News > All

Hated ex-hedgie still trying to get in with Bernie
<p>Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkrelli has been pursing presidential candidate Bernie Sanders like a love sick school girl. Shkrelli, who is hated across the U.S. for upping the cost of the drug Daraprim from $13.50 to $750, tried to donate $2,700 to Sanders in October. Sanders turned around and gave a $2,700 donation to a health clinic in response. Shkreli said he hoped his donation would get him face time with Sanders to discuss pharmaceutical policy. While it didn't work, Shkrelli has a new plan.</p> <p>[email protected] You must complete all sections of the application in order to be considered for the position. -Staff<br /> — Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) November 9, 2015<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Photo: NEPA scene</p>
Cohen's Point 72 Asset Management HQ suffers three alarm fire
Hedge Funds
<p>Billionaire hedge funder Steven Cohen's Point 72 Asset Management suffered a fire over the weekend, reports the Stamford Daily Voice.</p> <p>A fire started at the firm's headquarters Saturday morning as workers were installing air conditioning units. Two of the workers were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation, but no one was seriously injured.</p> <p>The firm's trading floor and data rooms were unharmed by the fire.</p> <p>The cause of the fire remains under investigation.<br /> Photo: Andrew Malone</p>
Video: Ray Dalio talks meditating with Martin Scorsese
<p>This was published by ValueWalk. </p>
Video: The US needs more fiscal policy, not monetary policy, says Lawrence Summers
Capital Markets
<p>"I think there's a better way to [boost the economy] than with extraordinarily easy monetary policy," says Lawrence Summers, former Treasury Secretary. The U.S. needs to boost spending on infrastructure, says Summers. "If we push the economy forward using fiscal policy, there would be less need for monetary and financial excess to try to drive the economy forward," he says.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
Making a deposit with the European bank ETF
Asset Management
<p> </p> <p>When it comes to exchange-traded funds that hold bank stocks, many U.S. investors focus on familiar ETFs such as the Select Sector Financial Slct Str SPDR Fd (NYSE: XLF) and theiShares Dow Jones US Financial (ETF) (NYSE: IYF), but that domestic bias could be costing those investors opportunity across the Atlantic.</p> <p>The $340.3 million Ishares MSCI Europe Fincls Sctr Indx Fd (NASDAQ: EUFN) does not have the look of an ETF chock full of upside potential. EUFN has tumbled 9.8 percent over the past 90 days as investors have seemingly punished the fund on the back of dour news, including massive job cuts and substantial share price retrenchment at Deutsche Bank AG (USA) (NYSE: DB).</p> <p>However, Germany's largest bank accounts for just over 2 percent of EUFN's weight and is not even a top 10 ...</p> <p>Full story available on</p> <p>Photo: Neal Jennings</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
China Huarong to issue dollar-denominated bonds
Capital Markets
<p>After raising $2.3 billion in a highly-anticipated and heavily-scrutinized float in Hong Kong, China Huarong Asset Management is setting its sights on bond investors.</p> <p>According to the Wall Street Journal, the “bad” bank turned asset manager has hired Credit Suisse, Standard Chartered Bank, Wing Lung Bank International, and Huarong Securities to handle its upcoming U.S. dollar-denominated bond sale, with the bonds expected to be rated quite favorably by ratings agencies:<br /> “Huarong, which is rated A3 by Moody's, A- by Standard &amp; Poor's and A by Fitch, will issue the bonds under its US$5 billion medium-term note programme, the document said. Its planned bonds are expected to be rated Baa1 by Moody's, BBB+ by Standard &amp; Poor's and A by Fitch.”<br /> The firm – which will issue the notes via its offshore unit – will begin meeting investors on November 10 in Hong Kong and Singapore, though how much the bonds are expected to yield is still unknown at the moment.</p> <p>Offering dollar-denominated bonds continues to be popular among China’s larger companies. Industrial &amp; Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) for instance recently raised $1 billion through a similar offering, while Chinese property developers – until the PBOC rate cut, at least – predominantly relied on offshore bonds to raise capital.<br /> Photo: Philip Taylor</p>
Jim Chanos recommends shorting Alibaba
Hedge Funds
<p>Is Alibaba’s accounting as fake as the watches being sold on it? Probably not, because its pretty hard to out-fake this Audemars Piguet currently for sale there, I mean, it even has replica stamped on its one and only photo. Still, legendary short-seller Jim Chanos seems to be a little bit concerned with the company’s accounting, and might even be building a short position on it at the moment, as CNBC reports:<br /> “Short-selling specialist Jim Chanos pitched Alibaba as a short at a conference Friday, according to sources.</p> <p>Chanos — founder and president of Kynikos Associates — made his pitch at the Morgan Stanley Lyford conference, citing ‘accounting concerns,’ the sources said.”<br /> This isn’t the first time someone singled out Alibaba for numerical shenanigans. Barron’s, in an epic piece which sent BABA shares tumbling, pointed out the “improbability” of the e-commerce giant’s reported growth rate, quoting JCapital Research’s Anne Stevenson-Yang as saying “Alibaba’s financial reports have broken free of verifiable reality and have reached an escape velocity that doesn’t comport with Chinese government figures of overall retail sales, consumer spending, or online commerce.”</p> <p>Meanwhile, Bronte Capital’s John Hempton questioned the company’s delivery numbers, saying that:</p> <p> The company’s 278 million “Singles Day” deliveries mean that “Alibaba delivered more parcels in a single day than Amazon had users in a whole year.”<br /> To process the 8.6 billion packages Alibaba claims to have delivered in a year (versus UPS’ 4.6 billion), the company “would need more staff or capital (or both) than Amazon and UPS combined.” Alibaba has 35,000 full-time staff. UPS has 435,000 and Amazon has 150,000 – plus robots.<br /> And that Alipay’s supposed 2.85 million peak minute transactions beat Visa’s 840,000 per minute global volume, suggesting “a level of shopping in China that puts the US, Europe and most of Asia to shame.”</p> <p>This should an interesting play to watch. Following news of Chanos’ pitch, BABA fell as much as 4%, and even took down Yahoo! by around 3%. Let’s see how it goes from there.<br /> Photo: Insider Monkey</p>
Can Australia's visa program attract China's angels?
Venture Capital
<p>Australian start-ups have long suffered from a dearth of venture capital funding, thanks to the gaping hole left by local superannuation funds withdrawing from the asset class in recent years. But now the country has revamped its Significant Investor Visa (SIV) program, there is hope more wealthy Chinese will park their cash into Australian startups. </p> <p>The Australian Financial Review (AFR) reports that Chinese investors, spooked by economic volatility back home, are lapping it up so far. In the first three months since the program relaunched, investors have put in 70 SIV applications worth $350 million of investment in the past three months. </p> <p>VC don’t get all that money but Chinese investors must put at least 10% of their minimum 5 million Australian dollars ($3.5 million) into VC, while 30% needs to go into small listed companies. Its an improvement on the last visa program which was launched in 2012 but then suspended by April, 2014 because of abuse. Most of the money was going  into low risk assets. </p> <p>So far their is only about $24.7 million potentially available to startups through the scheme. Not a lot but it’s a strong start. Andrew Martin, managing director, at Moelis, which is managing some of these new investments, told AFR:  <br /> "The old scheme was producing around 50 visas a month [$3 billion in annual investment] and we believe it will get back up to that level over time."<br /> Wishful thinking? Perhaps, but the government is not only one betting on China's appetite for Australia. Sapien Ventures, set up in July, is looking to get a slice of a the pie by raising 50 million australian dollars from this the predicted Chinese angel influx.<br /> Photo: Paul Bica</p>
Perfect storms
Capital Markets
<p>"The perfect storm" is a succinct metaphor for a confluence of factors that produce a catastrophic effect, but perhaps it's getting a little tired. Derived from the 2000 disaster movie of the same name, it is used to describe several forces(normally three) to explain a nasty outcome.</p> <p>Monday's Financial Times has people using the expression twice in different stories:</p> <p>“The outlook is uncertain for our industry,” Andrea Orcel, UBS investment banking boss, told the Financial Times in the week his bank reported a return on equity of about 30 per cent. “We’re facing somewhat of a perfect storm, from market, regulation and competitor headwinds.” (paywall)</p> <p>And accounting for an exodus of senior staff from Franklin Templeton this year:</p> <p>"Rory Callagy, an analyst at Moody’s, the rating agency, said Franklin has been at the centre of a “perfect storm”: overexposure to emerging markets, misguided bets on energy prices, weak performance and heavy withdrawals."</p> <p>Any other "perfect storms" we should be worrying about, or is it time to change the metaphor?<br /> Photo: Emilio Küffer<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
Swedbank hack attack highlights pitfalls of digital economy
<p>As Sweden forges ahead with its ambitions to become the world's first cashless society, a recent hack attack on Swedbank’s website offers a sobering reminder of the perils of a digital economy. </p> <p>Finextra reports that the Swedbank site vanished from the web on Friday morning after the bank suffered its second distributed denial of services (DDoS) attack* in as many months. </p> <p>Thankfully, the hack attack did not compromise the bank’s security or its assets. But it is a reminder that cybersecurity will have big role to play as Sweden tries to convince its citizens that digital money is safer. </p> <p>For its part Swedebank seems largely unfazed by the episode with a spokesman saying: </p> <p>"It is not the first time and it will probably not be the last one.”</p> <p>*A DDoS attack is an attempt to make an online service unavailable by overwhelming it with traffic from multiple sources. Attackers build networks of infected computers, known as 'botnets', by spreading malicious software via emails and social networks.</p> <p>Photo: Vincent Diamante</p>