— Infinite Unknown (@SecretNews) February 15, 2018
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World’s largest hedge fund puts down $13 billion to profit from trouble in Europe.
A lot of people have lost a lot of money in the recent financial market convulsions, but there’s still plenty of money to be made by betting against the companies, as the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, showed this week. It bet heavily against four of Spain’s biggest corporate hitters. The fund took up short positions worth €1.2 billion, or 0.5% of total shares at Banco Santander, BBVA, Telefónica and Iberdrola.
The gamble has already reaped dividends. Shares of Iberdrola, Spain’s biggest utilities company, Telefonica, Spain’s struggling telecoms giant, and Santander, Spain’s biggest bank ended the week around 5% lower, while BBVA tumbled 4%. Bridgewater placed its best against the two large Spanish banks last week, just as they presented annual results that largely disappointed the market. Since then, both banks have lost close to 10% of their market cap.
A point BOE Governor Mark Carney made recently may be the biggest cog in the European Union’s wheel (or is it second biggest? Read on). That is, derivatives clearing. It’s one of the few areas where Brussels stands to lose much more than London, but it’s a big one. And Carney puts a giant question mark behind the EU’s preparedness.
Carney explained why Europe’s financial sector is more at risk than the UK from a “hard” or “no-deal” Brexit. [..] When asked does the European Council “get it” in terms of potential shocks to financial stability, Carney diplomatically commented that “a learning process is underway.” Having sounded alarm bells about clearing in his last Mansion House speech, he noted “These costs of fragmenting clearing, particularly clearing of interest rate swaps, would be born principally by the European real economy and they are considerable.”
Calling into question the continuity of tens of thousands of derivative contracts , he stated that it was “pretty clear they will no longer be valid”, that this “could only be solved by both sides” and has been “underappreciated” by Europe . Carney had a snipe at Europe for its lack of preparation “We are prepared as we should be for the possibility of a hard exit without any transition…there has been much less of that done in the European Union.”
Jim Grant, author of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer, first hinted last week that not all is well when it comes to the world’s biggest hedge fund, Ray Dalio’s $160 billion Bridgewater (of which one half is the world’s biggest risk-parity juggernaut). Speaking to Bloomberg last week, Grant said he was “bearish” on Bridgewater because founder Dalio has become “less focused on investing, while the firm lacks transparency and has produced lackluster returns.”
Grant slammed Dalio’s transition from investor to marketer, and in a five-page critique of the world’s largest hedge fund, said Dalio has been preoccupied with his new book, sitting for media interviews and sending Tweets.
“Such activities have one thing in common: They are not investing,” Grant writes in the Oct. 6 issue of his newsletter. “Yet here he is, laying it all out to the world again, Tweeting, promoting his book, attacking the press — necessarily doing less of his day job than he would otherwise do.”
Grant continued his scathing critique, accusing Bridgewater of “lately performed no better than the typical hedge fund.” Grant is right: since the start of 2012, Bridgewater’s Pure Alpha II Fund has posted an annualized return of 2.5% vs its historic average of 12%, and is down 2.8% this year through July.
Bridgewater Associates has a team of engineers working on a project to automate decision-making to save time and eliminate human emotional volatility
The world’s largest hedge fund is building a piece of software to automate the day-to-day management of the firm, including hiring, firing and other strategic decision-making.
Bridgewater Associates has a team of software engineers working on the project at the request of billionaire founder Ray Dalio, who wants to ensure the company can run according to his vision even when he’s not there, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The world’s biggest hedge fund, Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates got into some hot water in the past few months when it was accused by many members of the underperforming “hedge fund hotel” club for being the “risk parity” catalyst that sent the market tumbling in August, and perhaps for being the catalyst for the August 24 market crash.
And while the bulk of Bridgewater’s asset are in various commodities and futures, most of which are never reported to the public, earlier today it did disclose its long holdings in public equities when it filed its latest 13F. Perhaps those accusing Bridgewater of being the market-moving catalyst did have a point, because after posting a total AUM of $10.8 billion at June, this total declined by a whopping 31% to just $7.5 billion as of September 30.
Here is what Brigewater was dumping (and adding).
– The Head Of The World’s Biggest Hedge Fund Sees “Economic Collapse” Due To Money Printing By Early 2013 (ZeroHedge, July 18, 2011):
As part of its most recent issue the New Yorker has released a must read interview with Ray Dalio – head of the world’s biggest hedge fund, Bridgewater. Dalio’s fund, which according to some may now be as large as $80 billion, continues to outperform even in this problematic environment, indicating that unlike various other managers who shall remain nameless, and whose wealth is built up almost exclusively on one trade (and that belonging to someone else in the first place), Dalio, despite rumors that he is preparing to leave his current position and is actively seeking a replacement, is still keenly able to adapt to changing macro conditions. Which is why his warning about future rounds of QE, which he sees as a certainty, should be heeded. Especially since it conforms 100% with the warnings of Zero Hedge – Dalio believes that future inevitable money printing will “lead to a collapse in currencies and bond markets.” Dalio is even kind enough to give a time frame. “I think late 2012 or early 2013 is going to be another very difficult period.” He is, to say the least, quite diplomatic.
From the full interview:
Dalio believes that some heavily indebted countries, including the United States, will eventually opt for printing money as a way to deal with their debts, which will lead to a collapse in their currency and in their bond markets. “There hasn’t been a case in history where they haven’t eventually printed money and devalued their currency,” he said. Other developed countries, particularly those tied to the euro and thus to the European Central Bank, don’t have the option of printing money and are destined to undergo “classic depressions,” Dalio said. The recent deal to avoid an immediate debt default by Greece didn’t alter his pessimistic view. “People concentrate on the particular thing of the moment, and they forget the larger underlying forces,” he said. “That’s what got us into the debt crisis. It’s just today, today.”
Dalio’s assessment sounded alarmingly plausible. But when one plays the global financial markets a thorough economic analysis is only the first stage of the game. At least as important is getting the timing right. I asked Dalio when all this would start to come together. “I think late 2012 or early 2013 is going to be another very difficult period,” he said.
Translation: enjoy your -0.002% Bills and paying uncle Sam to hold your money while you can.