Unstructured Finance

UF Weekend Reads

Here’s to getting out exclusive stories fast when need be. This week, pay close attention to Jamie Dimon, who will be on the congressional hot seat as he deals with questions over JPM’s $2 billion plus trading loss. And without further ado, here’s Sam Forgione’s weekend reads:


From Fortune:

Peter Elkind and Doris Burke add more arc to the “human drama” of MF Global’s collapse.

From The New York Times:

Ron Lieber has some tips to resolve the fear of falling behind on finances.

From Institutional Investor:

JP MorganChase’s trading loss could signal big changes for investment banks, writes Charles Wallace.

From Bloomberg Businessweek:

Matthew Philips brings the U.S. closer to the reality of European debt crisis contagion.

From The Washington Post:

Public workers and their unions could face the brunt of budget cuts, Sandhya Somashekhar and Krissah Thompson write.

Pension wallflowers at the Chesapeake dance

By Matthew Goldstein and Jennifer Ablan

You gotta give credit to O. Mason Hawkins and Carl Icahn, the unlikely partnership that managed to get some important concessions from Chesapeake Energy Corp., the embattled natural gas company. But when it comes to public pensions that also own stock in Chesapeake, it’s a far different story.

The head of Southeastern Asset Management and the billionaire activist trader came together to get Chesapeake to agree to shake-up its board and allow the pair to name four new independent directors on the company’s nine-member board. And for the most part, Hawkins and Icahn managed to wrest that change from Chesapeake without much help from public pensions that own shares in the Oklahoma-based company.

The move is an attempt by Chesapeake to deal with criticism shareholder anger that company long has been to forgiving to the wheeling-and-dealing of its chief executive Aubrey McClendon.

It’s Baaaack…The madness of Wall Street

By Jennifer Ablan and Matthew Goldstein

It is small wonder mom-and-pop investors are showing no love for U.S. stocks for a fourth consecutive year.

Not only has the U.S. economic recovery remained fragile, but the so-called “headline risk” is dominating investor psyche again.

On Monday,  the Dow Jones Industrials Average extended its “June Swoon” ending flattish after being down for most of the day, after Reuters reported that finance ministers and central bank governors of the Group of Seven (G7) industrialized nations will hold a conference call on Tuesday morning amid increased concern about the European debt crisis.

UF Weekend Reads

A beautiful summer day in the New York area and the jinx is broken. What jinx, you ask? Well if you’re a long suffering Mets fan you know what I mean–finally a no-hitter. #LETSGOMETS! Oh and yes, here is Sam Forgione’s latest edition of weekend reads. Also don’t forget to follow Sam on Twitter @samuelforgione


From The Atlantic:

William D. Cohan challenges popular beliefs on the cause of the 2008 financial crisis.

From BusinessWeek:

ETFs are becoming increasingly risky to retail investors, Christopher Condon writes.

And the winner is….

By Matthew Goldstein

Four months ago, the regulator for Fannie Mae announced with much fanfare that it would accept bids for 2,500 single-family homes owned by Fannie Mae. The process has drawn a lot of interest from hedge funds, private equity firms and other big money players, but it’s been a slow one.

However, it appears the Federal Housing Finance Agency has finally come up with a date for qualified bidders to submit bids for the deal. And that date is, (drum roll) June 7, say people familiar with the situation.

There’s been a lot of speculation about which firms will bid for these Fannie-owned homes. My incredibly well-sourced colleague Jenn Ablan and I have been on this from the start and will endeavor to find out as quickly as possible the names of some of the biggest players entering the market for foreclosed homes. Stay tuned.

Wall Street gold rush in foreclosed homes heads north

By Matthew Goldstein and Jennifer Ablan

The state of Alaska is looking to cash in on the growing demand for renting out foreclosed single-family homes.

A spokeswoman for the $40 billion Alaska Permanent Fund recently approved a $400 million investment with a California-based company that specializes in buying foreclosed homes and renting them out. Laura Achee said the fund is still negotiating the terms of the deal with American Homes 4 Rent LLC.

The Alaska fund, which is managed by a state-owned corporation, is believed to be one of the first public investment arms to sink money into the market for foreclosed homes.

UF Weekend Reads

The latest offerings by our Sam Forgione include a little Bridgewater, PIMCO and Jamie.

From National Journal:

Jim Tankersley airs Nick Hanauer’s championing of the middle class after Hanauer’s TED Talk was pulled.

From Barron’s:

Ray Dalio explains why macro efforts to support the U.S. economy are “beautiful” in Sandra Ward’s interview.

Over dinner in Sin City, Gore and hedge fund honchos talk taxes and Obama

Fund manager Anthony Scaramucci, also known as the “Mooch,” likes to bring big-name politicos to his annual hedge fund convention-cum-carouse, the Skybridge Alternatives Conference, or, as most simply call it: SALT.

Last year, Scaramucci procured former President George W. Bush to be SALT’s keynote speaker. This year, former vice-president Al Gore scored the keynote time-slot.

The enormous and palatial Grand Ballroom at the Bellagio Hotel was packed to the brim for Gore’s appearance, but Gore’s next date with SALT attendees was more exclusive. As was the case with Bush one year earlier, Gore’s talk was followed by a dinner for twenty or so handpicked guests at the Bellagio’s private Tuscany dining room.

UF Weekend Reads

A dreary looking day in the NYC environs today, but that won’t overshadow birthday celebrations and other good news too cheer! A big shout to all UF members today. Oh, and fight for your right to party. Here then is Sam Forgione’s suggested readings.


From The New York Times:

A former managing director of Bain Capital has a telling beef with art-history majors.

From AR:

Hedge fund managers are still leaving their safety zones for emerging markets, even as John Paulson is recovering from his Sino-Forest bet, writes Jan Alexander.

UF Weekend Reads

Nice weather today in NYC. Enjoy it today before Sunday’s deluge. Here’s Sam Forgione’s picks. You can now follow Sam on twitter @samuelforgione


From The New Yorker:

Nicholas Lemann explores new books that illustrate the ties between politics and the economy.

From BusinessWeek:

Lazard’s Michele Lamarche takes on the tough task of courting debt-strapped nations.