Unstructured Finance

UF Weekend Reads

The heat is on all across the U.S. as we gear up for the 4th of July. And in Europe, the heat over the euro zone financial crisis seems to have abated for a day at least, judging by Friday’s big stock market reaction.

So is the euro zone financial crisis over? No, and a lot more work needs to be done. It’s also likely that Friday’s rally will give way to more selling pressure by next week. It’s the Madness of Wall Street and it’s simply how things go.

But here’s the thing: this week’s ability of European leaders to move toward getting something done–even if it is just a bigger band-aid–is one more indication that at the end of the day this crisis will be solved in someway. Oh sure, some nations will get hurt–and more importantly a lot of ordinary people that had nothing to do with the financial crisis will get hurt the most. However, maybe it’s time for everyone–especially those in the media, at hedge funds, bloggers and on Twitter–to back away from some of the worst doom-and-gloom hysteria. Yes, things are bad and could get worse, but is the world really coming undone over the euro zone crisis?

Earlier this week, my UF co-leader Jenn Ablan had an exclusive interview with Michael Steinhardt, one of the people who helped make hedge funds famous, and he basically said there was too much hysteria over Europe. And I think he’s onto something.

So on a real hot weekend, maybe it’s time for everyone to chillax–about the euro zone, health care, etc. Sound advice for all of us–even me.

UF Weekend Reads

By Katya Wachtel

Yes, Germany and Greece have been in a war of words in the unfolding crisis over the latter’s membership in the euro zone, but this afternoon the two nations face off in a different (and far more entertaining) way: they go head-to-head in the European Championship quarterfinal.

As Reuters’ Alexander Hudson reports from Poland, the setting of tonight’s more-than-just-a-game battle, “When Greece take the football field in the Polish coastal city of Gdansk… the honor of the nation is at stake.” Greece, by the way, has never beaten Germany on the soccer pitch.

Closer to home, with the NBA season now officially over – congrats to our Miami Heat fans – there’s a little more time for some weekend reading…

Spain, not Greece, on the minds of many money managers

By Katya Wachtel

On Sunday, voters in Greece’s parliamentary election gave market-watchers the result they wanted.

But in the minds of many money managers, those election results are little more than a band-aid for the euro zone’s deep and complex debt problems, and their attention is focused further West. Many hedge fund managers say it is Spain – the euro zone’s fourth largest economy and the recent recipient of a 100 billion euro bank bailout – that is the real concern for the stability global financial markets.

“Greece has been off the radar screen since March as far as I am concerned,” said Robert Koenigsberger, founder and chief investment officer at $3.2 billion investment manager Gramercy. “When everyone went to bed on Sunday night, I doubt they were expecting to wake up and find that Spain would be 25 basis points wider. People probably thought there would be a risk-on trade that could give Spain some relief.”

UF Weekend Reads

So there’s this election this Sunday in Greece and everyone–who follows the markets–is all excited. But at the end of the day, the main reason people in the markets are all up in arms is because they want to know who will get paid, in what order and most important–how much. Sadly, there’s too little focus on whether the right people/institutions are getting paid; let alone issues of social dignity and the quality of human existence. Guess that’s what the markets are all about, right?

But don’t let any of that stop you from saying thanks to your dad tomorrow. And for all of you dads out there—A Happy Father’s Day. Here then is Sam Forgione’s weekend reads:

 

From The New Republic:

Dierdre N. McCloskey spans the efforts of economists to gauge happiness.

From Foreign Affairs:

Layna Mosley offers a level analysis of euro zone government debt and how markets view it.

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.

M&A wrap: EU crisis hits bank advisory fees

Europe’s debt woes dragged worldwide investment banking income down this year, data showed, with fees on the continent slumping to the lowest quarterly level ever recorded and company listings and acquisitions grinding to a near halt. In Europe, fees raised since October from bonds, flotations and mergers and acquisitions stand at the lowest quarterly level ever recorded by the data providers. A stronger start to the year in areas such as mergers and acquisitions fizzled out, leaving investment banks’ overall haul of fees at $72.6 billion — down 8 percent on 2010.

Yahoo is considering a plan to unload most of its prized Asian assets in a complex deal valued at roughly $17 billion, sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday, winning nods of approval from Wall Street and driving its shares higher. The offer – the latest among proposals put forth in recent months to resuscitate the once high-flying Internet company – is expected to be considered by Yahoo’s board on Thursday, sources said. The board was uninterested in entertaining offers for the entire company at this point, said one of the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Oshkosh Corp has sent a proxy card to shareholders recommending they ignore an effort by billionaire investor Carl Icahn to install his own board members as he pushes for a merger with one of the company’s key rivals. Icahn recently nominated six associates to be on the board of the Wisconsin maker of trucks, construction lifts and defense vehicles. In a letter to the company’s shareholders last week asking for support for his nominations, he also voiced strong support of a merger between Oshkosh and Navistar International Corp. Icahn owns nearly 10 percent stakes in both companies.

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