EIC/Wall Street investigations
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Aug 13, 2011
via Unstructured Finance

Welcome to Paulson-mart

By Matthew Goldstein

It’s been an ugly summer for hedge fund king John Paulson with two of his biggest funds down more than 25 percent. But what makes that poor performance all the more painful is how widespread it is being felt by wealthy individual investors around the globe.

Paulson’s flagship Advantage funds would appear to be exclusive terrain with a $10 million investment requirement. But that hefty entrance fee is something of a veneer because many of Paulson’s investors have gained entrance to his kingdom by plunking down as little as $100,000. That’s because Paulson’s Advantage funds are some of the most widely sold hedge fund portfolios on distribution platforms maintained by Wall Street firms, European banks and small investment advisory firms around the globe.

Aug 10, 2011

The perils of Paulson

NEW YORK/BOSTON (Reuters) – The crown may be slipping fast from billionaire trader John Paulson’s head.

The hedge fund manager became an overnight sensation in 2007 by betting big and early on the collapse of the U.S. housing market, and then doing much of the same on a surge in gold prices. But he is now emerging as one of this year’s big losers in the $2 trillion hedge fund industry.

Aug 10, 2011

Paulson’s search for greener pastures

NEW YORK, Aug 10 (Reuters) – In April, John Paulson told
some of his investors during a conference he held at the Aria
hotel and casino in Las Vegas that he had been too optimistic
about the timing of a rebound in the U.S. housing market.

He said it might be another year before the housing market
began to roust itself from a long multi-year funk.

Aug 10, 2011

Special report: The perils of Paulson

NEW YORK/BOSTON (Reuters) – The crown may be slipping fast from billionaire trader John Paulson’s head.

The hedge fund manager became an overnight sensation in 2007 by betting big and early on the collapse of the U.S. housing market, and then doing much of the same on a surge in gold prices. But he is now emerging as one of this year’s big losers in the $2 trillion hedge fund industry.

Aug 6, 2011
via Unstructured Finance

Et tu, S&P

By Matthew Goldstein

A few weeks ago S&P telegraphed that it would soon strip the U.S. of its vaunted Triple A rating and downgrade the government’s debt by a slight notch to AA+. And Friday night, the major credit rating did just as it telegraphed.

For the moment, let’s not debate whether S&P is engaging in politics, or should even be in the business of rating the debt of countries. The latter issue, however, is something that our nation’s political leaders and regulators may want to consider at some point.

Aug 6, 2011

Insight: Investors rush to cash as economic turmoil worsens

NEW YORK (Reuters) – It was the week of the defensive crouch. In the face of wrenching global economic and political events, many traders, corporate treasurers and pension managers decided that cash and U.S. Treasuries were the safest places to be.

The S&P 500 absorbed its worst one week decline since November 2008 as concerns grew about the inability of world political leaders to deal with the European debt crisis or the faltering U.S. economic recovery.

Aug 6, 2011

Investors rush to cash as economic turmoil worsens

NEW YORK, Aug 5 (Reuters) – It was the week of the
defensive crouch. In the face of wrenching global economic and
political events, many traders, corporate treasurers and
pension managers decided that cash and U.S. Treasuries were the
safest places to be.

The S&P 500 .SPX absorbed its worst one week decline
since November 2008 as concerns grew about the inability of
world political leaders to deal with the European debt crisis
or the faltering U.S. economic recovery.

Aug 4, 2011
via Unstructured Finance

John Paulson’s lost advantage

By Matthew Goldstein

Hedge fund titan John Paulson has a shrinkage problem.

The billionaire manager’s flagship Paulson Advantage funds are quickly losing altitude after peaking with $19.1 billion in assets under management in March. As of the other day, the combined AUM of the Paulson Advantage and Advantage Plus funds had fallen to $15.7 billion, according to investor sources.

The Advantage funds account for roughly 44 percent of the $35. 2 billon in assets under management at Paulson. The two so-called event driven funds  long have been the manager’s largest.

Aug 2, 2011
via Unstructured Finance

Steve Cohen’s forbidden transcript

By Matthew Goldstein

Hedge fund titan Steve Cohen is taking steps to appear more open these days.  Over the past year or so, he’s been showing up at industry conferences, charity events–even allowing himself to be photographed with his wife for a glossy spread in Vanity Fair magazine.

But there are some things the SAC Capital founder is drawing a line in the sand over when it comes to greater transparency, including some of his own words.

Jul 29, 2011
via Unstructured Finance

Hedge fund leaders duck for cover

By Matthew Goldstein

Top hedge fund managers are great at enriching themselves through savvy trades that presumably come from a keen insight into the markets and economic trends. But all too often these titans of Wall Street come up small when asked for their opinions on the pressing economic questions of the day.

That’s what happened when three Reuters reporters recently asked 30 of the top U.S. hedge fund managers to respond to a quick email survey about the political morass in Washington and the potential for a double dip recession. Less than a handful of  managers offered any thoughts on the subject. The overwhelming majority either didn’t respond, or had a representative reply that the manager was either too busy to comment, or didn’t want to participate.