Step Aside Apple: Presenting The Hedge Fund World's Newest Most Widely Held Stock

Tyler Durden's picture

Quarter after quarter we would recap the hedge fund world's infatuation with one stock and one stock alone: Apple. This inverse-mormon love affair hit its peak in the quarter ended September 30, when a record number of hedge funds were invested in AAPL stock. This was also the quarter when AAPL hit its all time high price and has since proceeded to slump by nearly 40% in four short months. Which was to be expected: hedge fund hotels always become flaming death traps when the sucker rally finally ends and what so many mistook and goalseeked for fundamentals, ended up being merely euphoria and momentum chasing as one after another marginal buyer put their money into a stock that seemingly could do no wrong or so we were told day after day. As of December 31, AAPL is no longer the darling of hedge fund groupthink. In its place we have a new hedge fund hotel.

Presenting: AIG, which with 80 hedge funds reporting it as a Top 10 holding (compared to GOOG with 73, and AAPL with 67), is now the stock that has suckered in the most hedge fund capital, and where any future growth will depend solely on pulling incremental dumb money in.

As a reminder: just as every most widely held name rises ever higher as the Beta chasers pretend they generate Alpha, while merely piling into one or several names, so once hotel, in this case cAIGfornia, starts burning down, the scramble for the exits is fast and furious.

The chart below shows AAPL's recent gradual rise and epic fall. AIG is now in the rising phase. The fall always follows.

Finally, it would be especially poetic if the one company that was there at the end of the beginning, and nearly brought down the financial system 5 years ago is responsible for the beginning of the end, and whose collapse the second time around completes what its first, bailed-out attempt, couldn't.

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Big Corked Boots's picture

Why not? The Gummint has AIG's backs. It's not like they would go broke, or anything - they're too important to the economy.

Say What Again's picture

This could be the ultimate sign of the "market-top" we've all been waiting for.

I think I need to buy a gun's picture

just when i thought it couldn't get any better it got better!!!!!!!!bahhwaaaaa....what a joke

Richard Chesler's picture

The cockroach that insures all other cockroaches.

ShankyS's picture

It is the smart money roatating to the largest cockroach of all that is guaranteed to get bailed out before the rest when the shit hits the fan. Looks to me like more of a safety play or rotation from growth to capital insurance via government to me. See 911 and 2008. 

Ness.'s picture

What would King Cock-a-roach do?


March 13 2009 (Bloomberg) -- Billionaire Warren Buffett said he was offered two chances to help American International Group the final days before the U.S. government intervened to prevent the insurer’s collapse last September.


“It wasn’t very tough,” to resist an investment, Buffett said. “They needed more than we could supply by far. I didn’t know the extent of it, but I knew that.”

Buffett’s narrative sheds light on AIG’s efforts to come up with a private solution to its capital shortage the same weekend that Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. was imploding. The U.S. later agreed to take a 79.9 percent stake in AIG in exchange for an $85 billion loan after allowing Lehman to collapse.


“It’s like taking out a girl -- sometimes you know it isn’t going to happen (Becky ;),” Buffett said. “The time pressures, the degree of uncertainty, the depth of the possible hole (Becky ;), the need to get it through a regulatory body (again.. Becky ;) LOL.”  he said. “It wasn’t going to happen.”

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. were working with AIG in the days before the government rescue on a possible loan package of $70 billion to $75 billion, two people with knowledge of the discussions said at the time.

Willumstad, in Congressional testimony in October, acknowledged that AIG was “negotiating a transaction” with Berkshire and “working with JP MorganChase” before the government bailout, without providing details.

Regulators have since revised AIG’s bailout three times to ease the original loan terms and increase the bailout package to about $160 billion. AIG last week posted a $61.7 billion fourth- quarter loss, the worst in U.S. corporate history.

AIG stock has fallen 99 percent in less than a year. Shares rose 9 cents, or 22 percent, to 50 cents at 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading today. The stock closed at $49.04 on May 5, 2008.


The Buffett Rule.

And May God Bless the United States of America.




derek_vineyard's picture

every parent should tell the story of aig to their children illustrating the great american business model and dream

scatterbrains's picture

that couldn't  be tepper the tea bagger could it ?

McMolotov's picture

Remember, the Gummint "made a profit" from bailing out AIG. If the Gummint can "make a profit," anybody can. This really is a no-brainer.*


*As in, one must have no brain to believe this shit.

Bunga Bunga's picture

Betting on a non-default of a financial obligation, that's the business model of AIG ... essentially it is gambling, although not regulated like gambling. Of course, gambling is an economy too.

Jason T's picture

too widely owned to own.

Say What Again's picture

How about; "too big to re-insure."

Bunga Bunga's picture

+TBTJ ... it's just a save bet, nobrainer

booboo's picture

AIG makes a Black Hole look like a spewing galactic volcano.

WhiteNight123129's picture

Guys, you really do not get it.


The first one who figures out why AIG is a goldbug idea has graduated to trade for real. I mean it, there is no SARC here. Whoever is sympathetic to Gold should be sympathetic to AIG. There is a very specific reason for it.


A Lunatic's picture

Um yeah, backing up the truck right now..............

WhiteNight123129's picture

It has to do with duration, the value of hte present good versus future cash flows.

Hint: How did the holders of fixed life insurance policy fare during Weimar? How were the life insurance companies who could repay the life insurance policies with confettis doing?

I am afraid to officially declare that Tyler has no clue of what he is talking about.

scatterbrains's picture

so then what does it say for AIG if gold is tanking ?

Village Smithy's picture

Insuring lives is one thing but insuring assorted financial time bombs that are about to explode is quite another. This to me is just the same old "look how far this stock has to run" sales pitch. 

WhiteNight123129's picture

Company has eliminated 90% of the derivatives book.


Say What Again's picture

Who is the moron that goes though the entire thread and gives EVERYONE a "-1" ?

ebworthen's picture

Krugman, Geithner, or Liesman.

Say What Again's picture

I knew the TROLLS would come out of the woodwork when I asked that question

trollin4sukrz's picture

Whodafrvk you callin a troll? oo wait... nevamind

Say What Again's picture

I just gave you a +1 for that comment.  I would give you a +10 if only I knew how.

JR's picture

It's the kids; it's after 3 o'clock and they're out of school (those that go to school).

Lord Of Finance's picture

Its the employees of AIG. They hope to get a promotion from the boss when they show em how they stood up for their company. I remember when the backlash started against AIG some years ago, and I remember seeing 3 different assholes out in public wearing AIG sweaters! I am not joking. These tools are company men.

trollin4sukrz's picture

I doan know who it is but I bet he/she/it is a total dick.

Big Corked Boots's picture

I bet there's an email from someone at AIG HQ directing employees to this page and telling everyone who has an account to downvote. To be followed tomorrow morning by an order for HR to fire everyone who actually has an account at ZH.

Not Too Important's picture

It was blocked at Schwab.

I won't do business with any financial instution that blocks ZH. Always a first question.

mootsman's picture

Zerohedge is no longer blocked at BofA.  It's not like anyone there get's any work done so they have to fill the void somehow.

ebworthen's picture

So you're saying gold is much better insurance than anything you can buy from AIG, right?

ekm's picture

Seth Klarman: "If you buy a security to sell it to a greater fool, if there are no greater fools left, then you are the greater fool."


Conclusion: Smart money has become the dumb one.

fonzannoon's picture

EKM seth klarman apparently has a large position in AIG. I don't know anything about Seth Klarman to know why AIG makes sense to him.

ekm's picture

He's got one full chapter on 'distressed securities' in his book.

He is the super master of distressed securities. His prey is "smart money".

fonzannoon's picture

How is AIG distressed today? Why not just buy all the banks?

ekm's picture

What I am saying, is that his philosophical conclusion relflects reality.


I never said he is infallible.

JR's picture

His Margin of Safety has the backing of being an insider: Klarman is a graduate of Cornell University and Harvard Business School[4] where he was a Baker Scholar and was classmates with Jeffrey Immelt, Steve Burke, Stephen Mandel (hedge fund manager) and Jamie Dimon. Klarman grew up in a Jewish[2] family in Baltimore, where his father was a public health economist at Johns Hopkins University and his mother taught high school English.[3] r

Before founding Baupost, Klarman worked for Max Heine and Michael Price of the Mutual Shares fund (now a part of Franklin Templeton Investments). He founded the Baupost Group in 1982, which managed USD 22 Billion as of 2010…

Klarman started The Klarman Family Foundation ($255 million in assets as of 2010) which donates to medical causes, Jewish organizations (such as the American Jewish Committee and Boston’s Combined Jewish Philanthropies), and Israeli causes. Klarman is the chairman of Facing History and Ourselves which develops classroom programs to combat anti-Semitism and bigotry.[2] Klarman also is active with the The Israel Project, a pro-Israel advocacy group that collects and provides information on Israel for journalists. He gave the organization $4 million between 2008 and 2010.[2]

Klarman is married to Beth Klarman.[2] Klarman is the older brother of Harvard Law Professor Michael Klarman.[citation needed]

Klarman is the key U.S. investor behind The Times of Israel, an online English-language newspaper which reports on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.[11][1

His AIG position makes sense as in Paul Warburg:

“On October 29, 1929, the stock market crashed.  Thousands of investors were wiped out in a single day. The insiders who were forewarned [by Paul Warburg), a partner with Kuhn, Loeb & Co., which maintained a list of preferred customers] had converted their stocks into cash while prices were still high. They now became buyers.  Some of the greatest fortunes in America were made in that fashion…

“John D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, Joseph P. Kennedy, Bernard Baruch, Henry Morganthau, Douglas Dillon—the biographies of all the Wall Street giants at that time boast that these men were ‘wise’ enough to get out of the stock market just before the Crash.  And it is true.  Virtually all of the inner club was rescued.  There is no record of any member of the interlocking directorate between the Federal Reserve, the major New York banks, and their prime customers having been caught by surprise.  Wisdom, apparently, was greatly affected by whose list one was on.” – G. Edward Griffin, The Creature from Jekyll Island, pp. 497-503.

ebworthen's picture

Crime pays, apparently.

Unprepared's picture

AIG = Apple Insurance Group

WhiteNight123129's picture

Off topic

THe slam down on Gold and Silver?

Apparently Iran is stepping up its military capabilities or that is what the news say.


trollin4sukrz's picture

I can hardly wait fror this current world war to "step it up." These skirmishes in the opium belt are getting lame. We need a real Krugman moment with some real shit getting toasted! Even so, come the destroyer...

tom a taxpayer's picture

I can't figure out AIG. Can anyone makes heads or tails about AIG CEO, President, and Director Bob Benmosche?

"During his first meeting with employees, Benmosche stated that Congress was composed of "crazies," that he would not cooperate if asked to testify before Congress, and that New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who had investigated AIG, "doesn't deserve to be in government." He later asked for a personal private jet and said that he might quit over government-imposed pay restrictions.[7]"

lotsoffun's picture

simple.  sociopath bully.  anybody stand up to him?  he's got nothing to lose.  remember dante's inferno?  'better to rule a day in hell then serve...'