Hedge Funds

Give Dan Loeb An Oscar

(YouTube) As you may have heard, Dan Loeb is in a little tiff with the people who run Campbell’s Soup. As such, you may be expecting a blistering open letter to a board of directors right now. Perhaps a scorching PowerPoint presentation laying out in excruciating detail all of Campbell’s many, many failings. But Dan Loeb’s rage cannot be contained to such media; he’s branching out. And no matter what that asshole George Clooney says, the man has a flair for film. And his brutal putdowns come across just as strongly on video as in the black and white of the printed word. [embedded content] OK, so maybe the “Mmm Mmm Bad” bit’s a little hokey and dated. (Does Campbell’s still even use “Mmm Mmm Good” in commercials anymore? I don’t think I’ve seen one since Donovan McNabb was starring in them,...

‘One Of The Greatest Houses In New York’ Available For 2,500 Units Of One Of The Worst Currencies On Earth

(Google Maps) Do you have $15.9 million worth of fake currency that used to be $49 million worth of fake currency? Would you like to turn that into something tangible before it becomes $8.75 million worth of fake currency? Or less? Maybe something nice and solid like 10,720 square feet on Riverside Drive? “One of the greatest houses in New York,” if you’re interested in its seller’s opinion? If so, get in touch with Roy Niederhoffer right away. The hedge fund manager is eager to turn his $12.9 million investment into something less than that. “I’m a big believer in Bitcoin,” he says. “I really am so bullish on it, and I want to own more of it.” Were someone to pay in the cryptocurrency, Niederhoffer says, he would simply cover his share of the closing costs in hard currency. “Whatever the ...

Jeff Vinik Invests In The Vandelay Industries Of Silk

George Costanza thinks we should all be ensconced in velvet. Jeff Vinik is a hedge fund manager, and his tastes run a little richer. Vinik, 59, led an investment of $30 million in silk startup Silk Inc., a maker of pure silk skincare products. The new money, which bring Silk’s total funding to $51 million at an undisclosed valuation, will be used to expand into the coating of textiles, such as performance materials, that would typically be done with chemicals…. Silk Inc.’s difference is that it is producing pure silk protein in liquid form from natural silk cocoons and water, according to Greg Altman, Silk’s cofounder and chief executive. The all-natural product could be used to coat textiles in a way that would allow them to avoid chemicals that could seep into their wearers’ skins. The T...

Maybe Don’t Pick Your Hedge Fund Manager Based On His Ability To Get You Invited To Elton John’s Oscars Party

By Ernst Vikne [CC BY-SA 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons During his career as a hedge fund manager, Raymond Montoya told his clients many things: That he managed $4 billion. That he was investing all their money in stocks and bonds, and making them a killing while doing so. That he definitely wasn’t running a Ponzi scheme. Oh, and that he could get you into Elton John’s blowout Academy Awards party. Only one of these things was true. Montoya may have lured in investors by getting them invitations to exclusive parties attended by big names, including the glamorous Elton John Academy Awards party two years ago. Cathy Roth, an accountant, was invited and remembered the thrill of riding in a limo to the fete. She said being seated next to Hollywood royalty was intoxicating. And came with a hell o...

Elderly Soup Scions Invite Dan Loeb’s Ire, Get It

© José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro / In recent years, Dan Loeb has sought to shed his reputation for being a bit of an asshole. Once the poison pen’s most formidable wielder, he’s tried to be, well, nicer at times, using more ingratiating and complimentary language in place of brutal put-downs and demands for heads on plates now. This has worked out pretty well for him. But the old Dan Loeb is still in there, and can be called upon when necessary. For instance, when a bunch of aged canned-soup heirs and heiresses tell him he can’t have what he want, which is to say a new board of directors for the family company that doesn’t include them that will hopefully choose to blow the whole damned thing up, and will instead get what he very much does not want, which is more of the same. In that case, Ne...

Sears Is Dead. Eddie Lampert Is Still Very Much OK.

By Jonrev at English Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons It was inevitable, but feels shocking and weird all the same: Sears is bankrupt. If its lenders get their way, it soon will be no more. What was once the world’s largest retailer, the place where everyone went to buy everything and have awkward family photos taken in the meantime, and which has since withered to a skeleton crew of 700 (going on 500) empty, dirty and depressing stores, will soon be but a memory, a footnote in the histories of its children Land’s End and Craftsman and probably eventually Kenmore, brought low by the Walton family, Jeff Bezos and a weirdo hedge-fund manager who was college roommates with our current weirdo Treasury Secretary. That hedge-fund weirdo, Eddie Lampert, didn’t want this day to com...

Inside Hedge Funders With @CreditNegative: Crash Is King

I CAREFULLY HOIST A LASAGNA INTO THE LOWER PORTION OF MY LEOPARD PRINT SNUGGIE (MY SUBORDINATES HAVE REFUSED TO DO BOTH MY DISHES AND LAUNDRY FOR SEVERAL YEARS) AND GINGERLY TROT TO MY WORKSTATION, WHERE I REST THE ITALIAN DISH ON MY BEEFY QUADRICEPS. I BEGIN WRITING MY LETTER TO MY JAMAICAN INVESTORS, WHO BE VERY CONCERNED WITH ME Q3 UNDERPERFORMANCE. “YOU GON’ DONE BE VERY PATIENT WITH YOUR CAPITAL NOW, IT IS NOT THE TIME TO STOP JAMMIN’ WITH ME.” I EXPERTLY EXPLAIN THAT THE CHINESE, WHO ARE DEVELOPING A FINAL SOLUTION TO HALTING DISGUSTING WESTERN CAPITALISM IN THEIR COUNTRY (“CRAZY RICH ASIANS”, A BRILLIANT PROPAGANDA FILM), ARE OUT TO GET ME, AND THAT I AM THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN PROTECT THEIR CAPITAL FROM A DEVASTATING BLITZKRIEG OF NEGATIVE ALPHA. “YOU ARE A VERY LUCKY 888 CLIENT BASE ...

Don’t Make Eddie Lampert Do This

Good night, sweet prince. By Jonrev at English Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons For months, Eddie Lampert has sought to convince people—specifically, the other poor bastards who own Sears Holding stock—that he’s prepared to let the company die if he doesn’t get his way. Specifically, if he doesn’t get to buy the only remaining parts of the famed and doomed retailer that are still worth owning, and also by restructuring its debt in such a way as to make him another $1 billion on a company that’s lost $11 billion since he took over. He’s done it before, and he’ll do it again. Don’t believe him? Well, wait and see. But not for long. Or, you know, don’t, and we can all keep playing for a little while longer. Sears Holdings Corp. has hired M-III Partners LLC to prepare a bankrup...

Izzy Englander Has More Than Paid For His Wife’s New Alone Time Place

Izzy Englander Back in April, Caryl Englander decided she needed some space, and the 20-plus rooms she and hubby Izzy Englander own at 740 Park were not cutting it for the necessary alone time. So she bought a $60 million apartment 15 blocks away. Happily, whether it was the RVs or the last positive returns from that quant portfolio he just killed or a combination thereof, Izzy’s having no problem paying for it. Izzy Englander’s Millennium Management returned 8.3 percent this year through September with its main hedge fund, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The firm’s flagship multistrategy fund rose 1.1 percent last month, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. Also, Ken Griffin’s made almost enough this year to pay for his Pa...

Bill Ackman Reveals Long Positions In Starbucks And Love

Remember at the beginning of the year, when we learned that Bill Ackman had decided maybe it was time to let the old ways die? By retreating into himself, shrinking the size of Pershing Square Capital and refocusing himself away from being Bill Ackman, he could return to being the kind of ingeniously canny investor who made Bill Ackman a bold-faced name in the first place. Less attention to getting attention and more measured, studious, monastical thinking about the kind of investment philosophies that would prevent another Herbalife, or Family Dollar, or Chipotle. Well, it’s about 10 months later and the long-term return on that plan seems to be a conclusive “FUCK that noise!” Bill has spent the last few months making big ol’ bets on some of his favorite bad habits, taking passive positio...

Paul Singer May Or May Not Be Becoming A Nicer Person

“How much longer do I have to hold this?” Paul Singer has certainly been a busy boy this year. The busiest, if we’re counting by number of activist campaigns embarked upon. And at times, he’s very much sounded like his old self, as when telling people that Michael Dell’s plan to retake his company public in some way, shape or form is “pretty awful,” or in his epic takedown of all things cryptocurrent. But longtime Singerologists, such as myself, have noticed that the great man and his hedge fund, Elliott Management, has become somewhat less prone to immediately resorting to the cutting barb or army of holograms, and more likely to use words like “encouraging” and “world class,” the latter specifically about a brand that was setting setting people’s genitals on fire. Indeed, this is somethi...

Hedge Fund Legend’s Best Ideas Frankly Not Very Good

By SimpleIcon http://www.simpleicon.com/ (http://www.flaticon.com/packs/simpleicon-business) [CC BY 3.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons Ten years ago, as the hedge fund industry was roiled by the financial crisis, the brain behind Balyasny Asset Management had an idea. Sure, I’ve got dozens of teams trading all sorts of strategies, but let’s be honest: All people want from Balyasny Asset Management is more Balyasny. All Balyasny, if possible. And if that’s what the people want, that is what they shall have, in the form of the Atlas Fundamental fund, giving investors “direct access to Dmitry Balyasny” and his very best ideas. Ten years later, it seems no one wants “direct access” to Balyasny’s best ideas, as they have pulled all of their capital from Atlas Fundamental. This is probably because Bal...