Goldman Sachs Asset Management

BRICs Finally Broke: Goldman Pulls The Plug On "Revolutionary" Acronym Fund After 88% Loss

Back in February 2013, the creater of the BRIC acronym, Goldman's Jim O'Neill retired, but not before some very (traditionally) optimistic words of parting, namely that there is "clear evidence things are doing better economically." Nearly three years later, things are not only not doing better economically, with the entire world now engaged in outright, or quasi QE (with helicopter money to follow as Adair Turner infamous warned) just to support global asset prices, but the very emerging markets that made up the BRICs, have devolved to a state of economic freefall. And nowhere is this more obvious than in Goldman's decision to pull the plug on the infamous fund that bears the name of Goldman's most bullish acronym in history.

Frontrunning: July 7

  • Greece faces last chance to stay in euro as cash runs out (Reuters)
  • Tsipras Begins Brussels Campaign to Keep Greece Inside the Euro (BBG)
  • Greek Crisis Shows How Germany’s Power Polarizes Europe (WSJ)
  • Eurogroup Head Dijsselbloem Calls for ‘Credible’ Greece Package (BBG)
  • Europe Not Playing ‘Domino Theory’ Leaves Markets Calm on Greece (BBG)
  • China stocks fall again despite support measures (Reuters)
  • Chinese Trading Suspensions Freeze $1.4 Trillion of Shares Amid Rout (BBG)
  • Crude Creeps Higher After Downturn (WSJ)

Frontrunning: May 26

  • Developed-Country Growth Slows, OECD Says (WSJ)
  • Charter Agrees to Buy Time Warner Cable for About $55 Billion (BBG)
  • Dollar hits one-month high as periphery woes weigh on Europe (Reuters)
  • IMF Says Yuan No Longer Undervalued Amid Reserve-Status Push (BBG)
  • Hanergy secured $200m loan ahead of solar group stock tumble (FT)
  • Congressional Inaction Threatens NSA Spy Program (WSJ)
  • Germany sees progress on Greece, EU officials to confer on Thursday (Reuters)
  • Hayes ‘motivated by greed’, prosecutor says in Libor case (FT)
  • Whistleblowers Find SEC Rewards Slow and Scarce (WSJ)

Frontrunning: May 15

  • The fake: Avon-Offer Hoax Shows It’s Easy to Put One Over on SEC’s Edgar (BBG)
  • And the real: US buyout group TPG snaps up UK discounter Poundworld (FT)
  • El Niño near-certain to last through summer: U.S. climate center (Reuters)
  • Oil Sands Land Becomes Alberta’s Hot Real Estate as Oil Rebounds (BBG)
  • SEC a stumbling block in banks' forex guilty pleas: sources (Reuters)
  • Pimco’s Stocks Chief Maisonneuve to Leave as Funds Closed (BBG)
  • Bank of America’s Woes Test ‘Fixer’ CEO (WSJ)
  • Puerto Rico Governor, Lawmakers Agree on Revenue Proposal (BBG)

Goldman Admits It, Too, Was Short The Swiss Franc

"In our portfolios with currencies, we have been short the CHF on the grounds that it was an expensive currency which we expected would experience capital outflows as European growth normalized. We were surprised by the sudden removal of the peg. Although the CHF real effective exchange rate is lower than during the European crisis of 2011, it has actually appreciated in recent months. We exited a substantial portion of our CHF short today and are monitoring the situation closely."

Blast From The (Recent) Past: Jim Grant Nails The SNB Decision

"we venture that the SNB will sooner or later be forced to permit the franc to appreciate and thus to enrich the holders of low-priced, three-year call options on the Swiss/euro exchange rate. It's a long shot, to be sure--the options are cheap for a reason--but we judge that the prospective reward is worth the obvious risk." - Jim Grant, Sept 14th, 2014

Goldman's "Best Ideas" Hedge Fund Is Down 2.6% In 2014

If only the $3.2 billion Goldman Sachs Global Opportunities hedge fund had listened to the firm's equity strategists, life would have been great. However, as Bloomberg reports, the so-called 'best-ideas' fund dropped 5.6% in October leaving it down 2.6% for 2014 as interest-rate bets went pear-shaped amid the crash-and-dash that was October's market manipulation. "We believe monetary policy needs to catch up with growth, and that interest rates in the US and UK are likely to rise by a significant amount," the fund wrote. It seems Goldman 'muppeted' itself. Things aren't working out... and as a gentle reminder, the fund lost 35% in 2008.

Goldman Sachs Is Buying Carl Icahn's "High Yield Bond Bubble"

High-yield bond issuance has surged in recent days as 'wide' spreads have encouraged investors to take the dip once again (despite firms' record leverage and increasing desperation to roll the wall of maturing debt). However, it's not all guns blazing, as one manager noted, "while the market reopens, it reopens with issuers having to be a little more investor friendly." Despite Carl Icahn's warning that "the high-yield bond market is in a major bubble that's gonna burst," Bullard's "QE4" comments sparked Goldman to add US junk bonds and Aberdeen says selling EU and buying US corporate debt "is the trade that kind of screams at you right now." The dash-for-trash down-in-quality is back as CCC-demand surges and, as one trader notes the market's schizophrenia: "one day the market feels like it is shut down and you can’t sell anything and you wake up this morning and you can price any part of the curve."

Goldman Says European QE Will Come In 2015 At The Earliest, If At All

  • Goldman’s Andrew Wilson Says QE in Europe a 2015 Story If at All
  • European economy would have to weaken significantly before QE comes into play, said Andrew Wilson, co-head of Global Fixed Income and Liquidy management team at Goldman Sachs Asset Management.
  • Says Draghi has foreshadowed policy easing at next meeting, expects ECB to cut rates 1-2 times before they look to other methods such as an LTRO
  • Says if other methods don’t work it would “ultimately have to be QE”