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Traders who fled banks for hedge funds are on their way back to Wall Street.
This month, Barclays Plc hired Chris Leonard, a founder of two hedge funds in the decade since he left JPMorgan Chase & Co., to turn around U.S. rates trading. At the end of last year, ex-bankers Roberto Hoornweg and Chris Rivelli, both of Brevan Howard Asset Management, left that London hedge fund for banks.
Recruiters say these moves and others aren’t just the usual attrition: banks in New York and London are interesting employers again a decade after the financial crisis, and may get involved in more proprietary trading if President Trump eases regulatory burdens. There’s also another factor: many macro funds just don’t make money anymore.
“In the last quarter of the year or first quarter of 2018, you will find more people leaving the hedge funds to join banks to run proprietary money,” said Jason Kennedy, chief executive officer of the Kennedy Group in London, which hires for banks and hedge funds. “The banks will become more attractive in terms of jobs and pay.”
That’s due to expectations that Donald Trump will be good for bankers. In a report released June 12, the U.S. Treasury Department urged federal agencies to re-write scores of regulations that Wall Street has frequently complained about in the seven years since the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act. They include adjusting the annual stress tests that assess whether lenders can endure economic downturns, loosening some trading rules and paring back the powers of the watchdog that polices consumer finance.
Meanwhile, “the bar within the hedge-fund world has increased dramatically over the last year,” Kennedy said.
Hedge funds, stung by years of underperformance and revolts from investors, are increasingly under pressure to dump their traditional 2 percent management and 20 percent performance-fee model, curtailing their ability to hire and retain talent. Louis Bacon’s Moore Capital Management, Tudor Investment Corp., Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC, Canyon Capital Advisors and Brevan Howard were among money managers who cut fees last year. More hedge funds shuttered last year than started, a trend that continued in the first quarter of 2017, according to data from Hedge Fund Research Inc.
“It is not surprising that traders are looking for a safe haven, and if banks have more room to operate these moves could make sense,” said John Purcell of Purcell & Co., a London-based executive recruitment firm.
As for the exiles from Brevan, whose flagship hedge fund was down almost 4 percent in the first five months of the year, Rivelli, who had joined from Deutsche Bank in 2015, moved to the currency option trading team at HSBC Holdings Plc in February 2017. Hoornweg, who was a partner at billionaire Alan Howard’s money manager, joinedStandard Chartered Plc in January; he previously ran fixed-income trading at Morgan Stanley and UBS Group AG.
Tim Sharp made the move back to the sell side even earlier, and says banks now have attractive niche trading businesses and many are nearly done downsizing. He joined Credit Suisse Group AG in July 2015 after less than a year running money at BlueCrest Capital Management LLP, the firm led by Michael Platt. At the end of that year, Platt’s firm, once among Europe’s largest hedge funds, announced it would return about $7 billion of the $8 billion it managed.
“It’s very difficult for macro funds," Sharp said in an interview. “Central bank policies have crushed volatility and reduced opportunities, and also it’s survival of the fittest.”
Sharp, who is now a director at Credit Suisse, left BlueCrest a few months after the Swiss central bank’s shock decision to remove its currency cap, which caused losses at several firms.
"Macro as an overall strategy has recently experienced a prolonged phase of lackluster returns, triggering a number of unwinds at big shops," said Nicolas Roth, co-head of alternative assets at Geneva-based Reyl & Cie.
It was all so different in 2008: As the biggest banks reeled from the financial crisis, a wave of sell-side traders moved to the buy side. Even the least scathed firms on Wall Street, like Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, moved to split off or wind down proprietary trading units to comply with the Volcker rule, a provision of Dodd-Frank that prohibits banks from betting capital for their own accounts.
Hedge funds were booming. In 2009, hedge funds gained almost 20 percent, their best yearly performance since 1999, according to the HFRI Fund Weighted Composite Index; a year later, they returned 10.3 percent.
While macro strategies raised $13.8 billion in the first five months of this year, the most of any trading strategy tracked by eVestment, investors are disappointed by their returns. Traders wagering on currencies and rates continue to struggle, even as peers are showing signs of recovering from their multi-year funk.
Macro hedge funds gained 1.4 percent on average through May this year, trailing 3.3 percent return in broader hedge funds, according to data compiled by Eurekahedge. Some of the best-known macro traders did worse.
Andrew Law’s Caxton Associates lost 8 percent this year through May and told clients that it’s slashing performance and management fees. Paul Brewer’s hedge fund Rubicon Global Fund plunged about 27 percent this year, hurt by wrong-way currency wagers, people said earlier this month.
It’s also more expensive to start a hedge fund than it was, because of the difficult capital raising environment and rising cost of regulatory compliance.
“Some macro traders are returning to the sell side, maybe in a hope that a Dodd-Frank rollback will re-open proprietary trading activity,” Roth said.
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In case you missed it, last night Mark Zuckerberg published a response to accusations that fake news on Facebookinfluenced the outcome of the U.S. election, and helpedDonald Trump to win.
The CEOclaimed that at least 99% of news content on Facebook was authentic. Zuckerbergwrote:
Of all the content on Facebook, more than 99% of what people see is authentic. Only a very small amount is fake news and hoaxes. The hoaxes that do exist are not limited to one partisan view, or even to politics. Overall, this makes it extremely unlikely hoaxes changed the outcome of this election in one direction or the other.
The company has not enumerated the volume of posts that were categorized as news, and distributedthrough Facebooks News Feedduring the months leading up to the election.
In its earnings reports, Facebook does not break out how much of its revenue comes from political advertising or the promotion of news posts.That makes ithard for the public to evaluate what the impact of even 1% of hoax news could have been on users of Facebook who had the right to vote in the U.S. election.
Questions remain as to whether hoaxes could have been so well-targeted that they did, in fact, swayopinions of U.S. voters on candidates and issues.
As TechCrunch reported when news of that experiment first broke,to impactusers moods,Facebook showed themless positive posts in their News Feed. As a result, users included.1% fewer positive words in their own posts, Facebook found.
Last night,Zuckerberg emphasized that Facebook currently relies on the wisdom and involvement of its users to flag hoaxes and fake news.He admitted the company could do more to improvethe quality of information shared via its News Feed.
However, he also warned the company would not rush to release new solutions around factchecking or quality-rating news content on the platform.
This is an area where I believe we must proceed very carefully though. Identifying the truth is complicated. While some hoaxes can be completely debunked, a greater amount of content, including from mainstream sources, often gets the basic idea right but some details wrong or omitted. An even greater volume of stories express an opinion that many will disagree with and flag as incorrect even when factual. I am confident we can find ways for our community to tell us what content is most meaningful, but I believe we must be extremely cautious about becoming arbiters of truth ourselves.
Zuckerbergs comment draws a false equivalency between mainstream sources of news (including TechCrunch) and political groupsmasquerading asnews brands.
The Denver Guardianwas one site that posed as a news publisher to bombarded readerswithcontent full ofmisinformation meant to sway theiropinions about candidates and issues on the ballot. And another group, based in Macedonia, had been posting fake news to Facebooks News Feed simply to make money.
Fake news circulatedvirtually everywhereonline, and on Facebook,ata time when voters neededfacts to inform theirdecisions, unfortunately.
There is a possibility that Facebook may not even want tobecome arbiters of truth, because doing so could reduce engagement.
As a former Facebook designer named Bobby Goodlatte wrote on November 8th on his own Facebook wall,Sadly, News Feed optimizes for engagement. As weve learned in this election, bullshit is highly engaging.
Other social media playersunder fire for helping to spread false stories ahead of the U.S. election includeTwitter, Reddit,and others.
But unlike other social networks, Facebook can proudly claim that it helped 2 million people register to vote in this most recent election.What good is that if those voters arent effectively informed, though?
Alexey Trofimov spent 3 years trying to get his first shoot of seals on the ice, as these cute animals are really shy, cautious, and difficult to photograph. “If a seal pup is not too scared, they will begin to become curious about you and this is what this seal was doing,” Trofimov told Caters News. When the photographer finally managed to get closer to the baby seal near Lake Baikal in Russia, “It was a very rare and special moment.”
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While the furry seal baby is the definition of cute, the way they are treated by humans is something of a horror story. For instance, each year in Canada, hudreds of thousands of baby seals are shot or bludgeoned to death. Hunters use metal-hook-tipped clubs and boat hooks to drag half-conscious seals across the ice. Sealers then leave the dying animals to rot on the ice floes, because they can’t make money off seal meal.
Alexy Trofimov spent 3 years trying to get his first shot of seals on the ice
Feb. 20, 2016: In this photo provided by Southwick’s gun store, Jason Dalton, left, appears in the store in Plainwell, Mich., hours before he went on a shooting rampage. (Southwick’s Gun Store via AP)
The suspect in Saturday’s deadly shooting rampage in Kalamazoo, Mich. visited a gun shop and bought a tactical jacket hours before the attack, authorities said.
Kalamazoo Police Chief Jeff Hadley also said Tuesday that 45-year-old Jason Dalton had no history of mental illness and wasn’t prescribed any medication that would have prevented him from owning the weapon he allegedly used to kill six people and injure two others.
Dalton is charged with murder and attempted murder in the shootings, which took place outside an apartment building, a restaurant and a car dealership over a span of almost seven hours. Authorities said Dalton paused between shootings to make money as an Uber driver.
“He was a law-abiding citizen up until he pulled the trigger on the first victim,” Jonathan Southwick, owner of the gun store Dalton visited in Plainwell, 20 miles north of Kalamazoo. “There are no laws you could put into place to stop what had happened.”
Southwick said Dalton was an occasional customer of his store. On Saturday, Southwick said Dalton arrived with a friend.
“I went over and said, ‘Hey, how you doing? I haven’t seen you in a while.’ He said he was doing good,” Southwick told Fox17.
Southwick said Dalton’s friend looked at long guns while Dalton went to the store’s clothing department and picked out the jacket. Southwick added that Dalton did not buy a gun while he was in the store.
“He talked with my manager for a bit, was laughing and joking a bit, gave him a one-armed hug then proceeded to purchase the jacket and said he was going out to enjoy the weather,” Southwick recalled.
Dalton did not have a permit to carry a concealed weapon, Kalamazoo County Undersheriff Paul Matyas told the Associated Press. Southwick told Fox17 the jacket has “some conceal pockets but mainly for documents. You could put a small pistol in it, and then it’s got zippers on the side. If you needed to get to the pistol you could.”
When Southwick later heard about the deadly attacks, it was “definitely a shock,” he said. “Sunday morning, when my manager and I were setting up for our [Concealed Pistol License] class, he pulled up [Dalton’s] mugshot on his phone. He showed it to me, and I was like, ‘Holy crap, I just talked to him yesterday.'”