The Daily Alpha: Real Talk on Steve Cohen, Bill DeBlasio, Marcus, Fearless Girl and Leon Cooperman

May 31 2017 | 10:43am ET

Today we discuss Bill DeBlasio’s horrible management skills, Steve Cohen’s $@0 billion fund, Leon Cooperman’s “settlement,” and the never ending soap opera that is Fearless Girl.

Hair of the Dog

Shot: Bill DeBlasio: “Men who don’t like women taking up space are exactly why we need the Fearless Girl…”

Chaser: Women abandon jobs with Mayor de Blasio because of his condescending tone

Quotes of the Day

“A way to escape the interest rate calculator.”

Someone at Goldman Sachs purchased the e-mail addresses of our editors.

In case you didn’t know, you can pay Goldman Sachs an interest rate “as low as” 6.99% to help pay off debts such as those from credit cards. Goldman has been in the consumer lending space since 2016 with a division called Marcus.

Who is Marcus?

Why did they call their consumer debt product a name that is a Latin derivative of the words “hammer” and “warlike?”

Who is in charge of marketing?

Turns out, Marcus COO Omer Ismail recently joined Peter Renton at Lend Academy to discuss Goldman’s jaunt into consumer lending. One of the lessons: How the culture inside Marcus is different to that of Goldman Sachs.

One can assume that the Marcus elevators are much different than the Goldman elevators.

“Do you even know how to do this f—ing job?”

That’s the old Steve Cohen, back when he was lashing out at portfolio managers and analysts who weren’t able to answer questions about a company.

The “new” Steve Cohen – still unable to trade outside money until 2018 – has announced plans to launch a $20 billion fund starting next year.

It wasn’t long ago that we were talking about SAC Capital’s $1.8 billion settlement with the Securities Exchange Commission.

We also were talking about how former SAC managers Mathew Martoma and Michael Steinberg were trading custom suits for prison suits.

Cohen was charged with failure to supervise his troops, all while overseeing annual performance numbers that averaged 29% during his run at SAC Capital.

Those consistent numbers are rare as unicorn tears.

Still, the SEC never had enough evidence to take aim at Cohen.

Instead, the hedge fund pled guilty to insider trading (that had never happened before.)

SAC Capital settled the case with the SEC for 10 figures.

And Cohen was allowed to go back home to his balloon dog.

Unable to manage anyone else’s money for a few years, he started a family office.

However, since starting his $11 billion family office Point72 Asset Management, the returns haven’t been as incredible. The firm returned 1% in 2016 compared to the more than 9% gain from the S&P 500.

So what is Steve to do now?

After its 10-year look into his firm, he will raise a middle finger to the SEC and announce plans for the largest hedge fund launch in history. His goal: $20 billion (although most of the money will include his family office figures rolled into the AUM). To achieve this, he has said he will consider lowering his fees, which were once as high as 3% and 50% of all profits.

DealBreaker offers a better breakdown of this so-called “comeback.”

"My lawyers told me that the probability of my winning would be overwhelmingly high, that if I didn't win it had nothing to do with the merits of the case. It would have to do with the fact that I'm a former Goldman partner, I'm a hedge fund manager, I'm wealthy. Those are enough factoids that impress juries."

That’s Leon Cooperman.

He’s justifying his settlement with the SEC over insider trading.

There are very few other cultures in America where winning is the most important thing than in the hedge fund industry. Strangely, when it comes to court cases though, it’s always easier to write a check so long as you don’t have to admit any “wrongdoing.”

If you’re looking to have you intelligence insulted today, listen to the interview.

"I'm a pretty happy person, not seething or angry and certainly not anti-feminist. My piece is not without a sense of humor. There is plenty of room for Fearless Girl; it just interferes with another artists work/vision."

That’s New York City sculptor Alex Gardega.

Here we go… again.

There’s a war on television.

North Korea has improved its nuclear precision…

The British election could be won on a man with such a backward way of thinking that he would blame any terrorist attacks on Sweden on the neutral country’s wars with the Barbary Pirates in 1801.

Venezuela is broke, but its leaders have 5,000 Russian surface-to-air missiles lying around that could go to the highest bidder if the government gets too desperate.

But why is everyone upset about down in Battery Park?

Fearless Girl.

This feminist icon

This bank advertisement

This overhyped statue had a companion for a few hours on Tuesday.

A metal “Pissing Pug” that appeared to be urinating on Fearless Girl’s leg.

The scene and the reaction were just as stupid as you would expect.

Wednesday’s Reading List

·      The Washington Post: Once considered the titans of Wall Street, hedge fund managers are in trouble

·      Channel NewsAsia: Jana Partners adds fifth nominee to its slate for Whole Foods' board

· Hedge fund commodity bulls misread the market

·      Sidney Sun-Telegraph: Cabela's sought sale before getting hedge fund pressure

·      Bloomberg: Some hedge funds still merit 2-And-20, HC2's Falcone says

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You can also pick up a copy of the June Hedge Fund issue at Barnes & Noble.

Garrett Baldwin is the voice of the The Daily Alpha, the features editor for Modern Trader magazine, and the author of The Man with The Big Red Balloon. 


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