Showing posts from May, 2012

The Walrus HOOPP Debate on Pensions

Just got back from Toronto where I attended the Walrus HOOPP luncheon debate on pensions on Wednesday, an event sponsored by the Walrus Foundation. The Alliance for Retirement Income Security (ARIA) put out this press release, Be it resolved that Canadians are Incapable of Preparing for their Retirement Needs Alone: the great pension debate : The great debate on retirement – can Canadians save enough on their own – came to the University of Toronto’s Hart House May 30. Before a packed crowd of experts featuring executives from financial institutions, pension plans, the provincial government, and noted pension bloggers Bill Tufts and Leo Kolivakis, HOOPP President & CEO Jim Keohane and David Herle of the Gandalf Group argued for the affirmative, while MoneySense editor Jon Chevreau and noted actuary Malcolm Hamilton argued for the negative. The purpose of debate was to get both sides of the issue of retirement savings out to the public. Those who think Canadians save enough

Tracking Top Funds Activity: Q1 2012

In my last comment on hedge funds trading euro misery , promised to go over the trading activity of top funds during Q1 2012. U.S. markets were closed on Monday for Memorial Day, giving me some time to put this comment together. Before I go over some findings with you, a small preamble to get you familiarized with 13F filings and how they are used and misused by investors and the media. From the SEC website : An institutional investment manager that uses the U.S. mail (or other means or instrumentality of interstate commerce) in the course of its business, and exercises investment discretion over $100 million or more in Section 13(f) securities (explained below) must report its holdings on Form 13F with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In general, an institutional investment manager is: (1) an entity that invests in, or buys and sells, securities for its own account; or (2) a natural person or an entity that exercises investment discretion over the acco

Hedge Funds Trading Euro Misery?

Katya Wachtel of Reuters reports, Hedge funds find ways to trade euro misery : Two decades ago, George Soros rose to fame and fortune on his now-historic trade in which he took on the Bank of England and shrewdly wagered on a devaluation of the British pound. But it's unlikely the current European monetary crisis and worries about Greece's potential exit from the euro zone will give rise to an investing legend like Soros, who made $1 billion in 1992 by betting on a decline in the price of the pound. Instead, there are a multitude of strategies to play Europe's troubles, and many different participants, hedge fund managers say. "There is not room for one player to have such impact," said John Brynjolfsson, whose California-based Armored Wolf hedge fund has been betting against the euro for quite some time. "Financial markets are so much bigger today." A spokesman for Soros, who last year converted his Soros Fund Management to a family office

Anti-Austerity Winds Blowing Across Eurozone?

Reuters reports, Dutch support for austerity parties falls : Support in the Netherlands for the five parties that back budget cuts to meet EU targets has fallen sharply over the past month and below the level needed to form a government after elections in September, a poll showed on Sunday. The euro zone's fifth-largest economy has been one of Germany's most committed allies in pushing for euro zone fiscal discipline, but that was thrown into doubt by the collapse of Prime Minister Mark Rutte's centre-right government last month. Although the Dutch coalition fell apart when it failed to reach an agreement on budget cuts, Rutte was still able to push those through with the backing of the two parties in his caretaker government and three small opposition parties. Those five parties would win 66 seats in the 150-member lower house of parliament, down from 76 last month, a new Maurice de Hond poll showed. The election is set for September 12. The voter shift agai

Greece 10 Years Ahead?

Sam Ro of Business Insider reports, Here's How Greece Can Dominate The Lucrative Global Olive Oil, Feta Cheese And Greek Yogurt Business : Financial distress and political turmoil persists in Greece. And now a Greek exit from the euro is what everyone is buzzing about these days. However, there are numerous actions Greece can take to help turnaround its desperate financial position. Earlier this year, consulting firm McKinsey & Co. just published a study titled Greece 10 Years Ahead: Defining Greece's New Growth Model and Strategy . As its title would suggest, the report aims to lay out a new growth plan for the financially beleaguered country. Among other things, McKinsey argues that Greece needs to be more involved in processing foods that currently leave its country as low margin unfinished goods. Greece has some of the most amazing food commodities in the world. However, it lacks the capacity to process it and sell it at high profit margins. "Greece has

War Between People and Capitalism?

My Friday afternoon follow-up to whether Grexit will kill the global recovery . Last week, the Guardian published an article, Greek leftist leader Alexis Tsipras: 'It's a war between people and capitalism' : "I don't believe in heroes or saviours," says Alexis Tsipras, "but I do believe in fighting for rights … no one has the right to reduce a proud people to such a state of wretchedness and indignity." The man who holds the fate of the euro in his hands – as the leader of the Greek party willing to tear up the country's €130bn (£100bn) bailout agreement – says Greece is on the frontline of a war that is engulfing Europe. A long bombardment of "neo-liberal shock" – draconian tax rises and remorseless spending cuts – has left immense collateral damage. "We have never been in such a bad place," he says, sleeves rolled up, staring hard into the middle distance, from behind the desk that he shares in his sm