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Tag Archives: investment management

Robinhood’s Revealing Ad Pitch: We’re All Investors, Alone

Yves here. Robinhood is baack…but not in the way you might anticipate. After having been bloodied in the GameStop stock squeeze, and then having to ‘splain itself before Congress, Robinhood is apparently hoping enough ad spending will make this sorry history go away. Or alternatively, perhaps it already has plenty of churn among its investors, so all it need to do is accelerate the intake a bit. I am highly confident you’ll enjoy Jared Holst’s take on Robinhood’s image-burnishing campaign. By...

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A Quick Comment on China Stomping on Chinese Stock Listings in the US

Even granting Frank Herbert’s maxim from Dune, that the most persistent principles in the universe are accident and error, one can come up with pretty plausible theories otherwise with respect to China deciding to clamp down on Chinese company listings in the US, and making an example of ride-sharing company Didi. Even though Chinese officials profess to be worked up about customer-data being made public (huh?), it seems much more likely that the big motivation for China is to throw sand in...

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Australian Funds Take Aim at Private Equity by Moving to Do Deals in House

One has to wonder how CalPERS and other large US institutional investors can justify paying egregious fees and costs to private equity firms and getting lackluster net returns. One approach is to just say no and stop throwing money at private equity. Another response, which we’ve advocated, is to bring private equity in house. By cutting out the pricey middleman, investors can increase net returns. As we’ll discuss below, Australian superannuation funds are gearing up to make investments on...

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Decisions Finally Coming in Long-Running Battle with Hedge Fund Titans in Kentucky Pension Case, Mayberry v. KKR

Below we are posting a pair of key filings in Mayberry v. KKR, the very long running effort by various beneficiaries of the fabulously broke Kentucky Retirement System to claw some of their abusively managed monies back from private equity titans slumming as hedgies. Next Monday, Judge Philip Shepherd will hear arguments about the effort of Kentucky attorney general Daniel Cameron to intervene in the case. That included taking up claims asserted by so-called Tier 3 plaintiffs, who are...

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How Third-Party Auditors Make Oil Industry Fraud Possible

Yves here. As the financial press has been dazzled by Three Card Montes like crypto and NFTs and SPACs, garden variety frauds like asset overstatements chug along. As this post explains, they can be quite significant for oil company reserves. The interesting wrinkle is that accountants like KPMG who are all too willing to sign off on too obviously pumped up numbers are being hit with charges and fines. By Justin Mikulka, a freelance investigative journalist. Justin has a degree in Civil and...

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Lawmakers Are Firing Back At Fossil Fuel Divestors

Yves here. Never understand the feral impulses of the red team. The fact that West Virginia is one of the leaders of the fossil fuel state retaliation strategy guarantees what was already pretty likely: that Senator Manchin will be demanding energy carveouts that at a minimum favor his state as a condition for his support of any climate change legislation. How effective are these punitive efforts likely to be? Are these states willing to yank the authority to provide banking services in their...

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CalPERS Long Term Care Program Bleeds Policyholders Dry via 10X Higher Premiums, Gross Mismanagement, Bad Faith Dealing

Yves here. Please welcome Lawrence Grossman, who with his wife is a CalPERS long-term care policy holder. Grossman, a financial analyst, describes the extreme underfunding of this zombie program. The rate increases that CalPERS is putting through, a 900% increase over the rates charged at the outset, are wildly disproportionate to the level of any other significant long-term care program. In other words, even by the standards of an industry that is in deep financial trouble, CalPERS’ rate...

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Dan Walters, Dean of Sacramento Columnists, Blasts CalPERS’ Corruption-Friendly Secret Lending Bill

CalPERS likes to think that all that matters is if it can control perceptions in Sacramento. If Dan Walters’ latest column is any indication, CalPERS is losing that battle. For those of you outside California, Walters has been the most influential commentator in Sacramento for decades. His view skew somewhat conservative, but he regularly calls out politicians on both sides of the aisle. His latest object of disfavor is the CalPERS-sponsored bill AB 386, which he lambasted forcefully in his...

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The Corporate Food Takeover

Yves here. Many of you have probably noticed some of the many signs of increasing corporate buyouts in the agriculture industry. I knew Japanese companies in the bubble years that were acquiring chicken farms and processors in Vietnam and hedgies in the 1990s who were buying agricultural land in Africa and South America. In more recent years, China has been buying food producer in Africa. Corporate interests have been hoovering up potable water sources in the US and many other major...

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California Judiciary Committee Gives Blistering Assessment of CalPERS’ Fiduciary Duty Failings in Analysis of Fraud-Friendly Private Debt Secrecy Bill

It appears that at least some people in Sacramento are paying attention to what has been happening at CalPERS and don’t like what they see. Below, we have embedded the California Assembly Judiciary Committee staff analysis for AB 386, a bill providing for secrecy of private debt investments. The analysis calls out some of CalPERS’ major fiduciary duty failings in remarkably blunt terms. This matters because CalPERS claims it intends to set up an in-house unit to make direct debt investors,...

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