Tag Archives: George Soros

How a university became a battle for Europe’s identity

Michael Ignatieff is not a person you would expect to find at the centre of a global political power play featuring names such as Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.

He was the rangy intellectual presenter on late night TV arts shows of the early 1990s in the UK, who looked like he might moonlight in an experimental jazz band.

Continue reading How a university became a battle for Europe’s identity

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Viktor Orban Is Turning Hungary Into Europe’s Black Sheep

On April 4, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban scored a victory in his campaign against Western-backed institutions and companies when the parliament gave him the O.K. to shutter Central European University (CEU) in Budapest.

The move helps Orban tighten his grip on power and may well spell the end for CEU, a prestigious and financially independent institution funded by Hungarian-born George Soros, a U.S. financier who has given heavily to liberal causes around the globe.

In Budapest, tens of thousands of people, mainly students, marched in protest at the treatment of CEU on consecutive weekends in April. But Orban won’t be inclined to back down. His growing control of Hungary’s traditional media ensures favorable coverage for the government and few opportunities for the fragmented opposition to make its case.

Continue reading Viktor Orban Is Turning Hungary Into Europe’s Black Sheep

Pressure Grows as Hungary Adopts Law Targeting George Soros’s University

Pressure is mounting on Hungary’s right-wing government after it adopted a law that would effectively shut down Central European University, an institution founded by the Hungarian-American philanthropist George Soros shortly after the fall of Communism.

An American official and a United Nations expert on Tuesday joined European Union officials in expressing grave concern about the law, which was rushed through Parliament by the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Tens of thousands of protesters poured into the streets of Budapest on Sunday to urge President Janos Ader not to sign the law, but on Monday he did just that.

Continue reading Pressure Grows as Hungary Adopts Law Targeting George Soros’s University

Hungarian Leader Lashes Out At George Soros-Founded School

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — The future of a Budapest-based university founded by billionaire philanthropist George Soros depends on an agreement between the Hungarian and U.S. governments, Hungary’s prime minister said Friday.

Viktor Orban, who considers the Hungarian-born Soros an ideological rival, said that Central European University, founded in 1991, is “cheating” with its unfair advantage over Hungarian universities because its diplomas are accepted in both Hungary and the U.S.

Continue reading Hungarian Leader Lashes Out At George Soros-Founded School

The 5 Highest-Earning Hedge Fund Managers And Traders

1. George Soros

1. George Soros

2013 Earnings: $4 billion
The legend continues. In 2013, George Soros had a pretty good year, with Soros Fund Management delivering returns north of 22%. That was not good enough to beat the U.S. stock market, but it still made Soros a lot of money. Soros is not involved in the day-to-day operations of Soros Fund Management, the $29 billion family office that manages Soros’ fortune and money he has given away to his foundations. The firm is overseen by Scott Bessent, Soros Fund Management’s chief investment officer, but Soros remains involved and the firm’s big short bet on the yen at the start of 2013 was vintage Soros. He continues to be a market moving force and his short of the yen after Japanese policy makers accelerated monetary easing was widely watched. The famous philanthropist was also involved in major hedge fund battleground stocks last year. Betting against fellow hedge fund billionaire Bill Ackman’s “pyramid scheme” hypothesis, Soros sided with Carl Icahn in going long the nutritional supplements company Herbalife, becoming one of the company’s largest shareholders. He trimmed the position near the end of the year. Born in Budapest, Soros survived the Nazi occupation of Hungary and went on to study at the London School of Economics before launching his hedge fund in 1969.

2. David Tepper

2. David Tepper

2013 Earnings: $3.5 billion
Tepper has set a new standard for hedge fund managers. His track record has long been phenomenal, but since the financial crisis his returns have reached a whole new level. In 2013, the 56-year-old founder of Appaloosa Management outperformed the U.S. stock market and the vast majority of hedge fund managers, with his biggest fund posting net returns of more than 42%. Over the last five years, Tepper’s main hedge fund has generated annualized net returns of nearly 40%—and gross returns of some 50%. In what has almost become an annual tradition, Tepper gave back some cash to his investors at the end of the year. In 2013, Tepper’s Appaloosa celebrated its 20th anniversary by pledging $20 million to various charities. Tepper also gave $67 million to Carnegie Mellon University last year—adding to the $55 million he previously gave the university—and continued to support other causes like basic needs and education.

3. Steve Cohen

3. Steve Cohen

2013 Earnings: $2.3 billion
In 2013, Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors hedge fund firm pleaded guilty to criminal insider trading charges and agreed to pay $1.8 billion in fines and penalties to the federal government. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan worked on what turned out to be two more successful prosecutions of former SAC Capital employees and Cohen is transforming his Stamford, Ct., hedge fund firm into a family office, returning billions of dollars to outside investors. But through it all, Cohen, 58, continued to do what he does best—make profitable trades and earn lots of money. SAC Capital knocked out net returns of about 19% in 2013. That was not as good as what the U.S. stock market returned, but it beat most other hedge fund managers.

4. John Paulson

4. John Paulson

2013 Earnings: $1.9 billion
The biggest comeback ever? After three very tough years, Paulson, 58, came roaring back in 2013. His $2.7 billion Recovery Fund posted net returns of 63%, his Paulson Enhanced funds returned 33% and the Advantage funds generated net returns north of 26%. About 80% of the $20 billion in assets that Paulson’s Paulson & Co., hedge fund firm oversees are now above their high watermark, meaning the firm is charging rich performance fees again. The only trouble spot in 2013 was gold. The 28% plunge of the yellow metal in 2013 not only hurt the returns of his relatively small Gold Fund, in which he has a large stake, it also dented the returns of the gold-denominated holdings he personally keeps in his other hedge funds.

5. Carl Icahn

5. Carl Icahn

2013 Earnings: $1.7 billion
Carl Icahn was everywhere in 2013. He battled with Michael Dell, helped push Aubrey McClendon out of Chesapeake Energy, made a killer trade on Netflix, fought with William Ackman over Herbalife, and loudly lobbied for Apple to repurchase more of its stock. In the end, Icahn’s investment fund returned 31% in 2013, which is pretty impressive given that its portfolio was largely hedged.

Check out the other successful hedge fund managers, traders

 

Icahn, Soros, Druckenmiller, And Now Zell: The Billionaires Are All Quietly Preparing For The Plunge

“The stock market is at an all-time, but economic activity is not at an all-time,” explains billionaire investor Sam Zell to CNBC this morning, adding that, “every company that’s missed has missed on the revenue side, which is a reflection that there’s a demand issue; and when you got a demand issue it’s hard to imagine the stock market at an all-time high.”

Zell said he is being very cautious adding to stocks and cutting some positions because

“I don’t remember any time in my career where there have been as many wildcards floating out there that have the potential to be very significant and alter people’s thinking.”

Zell also discussed his view on Obama’s Fed encouraging disparity and on tax inversions, but concludes, rather ominously, “this is the first time I ever remember where having cash isn’t such a terrible thing.” Zell’s calls should not be shocking following George Soros. Stan Druckenmiller, and Carl Icahn’s warnings that there is trouble ahead.

Billionaire 1: Sam Zell

On Stocks and reality…

“People have no place else to put their money, and the stock market is getting more than its share. It’s very likely that something has to give here.”

“I don’t remember any time in my career where there have been as many wildcards floating out there that have the potential to be very significant and alter people’s thinking,” he said. “If there’s a change in confidence or some international event that changes the dynamics, people could in effect take a different position with reference to the market.”

“It’s almost every company that’s missed has missed on the revenue side, which is a reflection that there’s a demand issue,” he said. “When you got a demand issue it’s hard to imagine the stock market at an all-time high.”

He also lamented about how difficult it is to call a market top. “If you’re wrong on when, that’s a problem.” His answer: “You got to tiptoe … and find the right balance.”

“This is the first time I ever remember where having cash isn’t such a terrible thing, despite the fact that interest rates are as low as they are,” he added.

Zell also said it’s unfortunate that “this inversion thing has been captured as a political, electioneering item.”

* * *

Billionaire 2: George Soros

Soros has once again increased his total SPY Put to a new record high of $2.2 billion, or nearly double the previous all time high, and a whopping 17% of his total AUM.

*  *  *

Billionaire 3: Carl Icahn

Ironically, Carl Icahn – poster-child of the leveraged financial engineering that has overtaken US equity markets on the back of Central Bank largesse – told CNBC that he was “very nervous” about US equity markets. Reflecting on Yellen’s apparent cluelessness of the consequences of her actions, and fearful of the build of derivative positions, Icahn says he’s “worried” because if Yellen does not understand the end-game then “there’s no argument – you have to worry about the excesssive printing of money!”

*  *  *

Billionaire 4: Stan Druckenmiller

Simply put, Druckenmiller concludes, rather ominously, “I am fearful that today our obsession with what will happen to markets and the economy in the near term is causing us to misjudge the accumulation of much greater long term risks to our economy.”

*  *  *

Soros sees risk of another world war

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Billionaire investor George Soros said flatly that he’s concerned about the possibility of another world war

Much depends on the health of the Chinese economy, Soros said in remarks at a Bretton Woods conference at the World Bank.

If China’s efforts to transition to a domestic-demand led economy from an export engine falter, there is a “likelihood” that China’s rulers would foster an external conflict to keep the country together and hold on to power.

“If there is conflict between China and a military ally of the United States, like Japan, then it is not an exaggeration to say that we are on the threshold of a third world war,” Soros said.

Military spending is on the rise in Russia and China, he said.

To avoid this scenario, Soros called on the U.S. to make a “major concession” and allow China’s currency to join the International Monetary Fund’s basket of currencies. This would make the yuan a potential rival to the dollar as a global reserve currency.

In return, China would have to make similar major concessions to reform its economy, such as accepting the rule of law, Soros said.

Allowing China’s yuan to be a market currency would create “a binding connection” between the two systems.

An agreement along these lines will be difficult to achieve, Soros said, but the alternative is so unpleasant

“Without it, there is a real danger that China will align itself with Russia politically and militarily, and then the threat of third world war becomes real, so it is worth trying.”

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