Category Archives: Hedge funds

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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What is Shadow Banking?

There is much confusion about what shadow banking is and why it might create systemic risks. This column presents shadow banking as ‘all financial activities, except traditional banking, which require a private or public backstop to operate’. The idea that shadow banking is something that needs a backstop changes how we think about regulation. Although it won’t be easy, regulation is possible

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Don Quijones: The Financial Takeover Of “Our” Newspapers

In a newspaper like El País it is no longer possible to criticize the main Spanish banks. And you have to be very careful when talking about the Government, in case it gets angry: its benevolence is needed in order to avoid bankruptcy.”

The above words are from Enríc González, one of Spain’s most respected journalists. With more and more media groups struggling to make ends meet in this new age of Internet journalism and plummeting advertising revenues, one can’t help but wonder just how many other newspapers will soon fall into the clutches of the big banks and corporations.

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Mary Jo White About to Get Off to a Bad Start

Your humble blogger was surprised when Obama nominated Mary Jo White to head the SEC, since her reputation as a tough prosecutor is at odds with Obama’s well established pattern of catering to banks (the fact that he gives them only 97% of what they want is nevertheless offensive enough to their tender sensibilities). I surmised that there had to be an angle here…

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Occupy the SEC Weighs in on Nomination of Mary Jo White to Head the SEC

Occupy the SEC has released one of its characteristically well-though-out and documented letters, in the form of questions it would like to see raised during the Senate hearings on the nomination of Mary Jo White to head the SEC.

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Questioning Health Care Cost/Budget Fearmongering: Consumer Revolt Against Prescription Drug Costs Already Underway

As we discussed last weekend, two Federal Reserve Board economists shot gaping holes the CBO’s health care cost increase assumptions in CBO’s long term fiscal forecasts. As technical as this sounds, these long-term cost increase assumptions are the big driver of the much ballyhooed deficit explosion. And as the Fed economists’ paper discussed in considerable detail, the CBO’s assumptions on the rate of increase look indefensibly aggressive, which in turn means the hysteria about entitlements eating the economy deserves far more scrutiny than it is getting.

Some evidence on the pressures against health care cost trees growing to the sky comes in a new post by Wolf Richter.

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