The world's most anticlimactic, yet overexpected, news has finally arrived. Reuters reports that Senator Chuck Grassley is investigating possible insider trading at SAC Capital Advisors LLP. Possible. LOL. And so it begins: "The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority last week provided Senate Judiciary Committee head Charles Grassley with about 20 instances of suspicious trading at the hedge fund, a spokeswoman for the senator confirmed on Saturday. Grassley had asked Finra in April for information on any such trading at Steven Cohen's $13 billion hedge fund...It was not clear if the trades had been referred to the Securities and Exchange Commission's enforcement staff, and authorities have not alleged wrongdoing by SAC or Cohen. Court filings also show prosecutors are investigating trade accounts at SAC, including one tied to Cohen, SAC Capital's founder. SAC representatives and congressional investigators met in Washington on May 10 to discuss possible suspicious trades, according to the Wall Street Journal, which earlier reported Grassley's receipt of information from Finra." So even once it is finally uncovered that Cohen's billions in personal wealth have been allegedly accumulated after years of information arbitrage, and we get yet another confirmation that hedge funds only make money through economies of scale, but mostly size (until the implode), or simple insider trading, we are supposed to remember that Cohen is a great humanitarian at heart, and has spent a few million of his allegedly ill-gotten gains for civic pursuits: "Also at the meeting, SAC Capital's
Washington-based policy adviser Michael Sullivan cited Cohen's
"civic-minded interest" in purchasing a stake in the New York Mets
baseball team, the report said." Last but not least, SEC heart SAC because with it gone, liquidity (and volume) on the NYSE would plunge by another 15% (and likely much more) in yet another confirmation that fair and efficient US capital markets are nothing but a farce. "At the meeting, SAC representatives suggested the investigators go easy on the hedge fund, saying it has internal procedures to track down and prevent illegal trading, according to the Wall Street Journal report."
Like Father Like Son (In Law): Ivanka Trump's Husband About To Experience His First Real Estate DefaultSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/29/2011 20:54 -0500
Over two years ago, when discussing the absolutely top ticked purchase of one 666 Fifth Avenue by under-30 real estate mogul extraordinaire, NY Observer owner and now Donald Trump son in law, Jared Kushner, we said: "Looks like the commercial mortgage apocalypse is about to claim its next victim, this time in the form of the appropriately numbered 666 Fifth Avenue building, home to such previously flourishing tenants as Citi Private Wealth Management...the building's DSCR has fallen to an abysmal 0.69. Even when taking into account the $98 million (or much less) reserve fund the building has set aside to cover rent shortfalls, one can assume it won't be long before the 666 insignia again prominently graces the roof, especially since it would have to replace a laughable Citi sign." Ah, the good old days of 2009, when news mattered, data actually flowed through models, hedge funds traded on constant inside information, markets actually dipped, POMO was a clown, and central planning was merely a drop of unrecycled ink in Ben Shalom Mugabe's toner cartridge. But we digress. As usual Zero Hedge may have been just a little bit ahead of the curve, though still better late in our prediction than never. With little surprise we read in the WSJ, that after an artificial delay of over 2 years, the inevitable is about to catch up with reality, confirming that no amount of Vissarionovichian market manipulation can make up for the complete absence of cash flows. "As of March, the aluminum-panel-clad skyscraper was about $3.5 million-a-month short on debt service, say people familiar with the matter. Only $10 million remained in a reserve fund used to service the property's $1.22 billion mortgage, which is tied to the office portion of the building. Its revenues are only one-fourth the amount forecast in 2007." Next steps: technical and/or full blown default.
Everyone is now well aware of the plight of Stuy Town, which has become a set fixture on the front page of the daily press, and is expected to default on its underlying borrowings within a few months at the most. What will happen to the controlling equity, and the tenants at the multiapartment complex, is unknown. It is no surprise that this will be yet another epic failure for the existing owner, Tishman Speyer, which after gobbling up property after property at the peak of the housing market, is all too aware that it is only a matter of time before control is wrested from it not only in the case of Stuy Town but many of its other properties.
And even though everyone "knows" the state of commercial real estate is in free fall, few have been able to pin it down to specific buildings, as property-level data is still very expensive and more often than not, proprietary. In order to bring the full degree of CRE collapse closer to home, and to provide some leads to our MSM-originating readers, we present a detailed analysis of some of the most impacted CRE properties that have yet to make headline news. For that purpose we combed through BarCap's CMBS remittance data for CMBX 4 (2007 vintage), which is broadly considered the peak year for commercial real estate deals and also the very peak of the housing bubble. We expected to find some of the juiciest CRE failures to be in this loan set. We were not disappointed.
Long before Sergey Aleynikov, in the summer of 2007, a major lawsuit between two quant titans shook the shadowy world of stat arbitrage and HFT. Alexander Belopolsky and Pavel Volfbeyn, at the time residing on the 7th floor of 666 Fifth Avenue (but not for long) and reporting to Millennium's Israel Englander, were about to get the back door treatment by their employer, who had just settled multi-year litigation with their former boss - East Setauket's original quant fund - Renaissance Technologies. But they would not go quietly into the night...
In a watershed case, the SEC has launched its first CDS insider trading case implicating Millennium Partners portfolio manager Renato Negrin and Deutsche Bank CDS trader Jon Paul Rorech. According to the SEC, Negrin and Rorech engaged in illegal activity in the CDS of VNU N.V., a Dutch holding company that owns Nielsen Media, and made a $1.2 million profit.
Well, it wouldn't be fun if it didn't include Citadel... and it does...but also everyone's favorite Stevie Cohen and Henry Swieca.
After Boaz Weinstein blew the place up, others are refusing to pick up the shrapnel. Bberg reports that DB's entire quant trading group, Equitech, has left to start on its own. The new fund will be called Roc Capital Management, based in NY and will be run by Arvind Raghunathan. Nicola Ralston, an advisor on investing in hedge funds points out the blatantly obvious "In this environment, it’s particularly important for individuals to have reputations in order to get access to seed money."
In the wake of the Madoff scandal, it is only a matter of time before the Fund of Funds industry disappears, as investor anger grows at the glaring failure of Fund of Funds' primary responsibility - due diligence. Fund of Funds are currently perceived as worthless middle men between hedge funds and investors, pocketing 1% management fees and 10% incentive fees for arguably doing no work whatsoever.