Hedging Your Bets
As a veteran of more than 25 years of writing and broadcasting business stories, I can say this without hesitation: Many stories about hedge funds make the eyes of real people glaze over.
That’s not to say hedge funds aren’t a significant part of the financial world, or that they haven’t merited the attention of market watchers, lawmakers, and regulators. It’s just that the degree of difficulty in writing a hedge fund story for air is on the high side.
Today’s hedge fund story, though, was an exception -- thanks to the Chicago Cubs. What do the Cubbies have to do with hedge funds?
Tribune, which owns the team, is planning to sell it, once investor Sam Zell completes his purchase of Tribune. However, several hedge funds that own the majority of a Tribune bond issue say selling the Cubs would violate the terms of that bond issue.
They’ve filed to send that bond issue into default if a sale goes through, and in simple terms, if a default were declared and upheld, they’d make a boatload of money. Enough to buy several sets of season tickets. Stay tuned.
Our very first breaking story of the day happened mere moments after my early morning arrival -- the 10-year Treasury note yield broke above 5%, for the first time since last August.
Yes, like hedge funds, this sort of discussion has the potential to descend into market minutiae that only people like me care about.
On the other hand, it presents a great opportunity to boil things down to their simplest terms: despite the fact that 5% isn’t a whole lot different than, say, 4.98%, it looks a whole lot higher -- and an investor is more likely to be attracted to a guaranteed 5% yield as opposed to risking more money in stocks.
Yes, I know our audience is quite sophisticated, but there’s a real pleasure in taking what can be a complex story and making it accessible to those who don’t immerse themselves in it daily, as we do.
Who knows: tomorrow we may decide to tackle credit default swaps. Not that I’m rooting for that.