“Ackman’s essentially fired nuclear missiles at (Herbalife’s) business model and its legality. When (and not ‘if’) HLF’s regulators and distributors essentially blow off Ackman’s claims as either old or no news, HLF will for all intents/purposes become bulletproof and battle tested.” Robert Chapman, founder of Chapman Capital in Los Angeles, in an investor letter explaining why he made a “monster long bet” on Herbalife after Bill Ackman’s Dec. 20 presentation on why he is shorting the dietary supplement maker
“When I started going out to the international markets in 2008, I went through my Rolodex for hedge fund friends in New York and London, and they would talk to me just because they were interested in why I would look at Iraq. Now I'm cold-called on a daily basis by international institutions.” Shwan Taha, head of Iraq's biggest independent brokerage, Rabee Securities, on growing investor interest in Iraq (via The Independent)
“Over past 15 years, I am willing to bet no trade has cost the hedge fund industry more money than shorting JGB's.” Fixed income analyst Peter Tchir of TF Market Advisors in New Canaan, Connecticut, commenting on Japanese Government Bonds
“I think their financial policies are somewhat destructive to valuation, considering all this cash earning nothing.” Leon Cooperman, CEO of Omega Advisors, on why he has become wary of Apple though he still owns shares (via Reuters)
“We like to hire PhD's: Poor, Hungry and Driven.” Mario Gabelli, CEO of Gabelli Asset Management Company Investors, on intellectual capital. (via Bloomberg radio)
“Mr. Park is happy to put this matter behind him.” Steven Glaser, a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher & Flom, who represents Raymond Park, Tiger Asia Management’s head trader. Park and Tiger Asia fund manager Sung Kook "Bill" Hwang pleaded guilty to wire fraud in connection with illegal trading of two Chinese bank stocks. (via Reuters)
“There was a lot of skepticism a few weeks ago that they would manage to do this at all. I don't think anyone will want to raise a big fuss; they will find a way to disburse the aid.” Sassan Ghahramani, CEO at hedge fund consultancy SGH Macro Advisors, on this week’s largely successful Greek bond buyback. (via Reuters)
“The price is dear, as I found out. Nothing is worth this. Not the embarrassment, disappointment, failure — nothing. ” Sam Israel, former head of the Bayou Hedge Fund Group who was convicted of running a $450 million Ponzi scheme, in a letter to the New York Hedge Fund Roundtable. Israel faked his own suicide in 2005 and is now serving a 20-year sentence. Guy Lawson, the author of a new book about Israel, read the letter aloud after a presentation to the group. (via New York Post)
“His departure doesn't come as a great surprise. It feels like he is now paying for the GLG acquisition, which was overpriced in hindsight.” Arun Melmane, an analyst at Canaccord Genuity, on Man Group’s announcement that CEO Peter Clarke will step down. (via the London Independent)
“Think about this. Hedge fund managers make as much in two minutes as Navy SEALs make in a year. Does that sound right to you? It doesn't to me.” Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) on why the wealthy should pay more taxes as part of a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. (via USA Today)
“I don't think what needs to be done is going to be able to happen in the next three to four weeks.” Jim Chanos, head of Kynikos Associates, discussing the looming fiscal cliff. (via Bloomberg TV).
“As a hedge fund, do I want to be long in this stock for the next three to six months? No, I want out. I haven't met one hedge fund with a four-year time horizon.” Walter Spracklin, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets in Toronto, on why he thinks Canadian Pacific Railway, a target of activist hedge fund manager Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management, is headed for a massive selloff in early December. (via Financial Post of Canada)
“The findings suggest that investors interested in exposure to hedge funds and seeking to protect their wealth should examine funds with over $500 million in (assets under management), since the average large fund has had lower losses in negative performance years and lower annualized deviation figures compared to the average small fund.” Jed Alpert, managing director of global marketing at research firm Pertrac, in a statement accompanying the firm’s sixth annual study of hedge fund performance trends, released this week.
“Hedge-fund multi-millionaires who bought works by (Damien) Hirst, whether they were his trademark spot paintings consisting of symmetrically placed rows of dots or the medicine cabinet installations that he passed off as art, now wonder if they mightn't have been better off with a picture they actually liked.” Irish author and satirist Ruth Dudley Edwards, writing about Hirst’s market prices falling in the London Daily Mail.
“It's something we've thought about. The short answer is ‘maybe.’” Carson Block, founder of research firm Muddy Waters, which specializes in exposing problems at Chinese companies, on the possibility that he might start a hedge fund that would take short positions against such companies, at the Reuters Global Investment 2013 Outlook Summit.