities and by building partnerships with universities and companies.</p> <p>About the CFA Institute</p> <p>The CFA charter is one of the most respected professional qualifications in the global investment industry. CFA Institute creates a strong global investment community which raising standards of professional excellence and credentials. The organization is a champion for ethical behavior in investment markets and a respected source of knowledge in the global financial community. The end goal: to create an environment where investors’ interests come first, markets function at their best, and economies grow. CFA Institute is present across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific. Its global operations center is in Charlottesville, Virginia, and it has additional offices in New York City, London, Brussels, Hong Kong, Beijing, and Mumbai.</p> <p>This story (with pictures) originally appeared in FinBuzz.<br /> Photo: Ade Russell</p>
Daily Scan: Stocks end week on a high note; Hurricane Patricia hurtles toward Mexico
<p>Updated throughout the day</p> <p>October 23</p> <p>Good evening. Stocks rallied again Friday after some strong earnings reports and possible ECB stimulus coming soon. The Dow gained 0.9% Friday, after steady growth all day. The S&amp;P 500 rose 1.1% and the Nasdaq added 2.3%. The Peoples Bank of  China announced it is lowering its benchmark rate 0.25% to 4.35% --  the sixth such move since November. Stocks took off on the news in Europe. This follows news on Thursday that the European Central Bank was likely to continue its easy money program in December.</p> <p>Here’s what else you need to know:</p> <p>Here comes Patricia. Mexico is battening down the hatches as the strongest hurricane ever recorded heads toward the country's Pacific coast. Winds are reaching 200-mph, making this storm the most dangerous as well. CNN</p> <p>Nigeria bombing kills 37. At least 37 people were killed and more than 100 wounded Friday when bombs went off in mosques. Militant group Boko Haram is suspected to be behind the attack. Reuters</p> <p>Jeb Bush slashes campaign staff pay. Bush's presidential campaign has been floundering, and the staff are feeling the pressure. Besides hefty pay cuts, job functions will change as the campaign shuffles to stay alive. Politico</p> <p>Died: Pimco's Walter Gerken. The 93-year-old Gerken served as chairman and CEO of Pacific Life Insurance from 1975 to 1986. In the 1960s, Gerken helped turn the firm's investment unit into the separate subsidiary that became Pimco in 1971. New York Times</p> <p>That other guy drops out of the Democratic presidential race. Lincoln Chafee, the former governor and senator of Rhode Island that no one really knows, has dropped out of the presidential race. The former Republican and former Independent was a long shot candidate, and never gained real traction with voters. And then there were three... Politico</p> <p>French bus crash leaves 42 dead. A tour bus collided with a truck in southern France Friday, killing at least 42 people. Only eight people "escaped the flames." Most of the bus passengers were elderly people on holiday. The crash was the worst road accident in France since 1982. CNN</p> <p>Google, Amazon in the stratosphere on strong earnings.  It wasn't enough that Google, now a subsidiary of Alphabet, has joined Apple in the $500 billion+ club after blow out earnings.  Plus, the newly restructured company announced a $5.1 billion stock buyout. That is some debut. Meanwhile, Amazon shocked with two consecutive quarters of earnings, pushing its capitalization to more than $300 billion. MarketWatch</p> <p>Google has six properties with more than 1 billion users. That's Facebook times six. Wowser. MarketWatch</p> <p>Microsoft joined the earnings surprise hit p</p>
People Moves: ICG adds to New York team; Northern Trust builds in Canada
<p>Intermediate Capital Group adds to U.S. private debt team. ICG has hired Jeffrey Rabel for the newly created position of managing director for the U.S. private debt investment team. Rabel will be based in New York. He previously worked as a managing director for financial sponsors group at Barclays Capital in New York. Pensions &amp; Investments</p> <p>Northern Trust grows in Canada. Northern Trust Asset Management has hired Tony Politano for the newly created position of senior client investment officer for the multimanager investment outsourcing practice based in Toronto. Politano comes to the firm from Aon Hewitt Investment Consulting where he worked as a senior investment consultant. Pensions &amp; Investments</p> <p>Kames Capital's North American equities head departs. Marcus Chandler will be leaving the UK-based firm to spend more time with his family. Chandler joined the firm in 2012, and managed the Kames American Equity fund, and co-managed the Kames Global Equity Fund. Chandler previously worked as a fund manager at LV Asset Management, Credit Suisse, and Aberdeen Asset Management. CityWire<br /> Photo: ©iStock.com/ooyoo<br /> &nbsp;</p>
Franklin Templeton looks to acquisitions
<p>Franklin Templeton, which just took a 44% profit hit last quarter, is on an acquisition hunt for alternatives, reports the Financial Times. The company has made a number of acquisitions in the last 10 years, mostly small add-ons to the traditional business. This continued pursuit of alternatives may mean a change to the core of Franklin's business.<br /> Photo: Raúl Hernández González</p>