"While it is impossible to know for sure, we believe that our continued negative outperformance in the first few weeks of the year relates primarily to forced selling of our holdings by investors whose stakes overlap with our own."
European shares tumbled, wiping out gains from a two-day rally, Asian stocks slid and the cost of insuring corporate debt rose as investor concern over global growth prospects resurfaced. U.S. equity-index futures pared gains of as much as 0.9 percent. Government bonds rose, with yields falling to records in Japan and China amid anxiety over the world economy. U.S. crude prices stabilized after dropping below $30 a barrel on Tuesday to touch the lowest since 2003 as Iran moved closer to boosting exports.
"If the year finishes with our portfolio holdings at or around current values, 2015 will be the worst performance year in Pershing Square’s history, even worse than 2008 during the financial crisis when the funds declined by 12% to 13%. You might therefore find it surprising that we believe that 2015 has been a good year for our portfolio companies. How can this be?"
Why are the worlds’ most successful investors having so much trouble lately? The short answer is that the markets they used to understand have been replaced by something very different. In this new, post-market world, money managers can’t separate signal from noise and end up on the wrong end of wild swings in commodities, currencies and interest rates. And now their clients are figuring this out.
As previously noted, it has been a bad year for some of the marquee hedge fund names, with Einhorn's Greenlight Capital down 21% YTD, and as reported last night, Ackman's Pershing Square is not doing much better and as of November 30, was down 20.8%. On the weekly table one can clearly see when Pershing's fortunes turned in mid August when the fund dropped from being up 11% for the year to going negative for the year on the heels of the collapse in Valeant shares.
- Turkey downs Russian warplane near Syria border, Moscow denies airspace violation (Reuters)
- Investors seek safety in bonds, yen after Turkey downs Russian jet (Reuters)
- Donald Trump Is Not Backing Down (BBG)
- Uber's Exposure May Grow as U.S. Drivers Seek 57.5 Cents a Mile (BBG)
- U.S. issues global travel alert as manhunt continues for Paris attackers (Reuters)
- Stung by Oil, Distressed-Debt Traders See Worst Losses Since '08 (BBG)
In the infamous words of Kenny Rogers, "you gotta know when to fold 'em," but in the case of Bill Ackman and his Pershing Square Fund's massive losing position in Valeant (19.47 million shares at average cost of $183.57 against today's $87.11 lows), he has decided to not just double-down, but triple-down by selling puts to fund calls and increase his stake in the company to 9.9% (or 34.12 million shares).
In the wake of Bill Ackman's verbal jousting with Charile Munger, WSJ has taken a look at what many consider to be the myth behind Warren Buffett's "folksy" demeanor. As it turns out, it's best to do as Buffett does, not as he says.
In his rejection of an SEC settlement with Citigroup, Judge Jed Rakoff vowed to "see that the truth emerges." After presiding over the most high-profile insider trading cases since the crisis -- including Raj Rajaratnam and Rajit Gupta -- Judge Rakoff has come to symbolize the mantra that "nobody is above the law." In determining that Valeant and hedge fund manager Bill Ackman must face insider trading charges for their failed takeover of Allergan, U.S. District Judge David Carter may be the "new Rakoff."
We just got a confirmation that Ackman may not only not have been "brazenly intelligent" but was downright stupid when moments ago we learned that a District Judge in Santa Ana, California, David Carter, has said Valeant and Ackman must both face a lawsuit accusing them of insider trading in Allergan before making an unsuccessful takeover bid for the maker of Botox.
"I have a problem with Berkshire’s ownership of Coke,” Ackman told an audience of about 200 people. “Coca-Cola has probably done more to create obesity, diabetes on a global basis than any other company in the world. "You have some of the best marketing in the world and a lot of happy skinny people drinking it in the advertising."
Valeant Fiasco Hits Biggest Holder: Sequoia Suffers Largest Outflow Of The Year, And Why It Could Get WorseSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/11/2015 09:23 -0500
Ruane Cunniff & Goldfarb, the investment firm that runs the Sequoia Fund, was Valeant’s largest shareholder as of June 30, with VRX shares growing to 29% of Sequoia’s portfolio at midyear. The latest outflow is a continuation of previous redemptions: "in the first 10 months of 2015, Sequoia Fund’s outflows totaled about $213 million, Bloomberg data show, after investors withdrew more than $500 million in 2014."
- Bonds Rise as China Drags Down Metals, Selloff in Stocks Resumes (BBG)
- European Stock Rally Runs Out of Steam Amid China Growth Concern (BBG)
- Obama's immigration action blocked again; Supreme Court only option left (Reuters)
- Ukraine: Cyberwar’s Hottest Front (WSJ)
- With $170.4 Million Sale at Auction, Modigliani Work Joins Rarefied Nine-Figure Club (NYT)
- IEA Sees OPEC Market Share Growth in 2020 as Rivals Stagnate (BBG)