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Despite Turbulence, Hedge Funds Achieve Q2 Gains

July 10, 2020

Hedge Funds Up Amid Volatile Markets.   Hedge funds were up nearly two percent in the month of June.  This means that the industry faced its third monthly gain in a row.  Although the industry aggregate  — as measured by the HFRI Fund Weighted Composite Index — is still down, hedge funds are doing well considering…

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Alternative Investments: Warren, Ocasio-Cortez Move to Stop M&A Activity During COVID-19 Pandemic

April 28, 2020

Two prominent Democrats are moving to pass the Pandemic Anti-Monopoly Act, legislation to stop mergers while the U.S. deals with COVID-19. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez are pushing the bill. This new bill would place a moratorium on all mergers reported to the FTC. It would also stop any deals involving firms with more than $100 million or engaged in private equity.

Digital Assets: Which of Debt, Equity, or Digital is Best to Hold in a Recession?

April 28, 2020

Whereas the value of stocks and bonds has declined due to the coronavirus pandemic, digital assets have not fundamentally lost value, says Jeff Dorman, chief investment officer at Arca. Further, investors are beginning to think more about the “return of capital” than “return on capital,” writes Dorman in an article titled “Digital Assets Are More Recession-Proof Than You Might Think.”

Digital Assets: IBM Creates Blockchain Platform to Onboard New Suppliers for COVID-19

April 28, 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic rolls across the globe it has created a severe shortage of supplies such as masks, gowns, sanitizers, test kits, gloves, ventilators, thermal scanners, consumables, and medicines. The huge unmet demand has attracted many new suppliers who have shifted from their usual line of business to make and/or supply these products for COVID-19. IBM (NYSE: IBM) has established a blockchain-based platform to bring these new suppliers and COVID-19 buyers together.

Venture Capital: Starbucks Strikes Deal with Sequoia on Chinese Investment Partnership

April 27, 2020

Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX) has launched a partnership with venture capital firm Sequoia. The two companies will co-invest in China and look to launch “commercial partnerships with next-generation food and retail technology companies.” 

In a statement, Starbucks said it will provide retail expertise, infrastructure, and scalability to targeted companies.

DailyAlts Playbook

The DailyAlts Playbook: Long Agriculture, Short Peloton Rides, Crypto Sentiment, and the Slump in Hedge Fund AUM

April 24, 2020

THE DAILYALTS PLAYBOOK April 24, 2020 The DailyAlts Playbook: Long Agriculture, Short Peloton Rides, Crypto Sentiment, and the Slump in Hedge Fund AUM PRIME OVERVIEW Good morning, “He told me to go into farming.” That was the opening line of a column I wrote in 2011 about famed investor Jim Rogers. When I was coming…

ESG: Morningstar Announces Deal to Buy Sustainalytics to Boost ESG Support

April 23, 2020

Morningstar, (Nasdaq: MORN) announced an agreement to acquire Sustainalytics, a globally recognized leader in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) ratings and research.

Morningstar currently owns an approximate 40% ownership stake in Sustainalytics, first acquired in 2017. Under the terms of the deal, Morningstar will buy the remaining approximate 60% of Sustainalytics.

Alternative Investments: Bank of America Says Gold Will Hit $3,000

April 22, 2020

The Federal Reserve will drive gold prices to $3,000. That’s a prediction by Bank of America this week. In a report titled, “The Fed Can’t Print Gold,” the bank sees the yellow metal as a smart hedge against inflation. That price target represents an 80% return from the date of Monday’s report.

BlackRock and Climate Issues

ESG: Black Rock Raises Concerns About Sustainability Commitments

April 22, 2020

BlackRock will place greater emphasis on climate issues moving forward. The alternative assets manager worries that firms will stop prioritizing climate and sustainability issues in the face of COVID-19. A new stewardship document expands on the firm’s push on companies to disclose reports on their impact on water pollution and emissions.

DailyAlts Playbook

The DailyAlts Playbook: The Madness of Shorting Tesla, Expedia’s Capital Raise, the Belt Road Initiative, and “Gooooooold.”

April 22, 2020

THE DAILYALTS PLAYBOOK April 22, 2020 The DailyAlts Playbook Talks About The Madness of Shorting Tesla, Expedia’s Capital Raise, the Belt Road Initiative, and “Gooooooold.” PRIME OVERVIEW Good morning, Yesterday, I received a text from a close friend who had an idea. He wanted to short a stock that was trading at nosebleed levels, had…

Liquid Alternatives: Oil Makes History Pricing Below Zero; An ETF for the (Eventual) Rebound

April 21, 2020

The price of WTIC crude crashed to as low as minus $37.63 per barrel on Monday. The seemingly absurd pricing was triggered by the expiry of May’s future contracts scheduled for Tuesday. A trader would have to receive deliveries on any May contracts remaining open, and store the oil at exorbitant rates.

The DailyAlts Playbook: $0 Oil, How to Play Recreational Cannabis, and Why Macy’s Is Selling RE-backed Bonds…

April 20, 2020

THE DAILYALTS PLAYBOOK April 20, 2020 The DailyAlts Playbook Talks $0 Oil, How to Play Recreational Cannabis, and Why Macy’s Is Selling RE-backed Bonds… PRIME OVERVIEW Good morning, Please forgive my tardiness – but as an economist, I’m trying to figure out what kind of scotch to use to help these oil prices make sense…

Alternative Investments: Larry Fink Rejects Bailout Talk During Blackrock’s Q1 Call

April 17, 2020

Blackrock CEO Larry Fink took umbrage with at a question from Patrick Davitt of Autonomous Research. Davitt asked during a conference call this week if the Fed buying ETFs was a bailout for Blackrock.

Artificial Intelligence: AI is Helping Itself to Get Smarter and Smarter

April 16, 2020

Software programs have now become sophisticated enough to build AI programs that can improve and build upon themselves without human intervention. In testing, the program could leapfrog decades of AI research. Perhaps a seminal achievement, the Google program called AutoML-Zero could possibly discover more about AI than humans themselves.

Venture Capital: Forbes Releases the 2020 Midas List

April 15, 2020

Forbes magazine has published its annual Midas List of the top 100 people in the venture capital business.

The list is put together by Forbes and TrueBridge Capital Partners ranks industry participants by the success of the companies that have funded and eventually exited. 

Investors are ranked by their portfolio companies that have gone public or been acquired for at least $200 million over the past five years, or that have at least doubled their private valuation since initial investment to $400 million or more over the same period.

One-fourth of men and women on the list have been on the list for eight years.

The 2020 Midas List contains 12 newcomers and six returnees.

DailyAlts Playbook: Talks Ackman’s CNBC Defense, Earnings Season Blues, and Hedge Funds’ Small Business Cash Hubbalooza

April 15, 2020

This morning, the Dow Futures projected a 400-point decline as investors continue to digest the ongoing status of the coronavirus.

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. will halt all funding to the World Health Organization as the White House completes its review of the coronavirus outbreak.

Alternative Investments: What’s Happening With Shadow Banking

April 14, 2020

In the Great Credit Crisis, banks took the biggest hit and the lion’s share of blame for the economic collapse.

Banks entered the crisis with too little equity capital. Their loan portfolios consisted of garbage loans. From 2008 to 2012, 414 banks with almost $700 billion in assets failed. Hundreds more had to seek a merger with financially secure institutions.

This time, the banking system enters into an economic slowdown in much better shape. 

Digital Assets: Bitfinex Transacts BTC Worth Record-Breaking $1.1B For A Minuscule $0.68

April 13, 2020

On April 10, there were waves in the crypto world when a massive bitcoin transaction of 161,500 bitcoin (BTC) occurred at a fee of 0.00010019 BTC.
Translated to US$ the two sides of the equation equal to $1.1 billion vs charges of $0.68. Don’t even try to work out the percentage on that one

FinTech: Wellpay Raises $3.8M; Offers Zero-Interest, Zero-Fee Plans To Help With Medical Bills

April 13, 2020

As healthcare providers and patients reel from the COVID-19 crisis, Wellpay steps up to help.
Fresh from a raising of $3.8 million from lead investors 8vc, Mubadala Capital-Ventures, Montage Ventures, TTCER, and Advisors.fund, healthcare fintech Wellpay has accelerated the launch of its platform.

DailyAlts Playbook

DailyAlts Playbook: Academic Suppression, Cuban 2020, Loan Standards, and Daft Punk to DJ Shadow

April 13, 2020

THE DAILYALTS PLAYBOOK April 13, 2020 The DailyAlts Playbook Talks About Academic Suppression, Cuban 2020, Loan Standards, and Daft Punk to DJ Shadow PRIME OVERVIEW Good morning, We return from the holiday weekend with some greater confirmation that this virus likely didn’t come from a Seafood market in China. Of course, we won’t ever be…

MSCI Research: Private Equity Firms Face a Valuation Reckoning

April 10, 2020

Private equity funds could face a huge hit to valuations as of the end of the third quarter, according to MSCI Research.

Using their private equity valuation model, they determined some private equity funds could take a Q1 write-down of portfolio companies by as much as 35%.

Investors who recently compiled their year-end valuations may have a false sense of security right now. Many could be shocked in a few months when they realize the devastation of the first quarter.

Artificial Intelligence: How AI Could Change Our Lives Forever

April 9, 2020

The coronavirus will have a dual and adverse impact on people across the globe. Not only will it impact lives through sickness and death, but it will also dramatically damage their economic well-being. Technological innovation comes to the fore at the time of such pivotal crises. While cloud computing burst on the scene after the 2008 financial crisis, it may be AI’s turn to take center stage amidst, and after, the COVID-19 pandemic.

DailyAlts Playbook

The DailyAlts Playbook: Helicopter Money, Pyromaniac Bank Rules, Black Swan Blowout, and Labor Woes

April 9, 2020

THE DAILYALTS PLAYBOOK April 9, 2020 The DailyAlts Playbook Talks Helicopter Money, Pyromaniac Bank Rules, Black Swan Blowout, and Labor Woes PRIME OVERVIEW Good morning, I am running late right now because I’m trying to wrap my head around today’s jobless claims and then the Fed’s helicopter money response. The central bank is pumping $2.3…

Venture Capital: Podium Closes $125 Million Series C Round

April 9, 2020

Customer messaging platform provider Podium announced that it had closed on a $125 million Series C round of funding led by YC Continuity.

Notable investors in the financing round included high-profile investors who also participated in the financing. This list includes Sapphire Ventures, Alkeon Capital, Recruit Co. Ltd., IVP, Accel, Summit Partners, and GV.

Alternative Investments: The Virus is Killing Uranium Production; An ETF That May Benefit

April 8, 2020

The price of uranium, during the past two weeks, has bounced higher off its lows by nearly 20%. Mining disruptions may be the cause, and if lockdowns extend for longer, the uranium spot price may go much higher. Value seekers looking to invest in a long-battered sector amidst the damage to the market by the virus may consider a uranium ETF.