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Business News

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


Big Data is Old Hat: Machine Learning is Hot

Jan 26th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Benchmarking & Performance Attribution, Business News, Allocating to A.I., Finance & Economics

A year ago, in a report on Big Data and investment management, Citi Business Advisory Services predicted that “with the improved volume, velocity and variety of data inherent in the big data approach, the innovation seen in systematic trading models over the past decade could accelerate.” One of the platformsRead More


On the Bitcoin Blockchain: Looking Under the Hood

Jan 19th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Currencies, Emerging Alternative Investments, The Global Economy & Currencies, Digital currencies, Business News, Finance & Economics

More than a year ago, the Capco Institute Journal of Financial Transformation (Journal) ran a “critical assessment,” by Robert Sams, of bitcoin blockchains as a means of distributed clearing. With both bitcoins and blockchains newly in the news, Sams’ informed assessment is worth another look. Two years ago, Nasdaq announcedRead More


Dealmakers: Trump, Hillary, and Mergers

Nov 3rd, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Hedge Funds, Event-Driven Hedge Funds, Business News

Intralinks, a firm created 20 years ago to enable “high-stakes transactions and business collaborations,” has surveyed global dealmakers on the upcoming U.S. presidential election and on how it may affect the economic and regulatory environment for mergers and acquisitions. The gist of it is: in a database of 1,600 M&ARead More


Academics:  No, Navinder Sarao Did Not Cause the Flash Crash 

Oct 25th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Hedge Fund Operations and Risk Management, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Risk management, Technology, Operations, Personalities in AI, Business News, Risk Management & Operations, Finance & Economics

Mid-October news reports tell us that Navinder Sarao has lost his effort to avoid extradition from Britain to the United States. So he will face charges in the U.S. in connection with the “flash crash” of May 2010, the incident in which the DJIA fell 998.5 points in less thanRead More


Fraudulent Transfer: No ‘Safety’ for Lyondell Shareholders   

Oct 20th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Equity Hedge Funds, Insolvency, Hedge Funds, Business News, Finance & Economics

In two decisions this year, in July and against in a re-affirmance in October, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has reinstated a claim brought by Trustee of the creditors of the bankrupt  chemical company Lyondell, looking to recover distributions made to the company’s shareholdersRead More


It’s On: Bondholder Groups Square Off over Puerto Rico Financing

Oct 16th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Insolvency, Hedge Funds, Event-Driven Hedge Funds, Business News

On Oct. 7, a group of hedge funds that hold the general obligation bonds of Puerto Rico amended an existing complaint (initially filed in July) in a significant respect: by adding a new defendant. The new defendant is the issuer of the “COFINA” bonds, the Puerto Rico Sales Tax FinancingRead More


Fine Art as Joy and Investment: A Reflection

Oct 12th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Business News, Real Assets

Why do people own great paintings? As something pleasing to hang on the wall? As a way to impress the neighbors? Presumably many buyers of privately circulating 17th century Dutch masterpieces are speculators, alpha seekers. But aren’t they speculating, in the end, upon what some end user will pay? WhatRead More


Tick Pilot Program: A Progress Report

Oct 4th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, The A.I. Industry, Regulatory Environment, Business News, Finance & Economics

The long-awaited nickel-tick pilot program, an effort to test an alternative to the penny-or-less tick sizes that now prevail, , officially gets underway on October 3, and is scheduled to continue for two years. Securities have been selected and the phase-in schedule is set. The pilot is of significance, becauseRead More


Papaconstantinou on ‘Selling the Family Silver’  

Oct 2nd, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Currencies, Insolvency, The Global Economy & Currencies, Business News

A former finance minister of the Republic of Greece has published a book, Game Over, on what it is like to be in the midst of a continent-wide political and financial crisis. This is a volume that might be read with attention by those who seek alpha from distressed sovereignRead More


On Aluminum and Other Metals: A Thought on Physicality 

Sep 13th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Hard metals, Investing in Commodities, Commodities, Business News, Commodities: Examples, Finance & Economics

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEx), the company that bought the London Metal Exchange four years ago, has further expansion plans. At a recent event on the commodity markets of East Asia, Charles Li, the CEO of HKEx, spoke on this point. Li wants to create a physical metals tradingRead More


ESMA’s Greybeards Ponder Blockchains

Sep 11th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Currencies, Emerging Alternative Investments, The Global Economy & Currencies, Digital currencies, Business News, Finance & Economics, Other Topics in A.I.

There has been a flurry in recent days of activity about blockchains among the graybeards of the financial world, those who ponder the Really Big Picture and who have the ear of important regulators. Let us start from the beginning. What is a blockchain? It is a chronological, virtual, andRead More


UC Berkeley: Stale Prices Not a Threat to Liquidity Takers

Sep 7th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Equity Hedge Funds, Alpha Strategies, Hedge Funds, Business News, Finance & Economics

Two scholars associated with the University of California, Berkeley, have argued in a recent paper that there is less to latency arbitrage, or at least to a certain paradigmatic sort of latency arb, than meets the eye. Robert P. Bartlett III and Justin McCrary used data from the Securities InformationRead More


Sovereign Debt: A Cryonic Solution to the Holdout Problem

Sep 1st, 2016 | Filed under: Industry Size & Managers, Insolvency, Business News, Finance & Economics

Where does the world stand on the restructuring problem after NML v Argentina?  One professor and one practicing attorney recently coauthored a fascinating proposal that might answer that question, part of which they call the “cryonic solution,” after the hoped-for science of freezing people to await the development of aRead More


Lewis’ Heroes Get an Exchange for Their Speed Bump

Jun 26th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Hedge Fund Strategies, Equity Hedge Funds, Hedge Funds, Business News

On Friday, June 17, the Securities and Exchange Commission approved the promotion of IEX from an ATS to a proper exchange. Thereby it gave a new ending of sorts to Michael Lewis’ book, Flash Boys. One of the big issues for both proponents and opponents of IEX’ application to becomeRead More


Puerto Rico: The New Argentina?

Jun 21st, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Hedge Funds, Event-Driven Hedge Funds, Business News, Finance & Economics

Puerto Rico and various instrumentalities thereof may default on debt within days. If they do so, this will happen without the benefit of an applicable bankruptcy system or other legislated means of restructuring, without a referee if you will, unless Congress acts decisively within a matter of days, something thatRead More


Giving the Baron King of Lothbury his Due

Jun 7th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Insolvency, The Global Economy & Currencies, Business News, Finance & Economics

The Bank of England is not only the central bank of the United Kingdom, in continuous operation since 1694; it is the model upon which central banking worldwide has been created. The Mother Central Bank is what it is. Mervyn King, the chief economist of the Bank of England throughRead More


Consequences of the Paris Climate Agreement

Jun 1st, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Equity Hedge Funds, Insolvency, Hedge Funds, Business News, Finance & Economics

In early December 2015, representatives of 196 parties met in Paris, France, to discuss climate change, and the necessary reduction of greenhouse gas emissions on a global basis.  The result, the “Paris Climate Agreement,” seeks to limit warming to just 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, through aRead More


Puerto Rico and Bankruptcy

May 30th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Insolvency, Hedge Funds, Event-Driven Hedge Funds, Business News, Finance & Economics

The bankruptcies of public bond-issuing entities, such as Orange County, Calif.; Jefferson County, Ala.; and the City of Detroit, Mich. are still rare events, but they exert a lot of influence, in part because they demonstrate the possibility of that which isn’t supposed to be possible. The sort of entityRead More


Thoughts on the Valuation of Secured Assets of a Bankrupt Debtor

Apr 26th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Insolvency, Hedge Funds, Event-Driven Hedge Funds, Business News, Finance & Economics

How should one value the assets of a bankrupt entity, especially those that secure its debt instruments? That is obviously a key question in the world of distressed-debt investing.  A 2014 report from a commission of the American Bankruptcy Institute, and the continued controversy over that commission’s proposals, offers usRead More


Greek Debt: Back in the Headlines

Apr 4th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Insolvency, The Global Economy & Currencies, Business News, Finance & Economics

The issue of Greece’s insolvency had receded a bit from the headlines since the stormy days of last summer. Alpha-savvy readers will surely recall, though, that in July 2015, the Greek government and its European creditors reached a bailout agreement that required actions by the former, especially on pensions andRead More


The Puerto Rican Debt Crisis: Some Highlights Thus Far

Mar 31st, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Insolvency, Hedge Funds, Event-Driven Hedge Funds, Business News, Finance & Economics

It has happened before. An insolvent public entity, whether a sovereign nation, state, county, or other, can’t pay its bills and blames the crisis on the ‘vulture’ hedge funds taking its instruments from their first buyers for pennies on the dollar. The leaders of the insolvent entity thereby deflect blameRead More


Cross-Border Insolvencies: Defection Isn’t the Only Problem

Mar 17th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Business News, Economics, Finance & Economics

A recent paper by Andrew Dawson, a law professor of the University of Miami, looks at the current cross-border insolvency framework from the point of view of the cultural differences that may be expressing themselves through the distinct systems on the opposite sides of many an international border.  His discussionRead More


Latest News on Argentina and the Pari Passu Clause

Feb 25th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Insolvency, The Global Economy & Currencies, Emerging markets, Business News, Finance & Economics

The Hon. Thomas Griesa, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, has issued an “indicative ruling” in response to a motion by the Republic of Argentina.Read More


Antonin Scalia: Three Decisions on Distressed Assets

Feb 16th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Insolvency, Hedge Funds, Event-Driven Hedge Funds, Business News, Finance & Economics

From the point of view of fund managers who seek alpha in bankruptcy courts, the late Justice Antonin Scalia was an ally. His decisions in bankruptcy and insolvency matters tended to offer such litigants exactly what they need: clear and predictable rules of law. Further, although Scalia’s popular reputation hasRead More


The Bonds of War: Ukraine, Russia, the IMF

Feb 11th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Insolvency, The Global Economy & Currencies, Business News, Frontier markets, Finance & Economics

Argentines take heart. Yes, you have implacable holdout bondholder NML Capital to contend with, and NML has been beating you in court battles arising from your 2001 bond defaults. But … Paul Singer isn’t Vladimir Putin, and NML isn’t Mother Russia. Your courtroom battles aren’t actual battlefield battles. The defaultRead More


Bollerman Addresses IEX’s Critics

Feb 9th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Business News

IEX, the institution created by Michael Lewis’ “flash boys,” began life as an ATS. But as its name, a shortening of “Investors’ Exchange,” suggests, it has always aspired to be an exchange. One of its core principles is its “speed bump,” a system of delaying the availability of market pricingRead More


Saudi Arabia: Opening to Distressed Debt Arb?

Dec 22nd, 2015 | Filed under: Newly Added, Insolvency, Hedge Funds, Event-Driven Hedge Funds, Business News

A recent article in The National Law Review says that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is about to change its restructuring law in a way that will likely make restructurings more common in that influential country. One implication is that the change will provide alpha-seeking opportunities for investors and tradersRead More