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Investment Management: Time for New Leaders and Exiting Comfort Zones

Dec 10th, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Consultants, Private Equity, The A.I. Industry, Industry Size & Managers, Institutional Investing, Socially responsible investing, Hedge Funds, Equity Types of Private Equity, Other Issues in Private Investments, Business News, Institutional Asset Management, Private Investments, SRI and Clean Energy

Disruption is the trend of the moment in many industries and the investment world is no exception. Deloitte Insights has just posted an article that takes a comprehensive look at the investment world today, traditional and alternative. Its theme is that this world is in search of new leadership andRead More


Icahn Loses Match: Knocked Out on A Books-and-Records Issue

Nov 21st, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, Hedge Fund Strategies, The A.I. Industry, Equity Hedge Funds, Hedge Funds, Event-Driven Hedge Funds, Business News

The phrase “books and records” hardly suggests excitement. Yet, the cliched corporate lawyers’ phrase is not without payoff, either. Activist hedge funds are always interested in ammunition that will help them shake up entrenched managements and unlock value. The question often arises during the resultant fights: when does an activist/dissidentRead More


Machine Learning: Beyond the Fear of Unknown Unknowns

Nov 17th, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, Technology, Artificial Intelligence, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, The A.I. Industry, Equity Hedge Funds, Alpha Strategies, Hedge Funds, Event-Driven Hedge Funds, Business News, Macro and Managed Futures Funds, Other Topics in A.I.

Machine learning as a way of managing a portfolio is a “wave of the future” with a lot of sea to cover before it breaks on the shore. Meson Capital Partners has sent its investors an update and summary for 2019 Q3 regarding its managed market neutral fund, and thisRead More


More ‘Greater Fools’ After WeWork

Nov 14th, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, The A.I. Industry, Debt Types of Private Equity, Venture capital, Equity Types of Private Equity, Other Issues in Private Investments, Business News, Private Investments

The term “greater fool theory” refers to the many circumstances in which speculators buy a (potentially) productive asset, basing their buy decision not on the asset’s operational value, but on the notion that there is a “greater fool” out there who will pay even more. The term refers, then, toRead More


Investors Want Liquidity and They Want it Now

Nov 7th, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, Private Equity, Hedge Fund Strategies, The A.I. Industry, Debt Types of Private Equity, Institutional Investing, Hedge Funds, Equity Types of Private Equity, The Global Economy & Currencies, Other Issues in Private Investments, Business News, Economics, Institutional Asset Management, Private Investments, Macroeconomics, Allocating to A.I., Finance & Economics, Other Topics in A.I.

A recent publication from Fidelity Institutional Asset Management, while looking at the money markets in the US, emphasizes that investors are looking for liquidity. The report, written by Kerry Pope and Chris Lewis, each an institutional portfolio manager with FIAM, begins with a discussion of the Federal Reserve’s September rateRead More


Mergers and Acquisitions Trending Down in Europe

Nov 5th, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, Private Equity, The A.I. Industry, Debt Types of Private Equity, Equity Types of Private Equity, Business News, Private Investments

In  a new report, Pitchbook looks at the mergers and acquisitions trends in Europe. In 2019 through September, the value of European M&A is lower than it has been since 2014, and the volume is lower than it has been since 2010. Only two sectors did not see year-on-year declinesRead More


It’s Not Cheating for Market Makers to Pay for Order Flow

Oct 24th, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Hedge Fund Strategies, The A.I. Industry, Asset Managers, Hedge Funds, Business News

Larry Tabb, in a piece in the Financial Times, has defended the controversial practice of payment for order flow (PFOF). Let’s start with PFOF and why it’s controversial. The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority defined PFOF in a recent white paper as the practice in which an investment firm, typically aRead More


Past performance guarantees no future results

Oct 17th, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, The A.I. Industry, Financial Economics Theory, Risk management, Business News, Risk Management Strategies & Processes, Finance & Economics

Since, as everyone says, “past performance is no guarantee of future results,” a history of close correlation between two assets, or between a single asset and a benchmark, is no guarantee of future correlation. The threat that a correlation upon which a particular investor has relied will cease to applyRead More


Of Colossal Fools and Fossil Fuels

Oct 15th, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, What about beta?, Social investing, Socially responsible investing, The Global Economy & Currencies, Alternative energy, Business News, Economics, Climate change, SRI and Clean Energy, Macroeconomics, Other Topics in A.I.

By Bill Kelly, CEO, CAIA Association The saying “fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me” has its origins all the way back to the 1600’s when most of the carbon now in our atmosphere was “safely” encased in limestone and other rock formations within theRead More


Meet the New Crisis: Looks Like the Old Crisis

Oct 13th, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, The A.I. Industry, The Global Economy & Currencies, Business News, Economics, Risk Management Strategies & Processes

Last month saw an extraordinary spike in the interest rates of the repo market—the market that consists of the (very) short-term, usually the overnight, borrowing of government securities. Hedge funds, along with other institutions such as trading firms and banks, regularly hand over US Treasury bills and the like inRead More


Spoti-sly

Sep 30th, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, What about beta?, Retail Investing, Private Equity, Venture capital, Equity Types of Private Equity, Business News, Private Investments

By Bill Kelly, CEO, CAIA Association How do you turn a millennial into a capitalist? Sell her SNAP in the post-IPO market. A little hindsight here shows how ridiculous this all looked. The initial sellers of the shares were the founders and their VCs (just under 30% of the offering),Read More


When Exchanges are Complements, not Competitors

Sep 26th, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, The A.I. Industry, Equity Hedge Funds, Hedge Funds, Business News, Finance & Economics

One regular theme of coverage and analysis that involves the listed equities, including analysis of the pursuit of alpha, is that many of the users of these markets claim, often quite obstreperously, that the exchanges charge more than makes sense and some restructuring of the industry is in order. TheRead More


Corporate Restructuring: United States vs. United Kingdom

Sep 2nd, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, Private Equity, Hedge Fund Strategies, The A.I. Industry, Debt Types of Private Equity, Insolvency, Regulatory Environment, Hedge Funds, Event-Driven Hedge Funds, Other Issues in Private Investments, Business News, Private Investments

David Stevenson, a US District Court Judge for the Northern District of Texas, has presented his analysis of the  differences between the law in the United Kingdom and the United States concerning “a debtor’s ability to approve a restructuring arrangement over the objection of creditors that disapprove.” This is moreRead More


QUANT STRATEGIES: THEORY VS. REALITY

Aug 11th, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Hedge Fund Strategies, The A.I. Industry, Equity Hedge Funds, Liquid Alternative Investiments, Hedge Funds, Smart Beta, Other Topics in A.I.

By Nicolas Rabener of FactorResearch (@FactorResearch) INTRODUCTION When pitching an investment product with a backtested history the frequent response from potential investors is that they have never seen a bad backtest. Naturally this is true as there is no point in marketing a strategy with a poor backtest as investorsRead More


One Year Left to Run on Critical No-Action Letters for Investment Managers

Jul 18th, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, The A.I. Industry, Risk management, Business News, Risk Management Strategies & Processes

The Securities and Exchange Commission issued three no-action letters on the issue of research payments, in light of developments on that issue in Europe in 2017. Specifically, they dealt with the cross-border of Europe’s rules (MiFID II), which were scheduled to take effect, and which did take effect, on Jan.Read More


Tick Size and High-Frequency Trading

Jul 15th, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, The A.I. Industry, Business News

A lot of hopes have been placed on changes in market tick sizes. In the 1990s there was a big push to reduce the tick sizes of securities, allowing them to get down to one cent or fractions thereof. In the new millennium came a sense of regret. Observers suspectedRead More


Quantum Computing Will Mess Up all Expectations

Jul 11th, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, The A.I. Industry, Technology, Other Issues in Private Investments, Business News, Private Investments, Risk Management & Operations

There are reports that Google is preparing an announcement of “quantum supremacy” for later this year. If true, this is the biggest tech story since the transistor replaced vacuum tubes. It could be a disruptive development for just about every business with an IT department. Among much else, quantum supremacyRead More


ICE Futures Gets Its Speed Bump

Jun 4th, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, Commodities, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, The A.I. Industry, Commodities, Business News

On Feb. 1, ICE Futures US Inc., informed the Commodity Futures Trading Commission that it was instituting a new “speed bump,” formally called the Passive Order Protection (or POP) Functionality for its gold daily and silver daily futures markets. The idea of POP is to limit the advantage that canRead More


Trade Tensions, Tariffs and European Volatility

May 30th, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, Derivatives, The A.I. Industry, The Global Economy & Currencies, Business News, Economics, Macroeconomics, Finance & Economics

By Mark Shore As the discussions of trade wars and tariffs persisted throughout 2018 and into 2019, it may have influenced a sense of uncertainty in the global financial and commodity markets as companies might have to rethink their supply chains and manage potential disruptions and at least in theRead More


Interest Rate Derivatives, Announcements and HFT: It’s All About Timing

May 23rd, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, The A.I. Industry, Credit Derivatives, Structured Credit Products, Structured Products

Three scholars associated with the University of Wollogong, Australia, recently published a paper on the contribution of high-frequency traders to the absorption of new information by the markets, especially in relation to the prices of interest rate derivatives. The study is the work of Alex Frino, Michael Garcia, and IvyRead More


Ramsay on the Stay of the TFP: Reform will Proceed

Apr 9th, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, The A.I. Industry, Business News

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently imposed a stay on part of its transaction fee pilot (TFP). There is understandably a good deal of debate about the significance of this stay. The TFP, initiated in December 2018 with the expectation that it would run for at least one year, andRead More


High-Frequency-Trading Firms: Fast, Faster, Fastest

Apr 2nd, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Hedge Fund Strategies, The A.I. Industry, Equity Hedge Funds, Hedge Funds, Business News

Many high-frequency trading (HFT) firms have disappeared into larger firms as merger activity has increased recently. Those acquired include Chopper, Infinium, Teza, RGM Advisors, and Sun Trading. It also includes Getco, the Chicago-based firm founded in 1999 by two former floor traders that almost defined the field for some time.Read More


Bayesian Probability Theory and a Hierarchical Learning Portfolio

Mar 19th, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, The A.I. Industry, Financial Economics Theory, The Global Economy & Currencies, Business News, Finance & Economics

Two scholars working with Bayesian probability theory recently published a fascinating discussion of market timing and portfolio efficiency. They have proposed what they call a “hierarchical ensemble learning portfolio.” Yes, that sounds rather heavy on the jargon. We’ll break it down a bit in what follows. The authors of theRead More


Algorithms Moving into the Bond Markets

Mar 17th, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, The A.I. Industry, Risk management, Risk Metrics and Measurement, Risk Management Strategies & Processes

Algorithmic trading may fairly be said to have conquered the public equities world, although there are still pockets of resistance and related controversies. The robots have now turned their attention to the bond markets. Bond markets are different from stock markets in a lot of ways, and many of theseRead More


Transaction Fees: Market Structure Goes to Court

Feb 26th, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, The A.I. Industry, Business News, Finance & Economics

The NYSE, on Thursday, Feb. 14, Nasdaq, and Cboe Global Markets (the following day) have united to bring lawsuits against the Securities and Exchange Commission to stop its transaction fee pilot. These are the three largest US equity exchanges and their attitude toward their regulator is usually one of cooperation.Read More


Smart Beta and Tail Events

Feb 5th, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, The A.I. Industry, Financial Economics Theory, Liquid Alternative Investiments, Business News, Smart Beta, Finance & Economics, Other Topics in A.I.

A sound “portfolio optimization strategy” is one that takes into consideration how its assets are behaving in the bad times, those that represent the left-side tail of the bell curve. This is not all that novel an idea, but Maria Kartsakli and Felix Schlumpf, Zurich Insurance Company executives, give itRead More


10 Years Later: Reflections on the Madoff Meltdown

Dec 23rd, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Media Coverage of Hedge Funds, The A.I. Industry, Due Diligence Process, Insolvency, Regulatory Environment, Legislation/Court rulings, Alternative Investments in Context, Business News

It was just about 10 years ago (Dec. 10, 2008) that Bernie Madoff acknowledged to his sons, Mark and Andrew, that he had “absolutely nothing left” of the funds that had been entrusted to him; that the investment fund that bore his name was “just one big lie.” There isRead More


Who Killed the Brokaw Paper Mill?  Not the usual hedge fund suspects

Dec 2nd, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, The A.I. Industry, Equity Hedge Funds, Insolvency, Hedge Funds, Event-Driven Hedge Funds, Business News

A new paper in the Journal of Business, Entrepreneurship, and the Law looks at the “Brokaw bill” of 2016 and at the facts said to have motivated it. This turns out to be an object lesson in how scary hedge funds, especially activist hedge funds, look to legislators, and theRead More


A Brief History of Asset Allocation

Oct 16th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, CAPM / Alpha Theory, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Hedge Fund Strategies, The A.I. Industry, Financial Economics Theory, Risk management, Crowdfunding, Hedge Funds, Emerging Alternative Investments, Risk Metrics and Measurement, Business News, Risk Management Strategies & Processes, Finance & Economics, Other Topics in A.I.

Glassbridge has put out an ambitious white paper about the “evolution of asset allocation across the investment management industry,” one that begins with the basics of the Capital Asset Pricing Model and ends with quantitative analysis and crowdsourcing. The premise is that new strategies, and new ranges of data, areRead More


National Market System: What to End; What to Mend

Oct 14th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, The A.I. Industry, Regulatory, Regulatory Environment, Commodities, Business News

The Principal Traders Group of the Futures Industry Association (FIA PTG) recently offered its thoughts on market structure, outlining one direction of reform for the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Reg NMS. Reg NMS (National Market System) was promulgated in 2005, in order to ensure competition among markets, and in theRead More


Back to the 1980s for future market insights

Sep 6th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, The A.I. Industry, Business News, Economics, Finance & Economics, Other Topics in A.I.

Christina Zhu, of the University of Pennsylvania, in a recent paper, looks at the consequences of Big Data for corporate management. What “Big Data” means depends on who is talking or writing about it. For economists working within the classic microeconomic framework, it means a drastic fall in the cost of acquiring information.Read More


Inaccurate News Analytics: When Robots Get Things Wrong

Aug 28th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, The A.I. Industry, Equity Hedge Funds, Hedge Funds, Event-Driven Hedge Funds, Business News

A new study prepared for the Federal Reserve Board looks at the use of algorithms to read and interpret financial news. While there have been a lot of studies that have looked at this topic, one unique feature of this new paper, “First to ‘Read’ the News,” is that itRead More


Stein’s Law and Rising Production Costs

Jun 26th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Commodities, Investing in Commodities, Insolvency, Commodities, Business News

Herbert Stein, who was President Richard Nixon’s chairman of the Counsel of Economic Advisors, is often quoted as saying, “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.” This statement, known as “Stein’s Law,” has the right ring of profundity about it, a mixture of tautology and empirically verifiable generalization.Read More


Quants and Fundamentalists Unite!

May 31st, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, The A.I. Industry, Hedge Funds, Fees, Structure of the Hedge Funds Industry

By standard definition, a “quantitative” investing strategy is one that selects securities using customized models, often algorithm-driven and thus on the operational level independent of human judgment. Again working from standard definitions, a “fundamental” investing strategy involves an examination of whether the entity issuing a security (corporation, sovereign, or other)Read More


The CBOE and VIX: The Appearance of Manipulation

May 6th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Commodities, Business News, Finance & Economics

On April 23, 2018, the chairman and the president of the Chicago Board Options Exchange issued an open letter to address concerns that the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is subject to manipulation. There were at least two incitements behind this letter. First, its authors, Chairman Ed Tilly and President ChrisRead More


What Makes Big Data So … Big?

Mar 22nd, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Business News, Finance & Economics

The term “big data” has become a cliché. One has to remind one’s self that it is a somewhat ill-fitting label. What is new about the world of data isn’t that there is a lot of it; nor that on the software end the processing of data becomes easier overRead More


SCOTUS Decision Regarding Distressed Assets, Safe Harbors & Clawbacks

Mar 13th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Insolvency, Business News, Finance & Economics

The U.S. Supreme Court decision in Merit Management v. FTI Consulting may prove important to distressed asset managers, who need to know when defendants can assert the protection of the “safe harbor” provision of federal bankruptcy law, thus avoiding clawbacks. Section 546(e) of the statute says that a debtor mayRead More


Top 5 Alpha Stories of 2017

Dec 31st, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, The A.I. Industry, Insolvency, oil, Commodities, Business News, Commodities: Examples, Finance & Economics

In surveying this year for dramatic alpha-related stories, we have much whence to choose. This was the year in which the Murdoch family announced its intention to sell some of their highest value holdings to Disney. Also, in 2017 the EQT Rice merger (contested, unsuccessfully, by one prominent hedge fundRead More


Artificial Intelligence and Productivity: NBER Takes a Look

Nov 21st, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, The Global Economy & Currencies, Business News, Macroeconomics, Finance & Economics

A new working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research, in Cambridge, Mass., discusses what its authors see as a paradox: although artificial intelligence has made astonishing advances in the last 20 years, taking along with it related technologies and stock prices, real income has stagnated, and productivity seemsRead More


Amato on the Late-Cycle Dilemma

Nov 16th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Personalities in AI, Business News, Other Topics in A.I.

Joseph V. Amato, president of Neuberger Berman Group LLC and Chief Investment Officer – Equities at Neuberger Berman, has written a thoughtful discussion of late about where the markets, and the business cycle, stands. This, the end of 2017, is a “late cycle” moment. Equities continue to rise, but theRead More


4 Lessons from the EQT Proxy Context

Nov 14th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Equity Hedge Funds, Hedge Funds, Event-Driven Hedge Funds, Business News, Finance & Economics

D.E. Shaw & Co., a hedge fund manager with an activist strategy and with about 4% of the equity in EQT Corp., said on September 14 that it thought the then-pending acquisition of Rice Energy Inc (RICE) by EQT should be contingent on two commitments: first, that EQT would mergeRead More


Algorithmic Traders: Proprietary, Agency, Liquidity

Nov 9th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Business News, Finance & Economics

Two scholars affiliated with the Indian Institute of Management, in Calcutta, have posted a paper about the effects of algorithmic trading on liquidity. This paper, by Samarpan Nawn and Ashok Banerjee, based on the first chapter of Nawn’s Ph.D. dissertation, distinguishes sharply between proprietary algorithmic traders and agency algorithmic traders,Read More


Federal Reserve on Counterparties to the next Lehman Brothers

Nov 2nd, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Service Providers, Insolvency, Operations, Business News, Risk Management & Operations

The Federal Reserve has issued a final rule relating to the qualified financial contracts (QFCs) of global systemically important U.S. banking institutions (GSIBs). Derivatives & Repo Report, a blog maintained by the international law firm Perkins Coie, has done a thorough write-up on the subject, to which the material belowRead More


Are Clearinghouses Systemically Risky? Gary Cohn is Heard From

Oct 31st, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Insolvency, Hedge Funds, Business News, Structure of the Hedge Funds Industry

Economists sometimes cite a “law of unintended consequences.” This is what it sounds like, the principle that actions of people, inclusive of and perhaps (depending on who is writing) especially the actions of a government, have unanticipated and (as far as third party observers can judge intentions) unintended consequences. InRead More


International Debt Enforcement: Nautical Twists and Turns

Oct 17th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Insolvency, Business News, Finance & Economics

Since sovereign debts and collection issues we shall always have with us, it is not amiss to look back four years to a decision by the Supreme Court of Ghana issued in June 2013, on NML Capital’s effort to enforce its judgment against the Republic of Argentina through the seizureRead More


AIMA and SGPS on Managed Futures and CTAs

Sep 28th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, CTA, The A.I. Industry, Investing in Commodities, Commodities, Business News, Institutional Asset Management, Macro and Managed Futures Funds, Allocating to A.I.

The Alternative Investment Management Association and Societe Generale Prime Services have together put out a white paper about managed futures funds and the commodity trading advisers who manage them. A key themes of the paper is that managed futures strategies aren’t as risky as are typical investments in equity markets.Read More


High-Frequency Trading and Spoofing   

Aug 31st, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Investing in Commodities, Commodities, Business News, Risk Management & Operations

Six years ago Michael Coscia placed orders through the CME Group’s Globex platform via a trading algorithm that amounted to “spoofing.” He placed both large and small orders in the copper market, for example, with the large orders (cancelled within milliseconds) designed to create the illusion of market movement inRead More


BIS Numbers and the Market for Forex NDFs

Jun 1st, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Forex, The Global Economy & Currencies, Business News, Finance & Economics

A little over a year ago, the Bank for International Settlements announced its 11th Triennial Central Bank Survey of Foreign Exchange and Over the Counter Derivatives Market Activity. In recent days, Pragma Securities has referenced those BIS numbers in explaining the market for its latest service, an expansion of PragmaRead More


Why They Call it an Absolute Priority Rule

Apr 9th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Hedge Funds, Event-Driven Hedge Funds, Business News, Finance & Economics

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent opinion in Czyzewski v. Jevic Holding Corp. matters to hedge funds pursuing a distressed assets strategy, because the Justices have now made it more clear than they had before that the absolute priority rule under the U.S. bankruptcy code’s chapter 11 is … absolute. ItRead More


Moszoro and Bykhovsky on Political Cognitive Biases

Feb 12th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Business News, Finance & Economics

In the politically charged atmosphere of our day, especially in the United States since the most recent presidential inauguration, it would be unwise to presume that hedge fund managers are exempt from political cognitive biases, or that these biases leave their portfolio decisions unaffected. Marian Moszoro and Michael Bykhovsky co-wroteRead More