Fiscally distressed governments across the country may have gotten a troubling blueprint this week for getting out of their respective messes.» Read More
Kenneth Brody, the co-founder of $8.2 billion hedge fund firm Taconic Capital Advisors, plans to retire in January after nearly 15 years at the firm, according to a letter sent to investors Tuesday.
Brody, 70, will remain a principal and advisor to the multi-strategy and event-driven firm starting January 1. He will also remain a "significant" investor, according to the note.
Co-founder Frank Brosens will run the New York-based shop with chief investment officer Chris Delong. A spokeswoman for Taconic declined to comment.
(Read more: Hedge funds play buy-and-hold, and lose: Report)
Whether it's just Wall Street market experts getting cute or there's something more scientific at play, the idea that the S&P 500 will finish 2014 at, yes, 2,014 has gained another convert.
Adam Parker, the chief market strategist at Morgan Stanley, just raised his target for the index next year nearly 10 percent from the original 1,840. He joins John Stoltzfus at Oppenheimer, who two weeks ago issued the first "2,014 in 2014" call.
Both projections suggest not merely a convenient and catchy forecast but also a decidedly bullish bent that the market can build on the momentum of a year—with nearly a month of trading left—where a 30 percent gain is not out of the question.
"Since last March, we have been sanguine on U.S. equities," Parker said in a note to clients. "Our logic has been driven more by lack of a bear case than the strength of the base case."
In the Stoltzfus call, he arrived at the number as a midpoint between two models the firm uses to project market price points.
Harvard, Yale, Stanford and other elite universities may help shape some of the brightest minds in the country, but some of their endowment investment returns can look something less than brilliant.
Harvard, Brown, Cornell, Stanford and Yale all under-performed a classic allocation of 60 percent stocks and 40 percent bonds and even benchmark returns for hundreds of other colleges and universities, according to a new ranking of five-year returns compiled by recruitment firm Charles A. Skorina & Co.
Of course, such an analysis isn't perfect. Comparing complex, multi-billion dollar portfolios that attempt to balance risk management with strong performance is inherently difficult and much of the underlying structure of the endowment investments are kept private.
That doesn't mean the relatively crude analysis isn't interesting.
Borrowing money at bargain basement interest rates may seem now like a nice way to pad profits and share prices, but it may not be as much fun in a few years.
Companies face three consecutive years where more than $1 trillion each will come due in the form of maturing bond issues that have been used during the free-wheeling, zero-interest days courtesy of the Federal Reserve.
When that happens, corporations will have to choose between rolling over, or refinancing, debt at interest levels likely to be higher than the present day or using cash on their balance sheets to pay off their creditors.
The calculus from both borrowers and the Fed assumes that rates will still be low enough to roll the debt, and economic growth will be strong enough to absorb the costs of paying it down.
It's a high stakes bet that market experts hope will pay off.
Happy Monday. Congratulations for surviving Black Friday, a dark day indeed for humanity.
In case you haven't heard, the first-year of Obama Part II hasn't exactly gone as planned. Democrats think the reboot needs a reboot. (The Hill)
As investors feel emboldened by the seemingly unstoppable stock market rally, they're borrowing money at record levels to keep things going.
Margin debt—a measure of how much market participants are borrowing to buy stocks—has soared to $412.5 billion on the New York Stock Exchange. The number represents a 13.2 percent gain from the beginning of 2013 and is fully 50 percent higher than the level in January 2012.
There are two ways to look at such a data point.
One is that investors are so confident in the market that they believe they're safe by funding their purchases from other sources and the market will rise sufficiently that they'll be able to repay their debts and pocket a nice profit.
That would be a good thing.
Bitcoin's most widely watched exchange has interesting origins from the world of online role-playing games.
While there are an assortment of ways to track and trade the online cryptocurrency, the exchange most often cited is Mt.Gox. The natural temptation is to look at the name and think "Mount Gox," which would seem to have little to do with bitcoin's operation.
The name, in fact, is an acronym that stands for "Magic: The Gathering Online eXchange."
"Magic: The Gathering Online" is, as the name implies, the online version of a card game that pits wizards against their opponents in an intricate fantasy game that involves playing cards that are traded and can be valuable.
Investors are getting comfortable with risk approaching pre-crisis levels, but stocks do not appear to be in a bubble, according to investor Howard Marks.
In the latest of his widely followed "Oaktree memos," Marks sounds numerous cautionary notes about the way in which investors are being herded into risk.
Yet when looking at the climate of 2007 compared to the current state of affairs, he said markets have a ways to go before reaching those dizzying heights.
"A rise in risk tolerance is something that should get your attention and focus your concentration," wrote Marks, the billionaire founder of Oaktree Capital Management. "But for it to be highly worrisome, it has to be accompanied by extended valuations. I don't think we're there yet. I think most asset classes are priced fully—in many cases on the high side of fair—but not at bubble-type highs."
Hedge fund managers are riding their stock picks as long as possible, but overall returns continue to lag the market, according to a new report from Goldman Sachs.
The bank's 783 hedge fund clients turned over—sold a position before holding it for a year—just 28 percent of their portfolios, according to the report. The 12-year turnover average is 35 percent.
The turnover of funds' largest holdings also fell to an all-time low of 15 percent. And the average fund holds 63 percent of long assets in just 10 top positions,
In other words, top hedge fund managers believe their best ideas will continue to gain as the bull market hits new highs.
John Carney is a senior editor for CNBC.com, covering Wall Street and finance and running the NetNet blog.
Jeff Cox is finance editor for CNBC.com.
Lawrence Delevingne is the ‘Big Money’ enterprise reporter for CNBC.com and NetNet.
Stephanie Landsman is one of the producers of CNBC's 5pm ET show "Fast Money."
Kyle Bass's Hayman Capital has taken a stake in General Motors, betting that the once bankrupt company is undervalued, he told CNBC.
The US Justice Department plans to bring civil mortgage fraud cases against several financial institutions early in 2014.
Muddled by inconsistent earnings and stock performances, one sector appears tougher and tougher to predict, CNBC's Jim Cramer says.