Unstructured Finance

Deals wrap: VCs think IPO activity low

More than 80 percent of venture capitalists believe the initial public offering market is at very weak levels and it is curbing profits, according to a new survey.

Online video site Hulu has been approached by a potential buyer and is weighing whether to sell itself, according to a person familiar with the matter. GigaOM lists the possible candidates and the merits of a deal for each company.

Taiwan regulators rejected Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co’s $1.6 billion joint management buyout of electronics component maker Yageo Corp, a decision that may cast a shadow over other private equity involvement in the island.

Hedge fund managers are sifting through the rubble of the deepening Greek debt crisis to find money-making opportunities, though political uncertainty makes it a risky business.

Bridgewater Associates, the world’s biggest hedge fund, is close to launching a $10 billion fund, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The afternoon deal: Hard rock, hard time

Screen shot of Warren Buffett in a Geico commercial from youtube.com.Hot news items today include the Teva deal, MGM Mirage’s move out of Atlantic City and a possible Siemens spin off. But the limelight shines elsewhere, on a hard rocking Buffet and inmate number No. 61727-054.

Warren Buffett Rocks Out (NYT)
“The Oracle of Omaha made a guest appearance in a music video produced by employees of Geico, the insurer he owns through Berkshire Hathaway.”

Madoff Beaten in Prison (WSJ)
“Mr. Madoff was treated for a broken nose, fractured ribs and cuts to his head and face, according to a felon currently at Butner serving time on drug charges who was familiar with his condition at the time.”

The 20 Hot New York City Startups You Need To Watch
(Business Insider)

Grisham says real-life swindlers outdo his fiction

(Reporting by Ned Barnett in Chapel Hill, N.C.)

Author John Grisham, master of the legal thriller, says the real-life fraud scandals involving Bernard Madoff and Allen Stanford trump even the gripping fiction of his novels.

He says he is fascinated by the accusations of multibillion dollar Ponzi schemes, involving tangled webs of companies and offshore banks, which have put Wall Street financier Madoff in jail for 150 years and are also leveled against Texas billionaire and sports entrepreneur Stanford.

Madoff pleaded guilty in March to a $65 billion fraud and was jailed in June, while Stanford has pleaded not guilty to charges that he bilked investors in a $7 billion swindle.

The SEC’s missed chances to catch Madoff

U.S. securities regulators missed repeated chances to uncover Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, a sharply critical review by a federal watchdog said on Wednesday.

Read the full report below:

Live coverage of Bernie Madoff sentencing

Welcome to our live coverage of the Bernie Madoff sentencing. Reuters journalists are outside and inside the Manhattan court where the admitted thief will hear his punishment for running Wall Street’s biggest and most brazen investment scheme. Reuters.com’s intern, Franz Strasser, is sending us updates from the scene that you can follow in the live headline box below.

(Editor’s note: Readers’ comments will appear in a smaller font.)

Update: The live coverage has now ended, but you can still leave a comment below.

Madoff’s last scam

The SEC’s decision to let Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff off with a “no admission of wrongdoing” settlement could be defended on a number of levels, but none will be very satisfying on a day when the Obama administration is set to give the much-maligned regulatory body sweeping new powers to oversee U.S. securities markets.

Madoff pleaded guilty to a $65 billion investment scam in a separate criminal case and faces sentencing on June 29. There is no way he is ever returning to Wall Street, and he is probably going to jail for the rest of his life.

One might consider it a waste of SEC resources to pursue the case any further. And there’s poetic justice in the agency, which for decades missed the biggest fraud on Wall Street, being denied any satisfaction in the courtroom. SEC sources said the deal with Madoff is in line with a February settlement that also included no admission or denial of the findings.

GAIM 2009: Paranoid? You should be…

 

Funds face new levels of scrutinyIt doesn’t take a genius to work out that the hedge fund industry has changed markedly over the past year — a quick glance at delegate numbers here in Monaco shows that.

 

But one means that shows quite how drastic the change has been is in the area of risk management — not normally the sexiest topic but now an area of real concern for investors.

 

Jonathan Feeney of Investcorp Investment Advisors, which allocates money to and conducts due diligence on underlying hedge funds, makes the point.

Madoff Junkies

Bernard MadoffOne of the more striking aspects about the Madoff affair is the large number of people who appear to have been ‘hooked’ on Madoff products.

 

Money managers were drawn by Madoff’s air of mystique, his stellar reputation as a market timer, the apparently steady returns with rock bottom volatility and the absence of fees, which some collected from clients anyway.

 

Those wanting more could simply have increased allocations but some chose to create new investment vehicles instead. Behind the banks and asset managers which lost money, some names appear again and again.

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