Tuesday, 9 Sep 2014 | 1:28 PM ET

Big money disagrees on investing in Russia

Posted By: Lawrence Delevingne
An employee works in the offices of the OAO Moscow Exchange.
Andrey Rudakov | Bloomberg | Getty Images
An employee works in the offices of the OAO Moscow Exchange.

The turmoil between Russia and Ukraine has created a rare opportunity to buy low-cost assets, according to some large investors. For others, securities are cheap for very good reasons and they say Russia should be avoided.

"When I went to look for all these cheap stocks and said, 'Here we go, this is the cheapest market in the world, I know I can find some really nice alpha,' I found it much more difficult," said Jamieson Odell, deputy global portfolio manager at emerging and frontier market hedge fund firm Caravel Management.

Odell, speaking Monday night at the NYSSA Russian and Central & Eastern European Capital Markets Conference, said there were some excellent Russian retail, food and Internet companies, such as Magnit, but their stock valuations were high and therefore expensive relative to the potential reward. And cheap stocks, he said, usually have "really big" corporate governance issues or "terrible" balance sheets.

"The cheap things really are cheap for a reason," Odell said.

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  Tuesday, 9 Sep 2014 | 1:17 PM ET

Pimco exec: The Fed HAD to pump up the market

Posted By: Jeff Cox
Paul McCulley, chief economist of Pimco, is shown at the firm's headquarters in Newport Beach, Calif.
Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Paul McCulley, chief economist of Pimco, is shown at the firm's headquarters in Newport Beach, Calif.

Pimco's Paul McCulley believes the Federal Reserve has a direct desire to pump up the U.S. stock market, even if it won't acknowledge so explicitly.

Fed officials rarely mention stock prices in their public remarks, but McCulley thinks there's plenty of conversations behind the scenes, where central bankers are hoping that the soaring stock market eventually pays dividends to the much slower-moving economy.

In his latest monthly missive to investors, the firm's managing director and chief economist explains the strategy and its uncomfortable ramifications:

It is not a tasteful choice for the Fed at all. It reeks with social injustice. But it also happens to be the only viable choice: Use all available powers, with whatever-it-takes abandon, to reflate prices that are amenable to going up: long-term bonds and stocks.

»Read more
  Tuesday, 9 Sep 2014 | 11:38 AM ET

Mario Gabelli: Wall Street's $85 million man

Posted By: Jeff Cox
Mario Gabelli
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Mario Gabelli

Wall Street likes to call him "Super Mario," and in 2013 the moniker fit in more ways than one.

Mario Gabelli, the head of GAMCO Investors and widely followed market guru, pulled down $85 million in compensation last year, putting him on top of the mountain among his peers in asset management and elsewhere, according to an analysis by financial services firm SNL.

Perhaps just as remarkably, Gabelli receives no actual salary. Instead, he made this money based solely on incentives related to his company's growth. GAMCO's assets under management soared 78 percent from 2009 to 2013, rising from $26.35 billion to just over $47 billion.

»Read more
  Tuesday, 9 Sep 2014 | 10:26 AM ET

Mining CEOs call for action against Ebola

Posted By: Lawrence Delevingne
A health officer at a state hospital in Kenema, Sierra Leone on Aug. 23, 2014.
Mohammed Elshamy | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
A health officer at a state hospital in Kenema, Sierra Leone on Aug. 23, 2014.

A group of 11 chief executive officers of international mining companies working in West Africa are calling for fewer travel restrictions in the face of the Ebola epidemic.

"We are understandably concerned about the impact of the Ebola virus on affected countries' economies and the well-being of their people, which is being compounded by subsequent decisions and actions that affect travel to and trade with the region," a joint statement said.

The letter was signed by ArcelorMittal's Lakshmi Mittal, London Mining's Graeme Hossie, Newmont Mining's Gary Goldberg and Randgold's Mark Bristow, among others.

The letter lists two demands. One is to end to travel bans, which have been instituted by African flight hubs South Africa and Kenya to lock out visitors from Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, the hardest-hit countries. The second was for more international coordination on the crisis.

Read MoreEbola along-term 'blip' for Africa investors

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  Monday, 8 Sep 2014 | 1:18 PM ET

Janjuah: Central banks to boost market—for now

Posted By: Jeff Cox

Stocks are in for a period of volatility that will present a strong buying opportunity, according to Bob Janjuah, the often-bearish strategist at Nomura Securities.

The reason for his optimism of sort: Any market weakness will be met with a flurry of central bank activity, the likes of which has helped prop up the S&P 500 to a 200 percent gain since the March 2009 financial crisis low.

"I would use any risk asset weakness over the balance of September and early October as an opportunity to BUY risk into year-end/early 2015," Nomura's co-head of asset allocation strategy said in a note. "On balance I feel that beyond the next three to four weeks, I am mildly bullish risk on a three- to four-month time frame. The drivers are likely to be central banks, as well as the usual seasonality factor, which tends to drive risk assets up into year end."

»Read more
  Monday, 8 Sep 2014 | 3:43 PM ET

Chief of $1 billion Juilliard endowment is leaving

Posted By: Lawrence Delevingne
Karina Canellakis leading the Juilliard Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall on Thursday night, May 22, 2014.
Hiroyuki Ito | Getty Images
Karina Canellakis leading the Juilliard Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall on Thursday night, May 22, 2014.

David Marcus, who led the Juilliard School's endowment out of financial crisis losses with the help of hedge fund pioneer Bruce Kovner, is set to depart.

Marcus will leave the elite music, dance and drama school at the end of September, according to two people familiar with the situation. The move has not been publicly announced and no successor has been named to be chief investment officer for the Juilliard endowment. Marcus' next position is unclear. He and a spokesman for Juilliard did not respond to requests for comment.

The move is notable because of the New York City-based school's relatively large financial position—more than $1 billion in total assets despite only about 850 total students—and Marcus' sophistication as an investor. Juillard's board chairman is Caxton Associates founder Kovner, and its directors include numerous Wall Street executives.

»Read more
  Monday, 8 Sep 2014 | 10:49 AM ET

Alibaba looks to build big cash stash for buyouts

Posted By: Kayla Tausche

In a video prepared by Alibaba executives for potential investors, the company's genesis is described as one to help small, Chinese wholesalers compete with global players.

With Alibaba's massive initial public offering coming down the pike, the company's own global ambitions are becoming more apparent—even in the structure of the deal. (Watch the video here.)

Alibaba disclosed Friday its plans to sell 320 million shares at up to $66 apiece. While the size of the offering has been arranged for some time, people familiar with the deal said, the portion of new shares to be issued by the company is higher than originally planned.

The reason is simple: More proceeds will go to the company's coffers instead of those of investors like Yahoo, which bought a 40 percent stake in Alibaba in 2005 for a then-paltry $1 billion. Yahoo previously told investors it would sell up to 208 million shares, but that number in the most recent filing decreased to roughly 122 million shares.

»Read more
  Monday, 8 Sep 2014 | 7:00 AM ET

Private equity preps Latin America push

Posted By: Lawrence Delevingne
Rio de Janiero, Brazil
Dado Galdieri | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Rio de Janiero, Brazil

Private equity and venture capital firms are setting up for more bets in Latin America after strong fundraising this year.

Some $3.5 billion earmarked for the region was collected during the first half of 2014, according to new data from the Latin American Private Equity & Venture Capital Association.

A host of major new funds hit the market this year, including regionally focused offerings from Blackstone Group partner Pátria Investimentos, JPMorgan Chase unit Gávea Investimentos, Advent International, and Carlyle Group. A total of 23 PE and VC funds reached their fundraising targets in the first half.

"This is a dynamic period for private equity fundraising and we expect year-end 2014 totals to likely reach $8 billion," LAVCA president Cate Ambrose said in a statement.

The previous high came in 2011, when a record $10.27 billion was raised.

»Read more
  Monday, 8 Sep 2014 | 7:00 AM ET

Today's Martoma sentencing: 8 years? Or even more?

Posted By: Dawn Giel
Mathew Martoma, a former portfolio manager at a unit of SAC Capital Advisors, exits federal court in New York.
Peter Foley | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Mathew Martoma, a former portfolio manager at a unit of SAC Capital Advisors, exits federal court in New York.

A federal judge in New York is set to deliver what could be the harshest sentence for insider trading to date.

Mathew Martoma, 40, a former portfolio manager at CR Intrinsic, a subsidiary of SAC Capital, was found guilty of insider trading in February for what the government said was his role as "the central figure in the most lucrative insider trading scheme" in U.S. history.

The illegal trades were made between 2006 and July 2008 in the pharmaceutical stocks Elan and Wyeth, netting SAC $276 million in profits and avoided losses.The government is also seeking forfeiture of a $9.4 million bonus prosecutors say Martoma received in 2008 for the illegal trades.

According to federal sentencing guidelines, Martoma could face a prison term of 15 years to nearly 20 years. Manhattan's top federal prosecutor, Preet Bharara, believes Martoma's incarceration should be above the Probation Department's recommendation of eight years due to "the seriousness of the offense conduct and the unprecedented ill-gotten gains that it generated."

»Read more
  Friday, 5 Sep 2014 | 4:03 PM ET

Jobs report: Sorting the takeaways and throwaways

Posted By: CNBC.com staff

August's anemic job growth has Wall Street in a quandary: Are the numbers a signal of structural job market weakness or just an aberration to be dismissed.

The answer is clearly "yes."

That's to say, both assertions are correct. The numbers do poke some holes in the idea of a robust employment picture, but they also probably don't represent the true jobs market snapshot.

»Read more

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    Lawrence Delevingne is the ‘Big Money’ enterprise reporter for CNBC.com and NetNet.

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