At the end of every quarter there is a scramble by the financial public to peek at what the biggest hedge fund holdings were as of 45 days ago. And yet, one wonders why: as Goldman notes, "the low dispersion market continues to challenge stock-pickers as the average hedge fund lags the S&P 500 for the seventh straight year (2% vs. 4% YTD)." In fact, even the barbarous relic known as gold has outperformed the average hedge fund YTD. Then again, as we have said since 2012, the only informational value comes not from looking at hedge fund longs, but their biggest shorts, since short squeezes remain perhaps the only source of major outperformance. So for all those curious, here are the biggest hedge fund shorts as of March 31, 2015.
As we detailed earlier, in a chaotic scene during the wee hours of Saturday, Senate Republicans blocked a bill known as the USA Freedom Act - backed by President Barack Obama, House Republicans and the nation's top law enforcement and intelligence officials - which would have preserved the government's ability to search phone company records for suspected spies and terrorists. As AP reports, the failure to act means the NSA will immediately begin curtailing its previously-secret bulk data collection progreams with The DoJ noting that while it will take time to taper off the collection process, that process began Friday (according to an administration official). Sen. Rand Paul called the Senate's failure to allow an extension of the surveillance programs a victory for privacy rights, adding "we should never give up our rights for a false sense of security."
"China said on Friday it was 'strongly dissatisfied' after a U.S. military plane flew over part of the South China Sea near where China is building artificial islands, and called on the United States to stop such action or risk causing an accident."
- U.S. vows to continue patrols after China warns spy plane (Reuters)
- Bank of Japan Chief Cheers On Tokyo’s Surging Stocks (WSJ)
- Merkel Stamps Out Optimism on Greece After Tsipras Talks (BBG)
- Greece sees reforms deal with lenders in next 10 days (Reuters)
- Why Greece’s Syriza party is not sticking to the script on an IMF deal (Channel4)
- Why Does Putin Care Who Runs a Tiny Balkan Nation? Gas Pipelines (BBG)
- U.S. Stock-Index Futures Are Little Changed Before Yellen Speech (BBG)
- German Business Confidence Declines as Risks Cloud Outlook (BBG)
"As China seeks to make sovereign land out of sandcastles and redraw maritime boundaries, it is eroding regional trust and undermining investor confidence" -- US Deputy Secretary of State
There's trouble brewing in The South China Sea, where Beijing has been using "scores of dredgers" to turn reefs into islands in the Spratly archipelago. Reports that Washington is looking into options for countering China's island-building project, have set up a contentious scenario that culminated in Beijing advising the US to "refrain from provocative action" in the area. Now, China is telling US surveillance planes to "Go now!"
Militarization Is More Than Tanks & Rifles: It’s a Cultural Disease, Acclimating Citizens To Life In A Police StateSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/20/2015 22:00 -0400
The problems we’re grappling with have been building for more than 40 years. They’re not going to go away overnight, and they certainly will not be resolved by a report that instructs the police to simply adopt different tactics to accomplish the same results - i.e., maintain the government’s power, control and wealth at all costs. This is the sad reality of life in the American police state.
Every Time We Look, We Find NEW Admissions of False Flag Terrorism
December 18th 2014 saw SPY - the S&P 500 ETF - suddenly spike to 212.97 (on no news whatsoever). We have now taken out that "fat finger" peak.
While the market was topping out, Tepper was actively adding to his bullish exposure, but not in the form of many new stock positions, when in fact he partially unloaded 15 of his 38 positions, while adding 12 new positions. It was 2 of these new additions that were particularly notable: just like in early 2014, Tepper is once again back to index investing, having added a whopping $939 million in notional-equivalent SPY Calls, and $413 million in notional-equivalent QQQ Calls. In other words, Tepper is once again making a very levered beta bet that the market will resume climbing, and he can capture the upside through SPY and QQQ calls.
- Amtrak train in Philadelphia wreck was traveling at twice speed limit (Reuters)
- The engineer has no recollection of the crash and “no explanation” for what happened (WSJ)
- Taliban claim attack on Afghan guesthouse that killed 14 (Reuters)
- Chicago’s Junk Rating From Moody’s Puzzles Investors (BBG)
- House votes to end spy agencies' bulk collection of phone data (Reuters)
- Wesley Clark: The Penny-Stock General (BBG)
- AOL’s Armstrong to Leave $213 Million Richer After Verizon Deal (BBG)
Is it that we don’t care? Is it that we don’t see it? Is it that we are masochists? What is it about us that makes us so apathetic to the atrocities against our Constitutional rights? They are there for our protection and so, to we the people, they are assets that require maintenance but we are leaving them to be destroyed by the political elements. Even amongst well versed, well educated and very interested Americans there seems to be very little concern, judging by reaction, to the fact that our Constitutional rights are quite blatantly at this point, being taken away from us. Why is that not creating more of an agitated response??
Systematic Corruption Has Metastasized throughout the U.S. ... Making Our Once-Great Nation Deathly Ill
In its efforts to 'protect' its citizens from terrorists, France deemed it necessary in March to "fight against the use of cash and anonymity in the French economy," and drastically reduced the public's freedom and privacy to spend. Today, that freedom and privacy took another blow as the French government passed "Le Patriot Act" dramatically beefing up the government's spying powers.