Starwood

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Frontrunning: July 25





  • Argentine holdout NML says government "choosing" to default (Reuters)
  • Crunch time for Gaza truce talks as death toll passes 800 (Reuters)
  • Don’t Tell Anybody About This Story on HFT Power Jump Trading (BBG)
  • U.S. Accuses Russia of Shelling Eastern Ukraine (BBG)
  • France’s Wheat Exports in Question as Rain Spoils Quality (BBG)
  • Tapering in action: Lower printer sales hurt Xerox's revenue (Reuters)
  • No liquidity? No Problem, there's an ETF for that: Bond ETFs Swelling in Europe as Trading Debt Gets Tougher (BBG)
  • Herbalife hires ex-Biden chief to fend off regulators (NYPost)
  • GM recalls far from calamity for some dealers who find new customers, business (Reuters)
  • Bad weather likely cause of fatal Air Algerie crash: French officials (Reuters)
 
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Frontrunning: July 24





  • EU to weigh extensive sanctions on Russia (FT)
  • U.S. lifts flight ban to Israel (Reuters)
  • Russia says will cooperate with MH17 probe led by Netherlands (Reuters)
  • Norway faces ‘concrete and credible’ terrorist threat (FT)
  • Don’t Tell Anybody About This Story on HFT Power Jump Trading (BBG)
  • But... but... PMI: Unilever Sales Growth Misses Estimates on Asian Slowdown (BBG)
  • World’s Biggest Wealth Fund Reviews $8 Billion Russian Stake (BBG)
  • Qualcomm latest US tech company to reverse in China (FT)
  • Hamptons Home Sales Rise as Buyers Find More Inventory (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: July 10





  • Espirito Santo Financial Suspends Shares, Bonds on ESI Exposure (BBG)
  • Europe Stocks Drop for Fifth Day as Espirito Santo Sinks (BBG)
  • Espirito Santo Creditors Doubt Containment on Missed Payment (BBG)
  • French Stocks Seen Extending Losses on Economy Concern (BBG)
  • Stocks Slide With Portugal Bonds as Yen Gains; Oil Drops (BBG)
  • U.S. Probes Hacking of Government Computers at Personnel Agency (WSJ)... finds terabytes of porn 
  • It's Congress' fault: Obama rejects criticism over border crisis (Reuters)
  • Israel Mobilizes 20,000 Troops for Possible Gaza Invasion (BBG)
  • Chinese hackers pursue key data on U.S. workers (NYT)
  • Donetsk Primed for Siege as Ukraine Army Hems In Rebels (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: July 8





  • Headline of the day: Complacency Breeds $2 Trillion of Junk as Sewage Funded (BBG)
  • Israel intensifies Gaza offensive after surge in rocket fire (Reuters)
  • Profits plunge at Vatican bank (FT)
  • Investors Are Buying Troubled Golf Courses and Giving Them Makeovers (NYT)
  • Pimco Dissidents Challenge Bill Gross in ‘Happy Kingdom (BBG)
  • That's a new one: Marks and Spencer blames new website for sales drop  (Reuters)
  • Iran's Supreme Leader calls for more enrichment capacity (Reuters)
  • Boeing Faces Long-Term Credit Risk if Ex-Im Bank Closed, S&P Says (WSJ) not to mention the collapse risk to US durable goods orders
  • U.K. Manufacturing Unexpectedly Slumps Most in 16 Months (BBG)
  • Some Still Lack Coverage Under Health Law (WSJ)
 
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Frontrunning: May 29





  • Snowden: 'no relationship' with Russian government (Reuters)
  • Bond Surge Worldwide Drives Index Yield to One-Year Low (BBG)
  • Shares flirt with record highs on ECB easing bets (Reuters)
  • Goldman Shuns Bonds Pimco’s Gross Favors in ‘New Neutral’  (BBG)
  • Porn may be messing with your head (Reuters)
  • Dish to Become Largest Company to Accept Bitcoin (AP)
  • To Make a Killing on Wall Street, Start Meditating (BBG)
  • Apple to get Beats, music mogul Iovine for $3 billion (Reuters)
  • Fink Says Leveraged ETFs May ‘Blow Up’ Industry  (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: April 24





  • Ukraine forces kill up to five rebels, Putin warns of consequences (Reuters)
  • Obama to Russia: More sanctions are 'teed up' (AP)
  • Vienna Banks Bemoan Russia Sanctions Testing Cold War Neutrality (BBG)
  • GE’s $57 Billion Cash Overseas Said to Fuel Alstom Deal (BBG)
  • GM posts lower first-quarter profit after recall costs (Reuters)
  • Apple Stock Split Removes Obstacle to Inclusion in Dow (BBG)
  • U.S. regulators to propose new net neutrality rules in May (Reuters)
 
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Buy-To-Rent Is Officially Dead In California





We’ve chronicled the saga of “buy-to-rent” for well over a year now. From some of its most exuberant phases to its now epic retreat (investment firm property purchases are now down 70% year-to-date). It seems as if the pullback of private equity and hedge funds from this asset class is even more brutal in certain regions, with Blackstone now reporting its purchases in California down a staggering 90% this year. Not to worry, we're quite certain unemployed and deeply indebted recent college graduates will soon pick up the slack due to the anticipated resurgence of subprime lending.

 
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Facebook Blows $16 Billion On SnapChat Competitor WhatsApp; Stock Tanks





After being rebuffed by SnapChat last year to the tune of $3 billion, Facebook decided that growth at any price was all that matters by blowing more than 5 times as much on the purchase of privately-owned WhatsApp. For $16 billion ($4bn cash and $12bn stock), Facebook gets 320 million active WhatsApp users at a whopping $50 per user. Why whopping? Because a few days ago Rakuten bought Viber's 300 million users for $900 million, or about $3 a pop, and about ten times less than what Facebook just paid. Not surprisingly FB shareholders are not happy. The company, which allows users to send messages over the web for free (as opposed to traditional text messages which most Telcos are now offering for free also) "is on a path to connect 1 billion people," Zuckerberg said, adding that they are "adding 1 million people per day..." It seems, as we noted previously, that the real bubble is in private markets not public.

 
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Sternlicht On The QE Melt-Up: "Enjoy It As An Investor, Not As An American"





"In some stocks," Starwood Capital's Barry Sternlicht warns, "we are seeing irrational exuberance with silly valuations." The outspoken asset manager warns that the signs are coming from the credit markets of "silly debt deals" with no covenants - which is helping equities melt-up but is a sign of a bubble. Perhaps his answer to what the Fed will do and when is the most succinct (and likely accurate) summation of the current idiocy, "very little and never," as the anchor grinningly suggests how great higher stock prices are for 'investors' before Sternlicht exclaims that may be true for the minority who hold stocks, "enjoy it is an investor," he suggests, "but don't love it as an American." Sternlicht goes on to address the dysfunctional political class and the Fed's enabling of that to continue as well as where the real estate bubbles are in the US.

 
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Barry Sternlicht Warns "Everyone Is Holding Cash Because They Know When It Ends It's Gonna Get Ugly"





"The Fed is playing a very dangerous game," Starwood Capital's Barry Sternlicht warns,"and they need to stop." Sternlicht has quadrupled his firm's net worth in this time and, to the incredulity of the CNBC anchors, warns, "this is bad, this is a heroine addiction.. and now they are printing more money than the deficit." The outspoken CEO of the $29 billion fund, noted "all my friends who are money managers.. are much closer to the sell button than they ever were before," adding that "everyone's holding cash," since if they start to get nervous "volatility will come back instantly." Simply put, he concludes, "you know when this ends, it's gonna get ugly."

 
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Frontrunning: November 5





  • China premier warns against loose money policies (Reuters)
  • Brussels forecasts tepid Eurozone growth (FT)
  • SAC Case Began With Informant’s Tips on Cohen, Rajaratnam (BBG)
  • Dirty Munich Home’s Nazi Loot Estimated at $1.35 Billion (BBG)
  • Mortar hits Vatican embassy in Damascus, no casualties (Reuters)
  • India Launches Mars Mission (WSJ)
  • Lael Brainard to leave Treasury, heading to Fed (FT)
  • U.S. Takes Aim at 'Forced' Insurance (WSJ)
  • Wife of Jeff Bezos attacks book about Amazon (FT)
  • Fall of Brazil’s Batista embarrasses President Dilma Rousseff (FT)
  • The One Thing People Still Really Like About BlackBerry (BusinessWeek)
 
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Frontrunning: November 1





  • US admits surveillance on foreign governments ‘reached too far’ (FT)
  • He must be so proud: Obama halted NSA spying on IMF and World Bank headquarters (RTRS)
  • Obamacare website gets new tech experts; oversight pressure grows (Reuters)
  • R.B.S. to Split Off $61 Billion in Loans Into Internal ‘Bad Bank’ (NYT)
  • Draghi’s Deflation Risk Complicates Recovery (BBG)
  • Abenomics: Nissan slashes full-year profit forecast 15% (FT)
  • Credit Suisse Dismisses London Trader Over 'Unusual Trading' Losses (WSJ)
  • RBS avoids break-up with 38 billion pounds 'internal bad bank' (Reuters)
  • Twitter Said to Attract More Than Enough Interest for IPO (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: October 31





  • US Blasts Germany's Economic Policies (WSJ)
  • Citigroup, JPMorgan Said to Put Currency Dealers on Leave (BBG)
  • Watchdog: Syria Destroys Chemical-Arms Equipment (WSJ)
  • Kynikos Alumni Start Hedge Fund Betting on Declining Stocks (BBG)
  • China state media calls for stern action after Tiananmen attack (RTRS)
  • IMF warns of financial shock risk to Africa (FT)
  • Insurers Oppose Obamacare Extension as Danger to Profits (BBG)
  • BoJ content to ignore Fed tapering and go its own way (FT)
  • U.S. attorney wants DOJ to take civil action against BofA (RTRS)
  • NSA Fallout Hits AT&T's Ambitions In Europe (WSJ)
 
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Frontrunning: October 24





  • Central Banks Drop Tightening Talk as Easy Money Goes On (BBG)
  • More Democrats voice Obamacare concerns as website blame goes around (Reuters)
  • Contractors Point Fingers Over Health-Law Website (WSJ)
  • Jury Decides Against BofA on 'Hustle' Program (WSJ)
  • Credit Suisse to overhaul interest rates trading business (FT)
  • Home Builders Target Higher End (WSJ)
  • The Many Lives of Iron Mountain (NYer)
  • Busy tourist season nudges Spanish unemployment lower (Reuters)
  • Morgan Stanley Joins BofA in Broker Recruiting Truce (BBG)
  • Ending World’s Longest Nonstop Flight Adds Five Hours (BBG)
 
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US Government Confiscates Midtown Manhattan Skyscraper, One Time Ivan Boesky HQ, From Iran





A week ago when we presented the missing link in the "all cash" housing recovery, namely laundered, embezzled or simply stolen off-shore sourced cash parked in the US real estate market which takes advantage of the NAR's generous anti-money laundering provision exemption, we asked what we thought would be a rhetorical question: "just how far will Preet Bharara take this, and comparable such future actions?" Turns out the answer is quite a bit farther, and higher. And not only that, but instead of just targeting residential real estate, the US attorney in Manhattan, is now focusing on commercial real estate as well. As CNN reported moments ago, the US government has seized an iconic midtown Manhattan skyscraper, one where none other than Ivan Boesky plotted his insider trading schemes in the 1980s, that prosecutors claim is secretly owned and controlled by the Iranian government. The skyscraper in question is 650 Fifth Avenue, also known as the Piaget building.

 

 
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