• Did Bill Ackman Trip over Allergan?

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    In amassing his huge stake, he may have stepped into insider trading territory  

    If his death threat against Herbalife wasn’t risky enough, Bill Ackman’s recent hook-up with Michael Pearson of Valeant Pharmaceuticals has turned into an even more precarious campaign.  It’s Ackman’s first foray – and perhaps the first ever by a hedge fund activist — into 1980’s-style corporate raiding.

    For the past several months, Ackman and Pearson have been cooking up an unsolicited — and now hostile — takeover bid for Allergan Inc., the California-based manufacturer of Botox and other cosmetic drugs.  

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    Connecting with an Angel

    Taking a high-potential start-up to the next level

    Angels are investors who finance start-ups after the entrepreneurs have put up their own capital and raised additional funding from so-called friends & family.  Angels only invest in new businesses which they believe can return big numbers. 

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    France’s Very Bad Bank

    Did BNP Paribas get off easy?

    As the most liquid currency on the planet, the American dollar is by far the denomination of choice in international trade.1  Those who can’t access it are effectively barred from global commerce.

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    Lifting the Lid on Private Equity

    Who knew what PE managers were hiding from their investors?

    Are private equity documents so opaque that even sophisticated investors couldn’t possibly figure out how much PE firms actually earn (or save) from their portfolio companies?

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    The Curious Case of Jérôme Kerviel

    Whose fault is it when your job is to make as much money as possible?

    Back in 2008, it certainly looked as if rogue trader Jérôme Kerviel was acting alone.

    He had built up derivative positions in the astronomic amount of €50 billion ($68.5 billion) – way beyond his trading limit – and had admittedly concealed them from his employer, Société Générale, by creating fake, offsetting trades in its computer systems.  

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    Is Activism Good or Bad?

    It all depends on your investment time horizon . . .

    Statistically, hedge fund activism was off the charts in 2013.  It was the top-performing hedge fund strategy by far and its practitioners won more proxy contests, attracted more capital and targeted bigger fish than ever before.

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    The “London Fix”

    How seven big banks secretly manipulated the global currency markets

    Just how exactly did foreign currency traders at Barclays, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan, RBS and UBS secretly rig global exchange rates for almost a decade? 

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    Madoff Markers that JPMorgan Missed

    Money laundering controls fell prey to profits

    Bernie Madoff once told a reporter from his prison cell in North Carolina that JPMorgan “doesn’t have a chance in hell” of avoiding liability in connection with his 20-year Ponzi scheme.