Felix Salmon

Trish Regan, Einhorn apologist

Ever since the story first broke, more than five weeks ago, that David Einhorn was suing Seeking Alpha, the Israeli financial website has been very, very quiet on the topic. Sometimes they have simply failed to respond at all to requests for comment (including mine); other times, as with Andrew Ross Sorkin, a spokesman will formally decline to comment.

When vultures land in the Hamptons

Today’s tale of hedge fund / Hamptons excess comes from Mitchell Freedman at Newsday; if that story is paywalled, you can find pickups in all the usual places. But it’s the Daily Mail which has the best map:

The SEC’s prospects against Stevie Cohen weaken further

Andrew Ross Sorkin and Peter Lattman have uncovered an interesting wrinkle in the SEC’s case against Mathew Martoma, the most promising part of its huge investigation into Stevie Cohen. The SEC made quite a big deal of the fact that Martoma didn’t just sell his position in two pharmaceutical companies ahead of a big negative announcement; he even kept on selling after that, building up a substantial short position.

Stevie Cohen, collector of traders and art

Gary Sernovitz, a research analyst turned novelist, has 3,500 words in n+1 about Stevie Cohen, trading, and art collecting. That’s about 3,000 words too many: his core thesis is really pretty simple. Cohen’s art collecting, says Sernovitz, holds up a mirror to his professional life: both are about the “struggle against the mortality of the edge”.

Goldman’s small internal hedge fund

When JP Morgan’s London Whale blew up, one part of the collateral damage was the publication of a detailed Volcker Rule. The Whale was gambling JP Morgan’s money, and wasn’t doing so on behalf of clients — yet somehow his actions were Volcker-compliant. And when the blow-up revealed the absurdity of that particular loophole, the rule went back to the SEC for further refinement.

What’s Ackman’s Herbalife game?

Bill Ackman sure knows how to make a splash: his presentation laying out his Herbalife short is rapidly approaching 3 million pageviews on Business Insider, plus many more from his own website. What’s more, it has already made him a lot of money: even with Herbalife stock up more than 12% today, at about $33 per share, it’s safe to assume that Ackman put on his short at between $45 and $50. If John Hempton is right and the short is on the order of $1 billion, then that means Ackman has made more than $300 million in the past couple of weeks.

The efficient markets hypothesis in fund fees

Via Chris Addy, a Dilbert cartoon from January 2000:

Dilbert.com

The scary thing is this is actually true, when it comes to things like the Renaissance Medallion Fund. If it wasn’t for current and former employees only, it would have no difficulty raising many billions of dollars at 5-and-44. The only way it can keep the suckers at bay is by closing the fund to all outside investors.