Aaron's Feed
Apr 20, 2012

Pensions helped EIG loan cash to Chesapeake, McClendon

BOSTON (Reuters) – An investment management firm that has loaned hundreds of millions of dollars to Chesapeake Energy Corp.(CHK.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Chief Executive Aubrey McClendon raised money for its most recent investment fund from 19 institutional investors, including some of the largest U.S. public pension funds, according to a private equity research firm.

The list of state pensions that put money into the $4.1 billion EIG Global Energy Partners fund include ones from Alaska, Connecticut, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri and Texas, according to research firm Preqin. Other large investors in the EIG Energy Fund XV were insurance giant MetLife and a Teamsters pension plan.

Apr 4, 2012

Fairholme’s Berkowitz has big recovery in first quarter

BOSTON, April 4 (Reuters) – Many of 2011′s trailing money
managers bounced back in the first quarter thanks to the stock
market’s big rally. But few came back quite as strongly as
Fairholme Fund’s Bruce Berkowitz, who is already within sight of
recovering all of last year’s loss.

In 2011, just a year after being named Morningstar’s stock
fund manager of the decade, Berkowitz turned in a horrible
performance, as big bets on financial stocks like American
International Group and Bank of America cratered
and his fund lost 32 percent, even worse than its 2008 decline
of 30 percent.

Jan 11, 2012

BlackRock acquires Canadian ETF firm

BOSTON, Jan 11 (Reuters) – BlackRock Inc, the world’s
largest money manager, said on Wednesday it will expand its
exchange-traded fund business in Canada by acquiring privately
held Claymore Investments.

New York-based BlackRock (BLK.N: Quote, Profile, Research) will buy Claymore from
Guggenheim Partners, a privately owned financial services firm
based in New York and Chicago, for an undisclosed sum. The
all-cash deal is expected to close by the end of the first
quarter and will be “neutral to modestly accretive” to
BlackRock’s 2012 earnings, BlackRock said.

Jan 6, 2012

Top shorted U.S. stocks dive but funds fail to cash in

BOSTON (Reuters) – Stocks targeted by short sellers plummeted last year. The 10 most shorted stocks heading into 2011 dropped an average of 31 percent over the next 12 months. Some, like retailer Sears Holdings Corp (SHLD.O: Quote, Profile, Research), for-profit college company Corinthian Colleges Inc (COCO.O: Quote, Profile, Research) and technology equipment maker Veeco Instruments Inc. (VECO.O: Quote, Profile, Research), lost closer to 60 percent.

So funds that specialize in shorting – selling borrowed shares and betting they will drop so they can be bought back at a lower price – must have made a killing, you might think.

Jan 6, 2012

Analysis: Top shorted U.S. stocks dive but funds fail to cash in

BOSTON (Reuters) – Stocks targeted by short sellers plummeted last year. The 10 most shorted stocks heading into 2011 dropped an average of 31 percent over the next 12 months. Some, like retailer Sears Holdings Corp (SHLD.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), for-profit college company Corinthian Colleges Inc (COCO.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and technology equipment maker Veeco Instruments Inc. (VECO.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), lost closer to 60 percent.

So funds that specialize in shorting – selling borrowed shares and betting they will drop so they can be bought back at a lower price – must have made a killing, you might think.

Dec 13, 2011
via MediaFile

Verizon vs Apple: A royal battle

By Aaron Pressman
The opinions expressed are his own.

Last week’s tiff over the Google Wallet app at Verizon Wireless may seem like just another minor dust-up among hardcore phone geeks. But the debate is an opening skirmish in a potentially huge battle, particularly if, as expected, a new iPhone model arrives that runs on Verizon’s high-speed “LTE” Internet service.

At stake is whether seemingly pro-consumer “open platform” rules adopted by the Federal Communications Commission to promote choice and innovation on Verizon’s LTE network have any meaning at all.

Dec 7, 2011

New complex EFTs may face long wait for OK by SEC

PHOENIX, Dec 7 (Reuters) – Sponsors of U.S. exchange-traded
funds should not expect regulatory approval for more complex,
and higher-fee, products anytime soon, attorneys specializing
in funds said.

The Securities and Exchange Commission, already slowed by
numerous rule-making proceedings from the Dodd-Frank Act, is
backing away from allowing more innovation in ETFs as
complaints about the funds’ impact on markets mount, according
to Michael Mundt, a partner at Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young.

Dec 2, 2011
via MediaFile

Great artists steal, tablet edition

By Aaron Presssman
The opinions expressed are his own.

“Good artists copy, great artists steal.” – Pablo Picasso via 1994 Steve Jobs

Amazon’s new Kindle Fire tablet seems like the anti-iPad to many. With its chunky design, smaller low resolution screen and occasionally stuttering software interface, the Fire has been blasted by some of the iPad’s biggest fans. And they’ve predicted it too will end up on the growing trash heap of previous iPad competitors that arrived with high expectations only to be found selling on Woot for 75 percent off six months later.

Nov 18, 2011

HOW TO PLAY IT: High-flyer stocks crash back to earth

BOSTON (Reuters) – Investors who favor the fastest growing stocks, those with revenue and share prices accelerating far more quickly than profitability, are getting pummeled as one after another of their favorite stocks slip and fall.

That has hedge fund managers and other short sellers on the lookout for the next high flyer to take a dive.

Nov 18, 2011

Miller’s fall shows luck at play in investing

By Ross Kerber and Aaron Pressman

(Reuters) – During famed fund manager Bill Miller’s 15-year streak of outperforming the S&P 500, he was often held up as proof that stock picking wasn’t just dumb luck. It required skill.

But the streak ended in 2006 and Miller became a poster boy for the other side of the debate over the ensuing years, as miserable performance brought his once stellar record back to earth.

    • About Aaron

      "Boston-based reporter covering investment management and investing. Previously worked at Businessweek in Boston and at The Industry Standard and Reuters in Washington, D.C."
    • Follow Aaron