Category Archives: Hedge funds

Senate Report: Hedge Funds Used Basket Options to Save Billions in Taxes

The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations released a report today that found that hedge funds have been using basket options to save billion in taxes. And when we say “billions,” the report indicates it’s more like tens of billions, since the paper estimates that the tax reduction achieved at one hedge fund, Renaissance Technology, operated by the famed James Simons, was $6.8 billion.

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Ignacio Portes: Paul Singer v. Argentina – A Thriller Reaches Its Climax

The protracted legal saga between Argentina and NML Capital, Paul Singer’s hedge fund, owner of a fraction of Argentina’s non-restructured, pre-2001’s default debt, went through a decisive moment last week, when the Supreme Court of the United States declined to hear Argentina’s appeal. With the “stay” order lifted after the Supremes Court’s decision, Argentina faced a huge conundrum that needs solving before June 30th, when an interest payment on its restructured debt is due.

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SEC Lawyer on Goldman CDO Case Describes How the Agency Wimped Out

Susan Beck at American Lawyer (hat tip Abigail Field) has managed to get an inside view of what was going on at the SEC when it launched its case against Goldman and a Goldman vice president, Fabrice Tourre, over a Goldman CDO called Abacus that went spectacularly bad. So was the SEC corrupt or merely incompetent?

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Bill Black:The Department of Justice’s Willful Blindness to the Willful Blindness of CEOs (Steve Cohen Edition)

Yves here. I’ve been loath to write about the prosecution of SAC Capital because I’ve viewed it as a misuse of scarce SEC and DoJ resources. We had a global financial crisis and they make their top priorities two hedgie insider traders, Raj Rajaratnam and Steve Cohen?

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Who Should Young People Throw Under the Bus: Granny or Billionaire Hedgie Stan Druckenmiller?

Without attempting to wade too deeply into the goo of Friedman’s latest column, let’s limit ourselves to the the fact that Friedman is running PR for former Soros Fund Management lead investor Stan Druckenmiller. The column also serves to illustrate how Serious People like Friedman were ready to jump on the deficit cutting bandwagon once the shutdown/debt ceiling drama was put to rest for a bit.

Druckemiller’s latest cause is to foment generational warfare.

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Yanis Varoufakis: Johnny (Paulson) Got His Gun and is Aiming at Bigger Subsidies for His Greek Bank Investments

Yves here. A couple of days ago, we linked to a Financial Times story that featured hedge fund investor John Paulson talking up his investments in the two large Greek banks, Alpha Bank and Piraeus Bank. As a savvy investor buddy once remarked, “When some is talking up something they own, be on the watch that they are actually selling.” In this case, as Varoufakis describes, what Paulson is actually pushing for is for the Troika to change the pricing of warrants on his Greek bank investments because they aren’t providing the big payoff he wanted. So he is indeed “selling” in that he wants his payday now but needs to get official bodies to give him even more subsidies to get there.

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Taibbi on How Wall Street is Looting Public Pension Funds

You must go, pronto, and read Matt Taibbi’s latest expose, on how hedge funds are plundering public pension funds, meaning pension funds managed on behalf of government employees like policemen, sanitation workers, and teachers. Taibbi describes how a concerted PR campaign has made workers the scapegoats for large pension shortfalls when in fact public officials and unscrupulous financiers (both through their machinations with these funds and via damage done by the global financial crisis) are the real perps.

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