Blackrock Profits Double on Rising Asset Prices [Financial Times] "BlackRock, the world's largest money manager, more than doubled earnings in the fourth quarter as rallying markets lifted assets under management. Boosted by the $13.5bn takeover of Barclays Global Investors in late 2009, BlackRock reported earnings well ahead of Wall Street expectations. Net income jumped from $256m in the fourth quarter of 2009 to $657m in the last three months of 2010 as revenues rose from $1.54bn to $2.49bn."
SEC Votes for Shareholder's 'Say on Pay' [Business Week via Bloomberg] "The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission gave shareholders the right to weigh in on pay packages for top executives to increase scrutiny of compensation practices blamed for fueling Wall Street risk-taking. SEC commissioners voted 3-2 today to enact the say-on-pay measure that will subject compensation plans to non-binding shareholder votes as often as once a year. The proposal is part of the agency's rulemaking under the Dodd-Frank Act."
Political Unrest in Egypt [Wall Street Journal] "Three people died in protests in across Egypt as thousands across the country joined the largest antiregime protest in recent memory. Two were killed in the Egyptian city of Suez, one of several places countrywide where demonstrators on Tuesday called for an end to President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule, and one security officer died in Cairo, Reuters, reported."
Rahm Emanuel is Back on Chicago Mayoral Ballot [New York Times] "The Illinois Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered Rahm Emanuel's name back on the ballot, and agreed to consider whether he should be allowed to run for mayor of Chicago. The decisions came a day after a panel of the Illinois Appellate Court ruled that Mr. Emanuel's time in Washington as White House chief of staff - a post he left in October - meant that he had not lived in the city for a year before the election, a state requirement for running, and that therefore he would not appear on the Feb. 22 ballot."
"Alternative Fuels Don't Benefit the Military, a RAND Report Says" [NY Times] Shocking! Alternative energy is more about politics than economics! Who possibly could have guessed? "The United States would derive no meaningful military benefit from increased use of alternative fuels to power its jets, ships and other weapons systems, according to a government-commissioned study by the RAND Corporation scheduled for release Tuesday. The report also argued that most alternative-fuel technologies were unproven, too expensive or too far from commercial scale to meet the military's needs over the next decade."
All of which reminds me: One night I'm at a bar on the Upper East Side. I start talking to the guy next to me—who, it turns out, manages a hedge fund. I ask him what sector they're in. He says: "Energy." I ask about the strategy. "It's simple," he says. "We're a long short fund: I'm long anything dirty—and short anything clean."
I bet The Times article is framed over his desk by now.