Tag Archive | "hedge funds"

Hedge funds and the global economic meltdown

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Hedge funds and the global economic meltdown


I originally published this video on the first anniversary of the destruction of Bear Stearns, though its lessons seem even more timely today, the first anniversary of the destruction of Lehman Brothers.

And so, as you bump into some of the many discussions currently underway touching upon the cause of Lehman’s demise and the global financial meltdown that followed, kindly refer folks to this video. When the shorts protest that it’s a “conspiracy theory,” you might agree that it is indeed a conspiracy, but a conspiracy fact, not theory.

When they continue to protest, ask them to get specific.

And then sit back and enjoy the silence.

Hedge Funds and the Global Economic Meltdown

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Obama finds hedge fund greed troubling

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Obama finds hedge fund greed troubling


When announcing that Chrysler would be reorganizing under Chapter 11 today, President Obama went out of his way to highlight the role un-named hedge funds played in pushing the auto-maker to bankruptcy.

“In particular, a group of investment firms and hedge funds decided to hold out for the prospect of an unjustified taxpayer-funded bailout…They were hoping that everybody else would make sacrifices and they would have to make none…Some demanded twice the return that other lenders were getting.”

Bloomberg has the full story.

This is a very good sign that the Executive Branch is aware of the high cost of unregulated greed.

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A Ponzi Scheme that is Bigger than Bernard Madoff's


Bernard L. Madoff’s fraud is “stunning,” says the SEC. It is a crime of “epic proportions.” But, says the SEC, we have nothing to worry about. The SEC caught the bad guy. It “moved swiftly” to protect the integrity of the financial markets.

Nonsense.

The only thing “stunning” is that the SEC continues to condone and even fraternize with the organized mob of hedge fund miscreants who have destroyed hundreds of companies, wiped out the jobs of countless ordinary folks, and brought our financial system to the brink of ruin.

The Madoff case may one day prove to be “epic,” but right now it can best be described as “pathetic” – or just plain “weird.”

Apparently, the SEC began receiving tips from Madoff’s enemies (rival brokerages, private investigators working for rival hedge funds, etc.) several years ago. The commission made inquiries, but took no action.

Then, earlier this week, Madoff purportedly had some kind of nervous breakdown, announcing to his sons that he was a criminal.

If we can believe the news reports, the sons then called the FBI, which dispatched an agent to Madoff’s apartment.

Madoff, dressed in a baby blue bathrobe and slippers, opened the door, and said, “I know why you are here.”

With that, the agent arrested Madoff, and within a few hours the FBI and the SEC had whipped out cases accusing Madoff of wrong-doing, but providing few details.

Indeed, it is clear from reading these cases that the FBI and the SEC know nothing about Madoff’s market making and hedge fund firm except that two employees (Madoff’s two sons) have made the vague claim that Madoff told them, vaguely, that his hedge fund was “a giant Ponzi scheme.”

Madoff’s lawyer says his client has admitted to no such crime.

Children do not usually turn in their fathers to the FBI unless they bear other grudges. And it is standard operating procedure for shady high-finance predators to sniff out and prey on feuding relatives who are in business together.

This in no way suggests that Madoff is clean, but it raises the possibility that even dirtier people orchestrated the demise of Madoff and his hedge fund in order to absorb his more lucrative (and crooked?) market making operation.

An alternative explanation comes from Bill Cara, one of the nation’s more perceptive business writers. He concludes that Madoff “is just the beginning. I don’t know, of course, more than you, but…I think he has in fact indicted himself to cause prosecutors to investigate the entire corrupt system.”

Whatever the real story, it is clear that market makers are accessories to a scheme that is much, much bigger than Madoff.

The key players in this scheme are 20 or so mega-billionaire hedge fund managers, who operate with a supporting cast that includes not just market makers, but also smaller hedge funds, rogue prime brokerages, corrupt lawyers, dishonest journalists, bogus one-man credit rating agencies, dubious index trackers, bribed “experts,” skalawag statisticians, compromised professors, private investigators, crooked financial researchers, captured government regulators, hustlers, felons, thugs and mafiosi.

The mega-billionaires masterminded their scheme in the 1980s, and ever since, they and their progeny have been working together – raiding and destroying public companies for profit. In the rubble of these attacks (there are hundreds of examples) one can almost always find evidence of unrestrained naked short selling (people selling things that they do not possess – phantom stock, phantom bonds, phantom mortgage backed securities, phantom CDOs, all manner of phantom derivatives).

This is the organized exploitation of our national clearing and settlement system – a system that fails utterly to ensure that traders actually deliver that which they have sold. If the SEC and FBI are looking for a “Ponzi scheme” of “epic proportions” – this is it.

Mr. Madoff surely knows something about this scheme. Market makers (Madoff’s operation was among the better known) are exempt from rules prohibiting naked short selling. They can sell stock that they have not yet borrowed or purchased, so long as they are legitimately “making a market” (i.e. maintaining liquidity) — and only if they intend to settle the trade soon after. In practice, however, billionaire hedge fund managers have rented market makers’ exemptions to manipulate markets with phantom securities – a blatant crime that is rarely prosecuted.

While Mr. Madoff is talking to the SEC and the FBI, I am going to begin telling you more about the scheme that is bigger than Bernie. Soon, I will name those 20 mega-billionaires, their supporting cast — and the man who is their guru. The evidence is pouring in – there is much to reveal.

But for now, let me leave you with a quotation from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s “Notice 93-77.” Published in 1993, it reads:

Shortly after the market crash of 1987, “then Treasury Secretary Nicholas F. Brady referred to the clearance and settlement system as the weakest link in the nation’s financial system…Gerald Corrigan, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York noted: ‘The greatest threat to the stability of the financial system as a whole was the danger of a major default in one of these clearing and settlement systems…”

“The connection between a crisis in the clearance and settlement system and the financial industry was highlighted by the bankruptcy in 1990 of Drexel Burnham Lambert Group…As described in the [SEC’s] testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, near gridlock developed in the mortgage-backed securities market and in the corporate debt and equity markets where Drexel was an active participant.”

Now that our financial system has come to a screeching halt, read those words for clues as to how much worse things can get – and whom we need to stop to prevent that from happening.

* * * * * * * *

Mark Mitchell is a reporter for DeepCapture.com. He previously worked at the Wall Street Journal editorial page in Europe, Time magazine Asia, the Far Eastern Economic Review, and the Columbia Journalism Review. Email: mitch0033@gmail.com

If this article concerns you, and you wish to help, then:

1) email it to a dozen friends;

2) go here for additional suggestions: “So You Say You Want a Revolution?

Posted in The Mitchell ReportComments Off on A Ponzi Scheme that is Bigger than Bernard Madoff's

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A Ponzi Scheme that is Bigger than Bernard Madoff’s


Bernard L. Madoff’s fraud is “stunning,” says the SEC. It is a crime of “epic proportions.” But, says the SEC, we have nothing to worry about. The SEC caught the bad guy. It “moved swiftly” to protect the integrity of the financial markets.

Nonsense.

The only thing “stunning” is that the SEC continues to condone and even fraternize with the organized mob of hedge fund miscreants who have destroyed hundreds of companies, wiped out the jobs of countless ordinary folks, and brought our financial system to the brink of ruin.

The Madoff case may one day prove to be “epic,” but right now it can best be described as “pathetic” – or just plain “weird.”

Apparently, the SEC began receiving tips from Madoff’s enemies (rival brokerages, private investigators working for rival hedge funds, etc.) several years ago. The commission made inquiries, but took no action.

Then, earlier this week, Madoff purportedly had some kind of nervous breakdown, announcing to his sons that he was a criminal.

If we can believe the news reports, the sons then called the FBI, which dispatched an agent to Madoff’s apartment.

Madoff, dressed in a baby blue bathrobe and slippers, opened the door, and said, “I know why you are here.”

With that, the agent arrested Madoff, and within a few hours the FBI and the SEC had whipped out cases accusing Madoff of wrong-doing, but providing few details.

Indeed, it is clear from reading these cases that the FBI and the SEC know nothing about Madoff’s market making and hedge fund firm except that two employees (Madoff’s two sons) have made the vague claim that Madoff told them, vaguely, that his hedge fund was “a giant Ponzi scheme.”

Madoff’s lawyer says his client has admitted to no such crime.

Children do not usually turn in their fathers to the FBI unless they bear other grudges. And it is standard operating procedure for shady high-finance predators to sniff out and prey on feuding relatives who are in business together.

This in no way suggests that Madoff is clean, but it raises the possibility that even dirtier people orchestrated the demise of Madoff and his hedge fund in order to absorb his more lucrative (and crooked?) market making operation.

An alternative explanation comes from Bill Cara, one of the nation’s more perceptive business writers. He concludes that Madoff “is just the beginning. I don’t know, of course, more than you, but…I think he has in fact indicted himself to cause prosecutors to investigate the entire corrupt system.”

Whatever the real story, it is clear that market makers are accessories to a scheme that is much, much bigger than Madoff.

The key players in this scheme are 20 or so mega-billionaire hedge fund managers, who operate with a supporting cast that includes not just market makers, but also smaller hedge funds, rogue prime brokerages, corrupt lawyers, dishonest journalists, bogus one-man credit rating agencies, dubious index trackers, bribed “experts,” skalawag statisticians, compromised professors, private investigators, crooked financial researchers, captured government regulators, hustlers, felons, thugs and mafiosi.

The mega-billionaires masterminded their scheme in the 1980s, and ever since, they and their progeny have been working together – raiding and destroying public companies for profit. In the rubble of these attacks (there are hundreds of examples) one can almost always find evidence of unrestrained naked short selling (people selling things that they do not possess – phantom stock, phantom bonds, phantom mortgage backed securities, phantom CDOs, all manner of phantom derivatives).

This is the organized exploitation of our national clearing and settlement system – a system that fails utterly to ensure that traders actually deliver that which they have sold. If the SEC and FBI are looking for a “Ponzi scheme” of “epic proportions” – this is it.

Mr. Madoff surely knows something about this scheme. Market makers (Madoff’s operation was among the better known) are exempt from rules prohibiting naked short selling. They can sell stock that they have not yet borrowed or purchased, so long as they are legitimately “making a market” (i.e. maintaining liquidity) — and only if they intend to settle the trade soon after. In practice, however, billionaire hedge fund managers have rented market makers’ exemptions to manipulate markets with phantom securities – a blatant crime that is rarely prosecuted.

While Mr. Madoff is talking to the SEC and the FBI, I am going to begin telling you more about the scheme that is bigger than Bernie. Soon, I will name those 20 mega-billionaires, their supporting cast — and the man who is their guru. The evidence is pouring in – there is much to reveal.

But for now, let me leave you with a quotation from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s “Notice 93-77.” Published in 1993, it reads:

Shortly after the market crash of 1987, “then Treasury Secretary Nicholas F. Brady referred to the clearance and settlement system as the weakest link in the nation’s financial system…Gerald Corrigan, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York noted: ‘The greatest threat to the stability of the financial system as a whole was the danger of a major default in one of these clearing and settlement systems…”

“The connection between a crisis in the clearance and settlement system and the financial industry was highlighted by the bankruptcy in 1990 of Drexel Burnham Lambert Group…As described in the [SEC’s] testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, near gridlock developed in the mortgage-backed securities market and in the corporate debt and equity markets where Drexel was an active participant.”

Now that our financial system has come to a screeching halt, read those words for clues as to how much worse things can get – and whom we need to stop to prevent that from happening.

* * * * * * * *

Mark Mitchell is a reporter for DeepCapture.com. He previously worked at the Wall Street Journal editorial page in Europe, Time magazine Asia, the Far Eastern Economic Review, and the Columbia Journalism Review. Email: mitch0033@gmail.com

If this article concerns you, and you wish to help, then:

1) email it to a dozen friends;

2) go here for additional suggestions: “So You Say You Want a Revolution?

Posted in The Mitchell ReportComments (50)

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Hedge Funds to Non-Cancer Patients: "You also die."


Stock manipulators think not just cancer patients can die to pay for ski trips to Gstaad. They also think those suffering from various pulmonary and blood diseases can die, too.

InterMune, Inc., is a California firm that focuses on the research, development, and commercialization of therapies in pulmonology and hepatology. It generates over $50 million/year in revenue, primarily from Actimmune, for patients with osteopetrosis and chronic granulomatous disease. It’s candidate drug Pirfenidone is in phase III clinical trials for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Its candidate drug ITMN-191, a hepatitis C virus protease inhibitor, is is in Phase Ib clinical trials to treat patients with HCV infections. It has license and collaboration agreements with some of the most prestigious names in biotech: Hoffmann-LaRoche, Inc. and F. Hoffmann-LaRoche, Ltd.; Genentech, Inc.; Connetics Corporation; Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH; Novartis Corporation; Array BioPharma, Inc.; Eli Lilly & Company; and ALZA Corporation.

Stock manipulators think people with such medical problems can die, as they express by manipulating the price of InterMune stock so that InterMune cannot fund its research by accessing the capital market at the true market-clearing price of its stock.


==========================================================

In the interests of journalistic integrity, I should disclose that I don’t much like the people doing this.

If this article concerns you, and you wish to help, then:

1) email it to a dozen friends;

2) go here for additional suggestions: “So You Say You Want a Revolution?

Posted in Ruined Firms & Looted Pensions, The Deep Capture CampaignComments (21)

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Hedge Funds to Non-Cancer Patients: “You also die.”


Stock manipulators think not just cancer patients can die to pay for ski trips to Gstaad. They also think those suffering from various pulmonary and blood diseases can die, too.

InterMune, Inc., is a California firm that focuses on the research, development, and commercialization of therapies in pulmonology and hepatology. It generates over $50 million/year in revenue, primarily from Actimmune, for patients with osteopetrosis and chronic granulomatous disease. It’s candidate drug Pirfenidone is in phase III clinical trials for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Its candidate drug ITMN-191, a hepatitis C virus protease inhibitor, is is in Phase Ib clinical trials to treat patients with HCV infections. It has license and collaboration agreements with some of the most prestigious names in biotech: Hoffmann-LaRoche, Inc. and F. Hoffmann-LaRoche, Ltd.; Genentech, Inc.; Connetics Corporation; Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH; Novartis Corporation; Array BioPharma, Inc.; Eli Lilly & Company; and ALZA Corporation.

Stock manipulators think people with such medical problems can die, as they express by manipulating the price of InterMune stock so that InterMune cannot fund its research by accessing the capital market at the true market-clearing price of its stock.


==========================================================

In the interests of journalistic integrity, I should disclose that I don’t much like the people doing this.

If this article concerns you, and you wish to help, then:

1) email it to a dozen friends;

2) go here for additional suggestions: “So You Say You Want a Revolution?

Posted in Ruined Firms & Looted Pensions, The Deep Capture CampaignComments (20)

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Hedge Funds to Cancer Patients: “Die.”


dendreon-dndn-naked-short-selling

Click to see full chart

Dendreon Corp. is a Seattle, Washington-based biotech company that researches treatments for cancer. Their approach is novel in its dirty work is done by reprogramming the body’s monoclonal antibodies (I happen to have heard of these because my scrawny tomboy high school chum grew up to be a ridiculously attractive Ph.D. at NCI researching non-idiotypic monoclonal antibodies, at which point she gave me the brush-off: such is life).I have no idea if their approach works or not, but Dendreon has created a drug, Provenge, to  treat asymptomatic, metastatic, and androgen-independent prostate cancer. Provenge has completed two Phase III clinical trials, so someone thinks it works.

In any case, the decision as to the correct price of Dendreon’s equity (and hence, the terms on which it can raise capital to fund its research) is supposed to be made by the collective wisdom of investors expressed through a marketplace operating under the rule of law. In fact, however, for some length of time and to some significant degree, the pricing of its equity has instead been determined by some hedge fund guys who think cancer patients should die so they can take ski trips to Gstaad.

Note that this firm, which in most weeks sees 2 million shares trade, accumulated at one point 18 million failures.

Posted in Ruined Firms & Looted Pensions, The Deep Capture CampaignComments (14)

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Hedge Funds to Cancer Patients: "Die."


dendreon-dndn-naked-short-selling

Click to see full chart

Dendreon Corp. is a Seattle, Washington-based biotech company that researches treatments for cancer. Their approach is novel in its dirty work is done by reprogramming the body’s monoclonal antibodies (I happen to have heard of these because my scrawny tomboy high school chum grew up to be a ridiculously attractive Ph.D. at NCI researching non-idiotypic monoclonal antibodies, at which point she gave me the brush-off: such is life).I have no idea if their approach works or not, but Dendreon has created a drug, Provenge, to  treat asymptomatic, metastatic, and androgen-independent prostate cancer. Provenge has completed two Phase III clinical trials, so someone thinks it works.

In any case, the decision as to the correct price of Dendreon’s equity (and hence, the terms on which it can raise capital to fund its research) is supposed to be made by the collective wisdom of investors expressed through a marketplace operating under the rule of law. In fact, however, for some length of time and to some significant degree, the pricing of its equity has instead been determined by some hedge fund guys who think cancer patients should die so they can take ski trips to Gstaad.

Note that this firm, which in most weeks sees 2 million shares trade, accumulated at one point 18 million failures.

Posted in Ruined Firms & Looted Pensions, The Deep Capture CampaignComments Off on Hedge Funds to Cancer Patients: "Die."

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