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Month: November 2018

13-F Summary: Who Bought And Sold What In The Third Quarter

Normally 13Fs are among the most useless pieces of actionable information for investors, because not do they encourage imitation instead of original thought – and why imitate an industry that has failed to outperform the market for 8 years in a row – but they also reveal a portfolio snapshot in time that was a month and a half ago, a fact which the savviest investors put to good use to sell into the copycat retail bid, but also exclude the entire short book of a given hedge fund. This time around, the just released torrent of 13Fs is especially worthless as they fail to account for the October market collapse which sent stock tumbling the most in 7 years and forced countless fund managers to drastically reorganize their portfolio (assuming they haven’t been redeemed to death). Still, one can sometimes find glimmers of relevant information or at least patterns of activity across the hedge fund universe when comparing and contrasting what hedge funds did at the end of last quarter. The first thing to note is that former hedge fund darlings, Facebook and NXP Semiconductors, two stocks which were among the top 10 most widely held hedge fund stocks as recently as March 31, were among the biggest losers from the Q3 13F parade. Separately, as we reported earlier, banks were among the winners after a big bet...

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Global Rally Shattered, Europe Slides As Brexit Turmoil Returns

US futures pared earlier gains, European stocks slumped and the pound tumbled after the Brexit crisis returned with a bang to the forefront after a series of British ministers quit in protest at Theresa May’s Brexit deal, plunging the U.K. government into crisis and sparking fresh fears about a May ouster and a hard Brexit. Today’s turmoil started around 4am ET when Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab announced his resignation on Twitter, the highest profile of several departures on Thursday morning. “No democratic nation has ever signed up to be bound by such an extensive regime, imposed externally without any democratic control over the laws to be applied, nor the ability to decide to exit the arrangement,” he said in his resignation letter. His, and subsequent resignations, threw into doubt May’s ability to secure Parliament’s support for her plan and even to survive as leader. Today, I have resigned as Brexit Secretary. I cannot in good conscience support the terms proposed for our deal with the EU. Here is my letter to the PM explaining my reasons, and my enduring respect for her. — Dominic Raab (@DominicRaab) November 15, 2018 The pound, which rebounded strongly on Wednesday after May announced she had won cabinet support for the withdrawal draft, tumbled 3 big figures almost instantly on the news, dropping as much as 1.9%, its biggest plunge since 2017. “The...

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Five Saudis Face Death Penalty Over Khashoggi Killing; Crown Prince Cleared

Saudi Arabia public prosecutor Sheikh Shaalan al-Shaalan said on Thursday that the kingdom will seek the death penalty for five suspects among the 11 charged in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, confirming suspicions that members of the murder squad purportedly sent to “interrogate” Khashoggi will now themselves face beheadings as the Saudi Royal Family closes ranks around the Crown Prince, per the FT. As for Mohammed bin Salman who runs the day to day affairs of the world’s top oil exporter and is the de facto head of OPEC, the prosecutor said had “no knowledge” of the mission, effectively absolving him of any domestic suspicion, if not international. The charges were handed down after the kingdom dismissed five senior intelligence officers and arrested 18 Saudi nationals in connection with Khashoggi’s disappearance. The Saudi insider-turned-dissident journalist disappeared on Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul to pick up documents that would have allowed him to marry his fiance. Khashoggi was a legal resident of Virginia. According to the Saudi prosecutor, five people charged are believed to have been involved in “ordering and executing the crime,” according to CNN. The prosecutor said that the former Saudi deputy intelligence chief, Ahmed al-Assiri, ordered a mission to force Khashoggi to go back to Saudi Arabia and formed a team of 15 people. They were divided into three groups, the...

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May’s Plan In Jeopardy As 2 Cabinet Ministers Resign; Pound Tumbles

Theresa May’s draft Brexit plan isn’t dead yet – but its chances of survival certainly aren’t looking good. With only 10 days until a hoped-for EU summit, the government of Theresa May lost a key senior official Thursday morning when Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, the senior cabinet official who would have been responsible for selling the plan to the House of Commons, tendered his resignation, saying he could not in good faith support May’s draft plan. His resignation comes after May’s cabinet reluctantly rubber-stamped the plan Tuesday night following threats from the EU to cancel a planned summit, dramatically increasing the odds of a “no deal” Brexit. In his resignation letter, Raab (the second Brexit secretary to quit May’s government in the past six months) said he couldn’t support the deal for two reasons: Its treatment of Northern Ireland would be a “very real” threat to the integrity of the UK, and the indefinite backstop would effectively grant the EU veto power over when the UK could leave. Today, I have resigned as Brexit Secretary. I cannot in good conscience support the terms proposed for our deal with the EU. Here is my letter to the PM explaining my reasons, and my enduring respect for her. — Dominic Raab (@DominicRaab) November 15, 2018 Raab’s resignation doesn’t necessarily mean that May is toast – he said in his letter...

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Climate Scientists Admit To Major Math Error After Global Warming Study Debunked

The co-author of a widely-cited global warming study has owned up to a major math error uncovered six days after its Oct. 31 publication by an independent scientist.  The study used a new method of measuring the ocean’s absorption of heat, and concluded – through incorrect math – that 60% more heat had been absorbed than previously thought.  The report was covered or referenced by MSM outlets worldwide, including the Washington Post, New York Times, BBC, Reuters and others.  Shortly after the article was published, however, independent UK-based researcher Nicholas Lewis published a comprehensive blog post, claiming he had found a “major problem” with the research.  “So far as I can see, their method vastly underestimates the uncertainty,” Lewis said in an interview Tuesday, “as well as biasing up significantly, nearly 30 percent, the central estimate.” Lewis added that he tends “to read a large number of papers, and, having a mathematics as well as a physics background, I tend to look at them quite carefully, and see if they make sense. And where they don’t make sense — with this one, it’s fairly obvious it didn’t make sense — I look into them more deeply.” Lewis has argued in past studies and commentaries that climate scientists are predicting too much warming because of their reliance on computer simulations, and that current data from the planet itself suggests global warming...

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