Billionaire investor George Soros significantly increased his shares in the SPDR Gold Trust in the first quarter. Soros Fund Management nearly quadrupled its investment in the largest exchange-traded gold fund (GLD) to 319,550 shares - compared with 85,450 shares at the end of the fourth quarter. John Paulson maintained his large stake, the ETF’s largest stake and other large and respected institutional buyers were PIMCO and the Teacher Retirement System of Texas. Paulson, 56, who became a billionaire in 2007 by betting against the U.S. subprime mortgage market, told clients in February that gold is a good long term investment, serving as protection against currency debasement, rising inflation and a possible breakup of the euro. Eric Mindich’s Eton Park Capital also bought 739,117 shares in the SPDR Gold Trust during the first quarter. The New York-based fund held no shares of the exchange-traded product as of December 31. Overall holdings in the SPDR Trust rose just over 8% in the first quarter, after a 2% gain in Q4 2011.
The following note from Caris & Co. on HLF (which launched Herbalife in September at a Buy and a $75/share PT) has got to be the worst sell side note in history. The catalyst, according to the firm: what David Einhorn may or may not say. Now that is true value added. Next up: Goldman goes long IBM because it flipped heads.
Charlie Munger: "gold is a great thing to sew onto your garments if you're a Jewish family in Vienna in 1939 but civilized people don't buy gold"
David Einhorn: "I will keep a substantial long exposure to gold -- which serves as a Jelly Donut antidote for my portfolio. While I'd love for our leaders to adopt sensible policies that would reduce the tail risks so that I could sell our gold, one nice thing about gold is that it doesn't even have quarterly conference calls
Kyle Bass: "Buying Gold Is Just Buying A Put Against The Idiocy Of The Political Cycle. It's That Simple!"
The uncivilized people have spoken, and the winner is...
Fraud ... What Fraud?
David Einhorn who crushed it this week with huge profits on his short positions in both Herbalife and Green Mountain, finally takes on the ultimate competitor: the Federal Reserve, likening its "strategy" to a Jelly Donut policy, and explains what everyone who has been reading Zero Hedge for the past 3 years knows too well: "I will keep a substantial long exposure to gold -- which serves as a Jelly Donut antidote for my portfolio. While I'd love for our leaders to adopt sensible policies that would reduce the tail risks so that I could sell our gold, one nice thing about gold is that it doesn't even have quarterly conference calls." Or, as Kyle Bass said last year, "Buying Gold Is Just Buying A Put Against The Idiocy Of The Political Cycle. It's That Simple!" Not surprisingly, it is only the idiots out there who still don't get what these two investing luminaries are warning about.
Fidelity is happy to announce it has an opening for a new consumer discretionary analyst, because the current one, the one who recommended the firm's investment in Green Mountain, is now looking for a job. Fidelity's GMCR position , which as of 3:59 pm amounted to $1.13 billion, was minutes later trimmed by $445 million, after the company finally posted earnings (and we use the term loosely) which may have finally validated the David Einhorn (and every single skeptic's before) thesis on the name. Because while the earnings themselves came in line, it was the forecast that buried the company: specifically, its forecast of $885 million in Q2 revenue on expectations of $971.7 million, $3.92 -$4.05 billion in full year revenue on estimates of $4.32-$4.46 billion, as well as its 2012 EPS which were forecast to come at $2.40-$2.50 while the street was looking for 2.631 EPS. The result: the growth thesis is now over, and the growth premium has collapsed, with the stock plunging by 40% after hours.
Forget Competing Theories … What Do the Facts Say about Quantitative Easing?
Low trade volume is sucking the fuel from the global economy
While much of the focus has been on Paulson & Co., the hedge fund founded by billionaire John Paulson, cutting its stake in the SPDR Gold Trust by 15% in the fourth quarter, possibly of more importance is the fact that PIMCO, the Texas Teacher Retirement System and George Soros all increased their holdings of the biggest exchange-traded product backed by gold. Paulson cut his gold ETF bullion holdings by about 600 million dollars in Q4, a reduction that was likely driven by client redemption needs as he and his fund remain upbeat on gold – primarily due to inflation concerns. Paulson’s reduction in SPDR was offset by other important buyers such as PIMCO, which oversees $1.36 trillion and is home to the world's biggest bond fund and significant institutional buying from the likes of the Texas Teacher Retirement System and billionaire investor George Soros. ‘Bond King’, Bill Gross recently wrote about gold as a “store of value” and PIMCO’s allocation to GLD may be ongoing as they seek to diversify their portfolios and hedge against inflation. Soros, who once suggested gold was or would be "the ultimate asset bubble," raised his stake in the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), a gold-backed exchanged-traded fund, to 85,450 shares, up from 48,350 shares in the period. Soros, who had disclosed call and put options on the gold fund in the prior period, reported no such investments in the fourth quarter. Soros’ GLD position is worth a mere $13 million, however it suggests that he is not as bearish on gold as portrayed and that he sees further upside for gold.
Is a bonus culture beneficial to the economy?
My favorite football introductory book is an out-of-print book by Joe Namath, FOOTBALL for Young Players and Parents. You may enjoy my favorite lines as you get in the mood for the Super Bowl
- Greek Debt Wrangle May Pull Default Trigger (Bloomberg)
- Italy Sells Maximum EU11 Billion of Bills (Bloomberg)
- Romney Demands Gingrich Apology on Immigration (Bloomberg)
- China’s Residential Prices Need to Decline 30%, Lawmaker Says (Bloomberg)
- EU Red-Flags 'Volcker' (WSJ)
- EU Official Sees Bailout-Fund Boost (WSJ)
- EU Delays Bank Bond Writedown Plans Until Fiscal Crisis Abates (Bloomberg)
- Germany Poised to Woo U.K. With Transaction Tax Alternative (Bloomberg)
- Ahmadinejad: Iran Ready to Renew Nuclear Talks (Bloomberg)
- Monti Takes On Italian Bureaucracy in Latest Policy Push to Revamp Economy (Bloomberg)
- BOJ Should Be Allowed $643 Billion Fund to Buy Foreign Bonds, Iwata Says (Bloomberg)
- Banks Hoarding ECB Cash May Double Company Defaults (Bloomberg)
- China Police Open Fire on Tibetans as Protests Spread (Bloomberg)
- Sarkozy Presidential Rival Hollande Would Lower Retirement Age, Lift Taxes (Bloomberg)
- IMF takes tougher stance over Greek debt (FT)
- Iran threatens to act first on EU embargo (FT)
- PM says ‘no complacency’ on economy (FT)
- George Soros: How to pull Italy and Spain back from the edge (FT)
- Japan's NEC to slash 10,000 jobs (Reuters)
- Obama Planning Corporate Tax Overhaul (Bloomberg)
Presenting, with little comment, Whitney Tilson's disappointing underperformance for October (and YTD):
Our fund rose 7.0% in October vs. 10.9% for the S&P 500, 9.7% for the Dow and 11.2% for the Nasdaq. Year to date, it’s down 24.5% vs. +1.3% for the S&P 500, 5.5% for the Dow and 1.9% for the Nasdaq.
It is just us, or does it seem manager performance is increasingly negatively correlated with the frequency of appearances on CNBC?
Paulson & Co. sold a third of the their SPDR holding which is quite a large liquidation. However, Paulson remains bullish on gold as was seen in positive comments he made recently so it would seem likely that this sale may have been an effort to raise cash after his fund suffered sharp losses in the last quarter. Some hedge funds sold the ETF to cover losses during a rout that erased $7.8 trillion from the value of global equities since May. Soros Fund Management LLC held 48,350 in the SPDR Gold Trust as of Sept. 30, compared with 42,800 shares at the end of the second quarter. The increase in Soros gold holdings are meager at some $10 million worth but suggest that Soros is not as bearish on gold as the multitude of news headlines, regarding his comments regarding gold being “the ultimate asset bubble”, would suggest. Soros added 145,000 call options and 120,000 puts in SPDR Gold in the third quarter. This confirms that Soros is not as bearish on gold as some would have us believe. There is also the real possibility that Soros’ fund, like other hedge funds, may have opted to own allocated bullion rather than a gold trust. Some hedge funds have opted for allocated gold bullion due to it being more discreet with a lack of disclosure (no quarterly filings), due to the lower long term costs and due to allocated accounts having less counter party risk than a trust with many indemnifications. Steven Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors LP and New York- based Touradji Capital Management LP established gold positions in the third quarter. SAC Capital, which manages $14 billion and is based in Stamford, Connecticut, held 184,601 shares in the SPDR Gold Trust as of Sept. 30. Paul Touradji had 45,000 shares compared with none on June 30, the filings show.