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(Bloomberg) -- Long before Credit Suisse Group AG was forced to wind down a $10 billion group of funds it ran with financier Lex Greensill, there were plenty of red flags.Executives at the bank knew early on that a large portion of the assets in the funds were tied to Sanjeev Gupta, a Greensill client whose borrowings were at the center of a 2018 scandal at rival asset manager GAM Holding AG. They were also aware that a lot of the insurance coverage the funds relied on depended on a single insurer, according to a report. Credit Suisse even conducted a probe last year of its funds that detected potential conflicts of interest, yet failed to prevent their collapse months later.On Friday, the bank finally pulled the plug and said it would liquidate the strategy, a group of supply chain finance funds for which Greensill had provided the assets and which had been held up as a success story. The funds, which have about $3.7 billion in cash and equivalents, will start returning most of that next week, leaving about two-thirds of investor money tied up in securities whose value may be uncertain.The decision caps a dramatic week that started when Credit Suisse froze the funds after a major insurer for its securities refused to provide coverage on new notes. The move sent shock waves across the globe, prompted Greensill Capital to seek a buyer for its operations, and forced rival GAM Holding AG to shutter a similar strategy. For Credit Suisse and its new Chief Executive Officer Thomas Gottstein, it’s arguably the most damaging reputational hit after an already difficult first year in charge.While the financial toll on the bank may be limited, fund investors are left with about $7 billion locked up in a product that was presented as a relatively safe but higher-yielding alternative to money markets.The Greensill-linked funds were one of the fastest-growing strategies at Credit Suisse’s asset management unit, attracting money from yield-starved investors in a region that had for years had to contend with negative interest rates. The bank started the first of the funds in 2017, but they really took off in 2019, the year rival asset manager GAM finished winding down a group of bond funds that had invested a large chunk of their money in securities tied to Greensill and one of his early clients, Gupta’s GFG Alliance.The Credit Suisse funds, too, were heavily exposed to Gupta early on. As the bank ramped up the strategy, the flagship supply-chain finance fund had about a third of its $1.1 billion in assets in notes linked to Gupta’s GFG Alliance companies or his customers as of April 2018, according to a filing.Credit Suisse executives were aware but denied at the time that it was an outsized risk, according to people familiar with the matter. They argued that most of the loans were to customers of Gupta and not directly to GFG companies, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.Over time, the proportion of loans linked to GFG and customers appeared to decrease, while new counterparties popped up in fund disclosures that packaged loans to multiple borrowers -- making it harder to determine who the ultimate counterparty is. Many of the vehicles were named after roads and landmarks around Lex Greensill’s hometown in Australia.The executives in charge of the fund also knew that much of the insurance coverage they relied on to make the funds look safe was dependent on just a single insurer, according to the Wall Street Journal. They considered requiring the funds to secure coverage from a broader set of insurers, with no single firm providing more than 20% of the coverage, but never put the policy in place, the newspaper said.A spokesman for Credit Suisse declined to comment.Greensill, meanwhile, was looking for new ways to fuel the growth of his trade finance empires after the collapse of the GAM funds removed a major buyer of his assets. In 2019, SoftBank Group Corp. stepped in, injecting almost $1.5 billion through its Vision Fund to become Greensill’s largest backer. It also made a big investment in the Credit Suisse supply chain finance funds, putting in hundreds of millions of dollars, though the exact timing isn’t clear.Over the course of 2019, the flagship fund more than doubled in size, but soon questions arose about the intricate relationship between Greensill and SoftBank that fueled the growth. The funds had an unusual structure in that they used a warehousing agreement to buy the assets from Greensill Capital, with no Credit Suisse fund manager doing extensive due diligence on them. Within the broad framework set by the funds, the seller of the assets -- Greensill -- basically decided what the funds would buy.Credit Suisse started an internal probe that found, among other things, that the funds had extended large amounts of financings to other companies backed by SoftBank’s Vision Fund, creating the impression that SoftBank was using them and its sway over Greensill to prop up its other investments. SoftBank pulled its fund investment -- some $700 million -- and Credit Suisse overhauled the fund guidelines to limit exposure to a single borrower.Neither Gottstein nor Eric Varvel, the head of the asset management unit, or Lara Warner, the head of risk and compliance, appeared to see a need for deeper changes. The bank reiterated it had confidence in the control structure at the asset management unit.Credit Suisse’s review didn’t mention at the time that Greensill had also extended financing to another of his backers, General Atlantic. The private equity firm had invested $250 million in Greensill Capital in 2018. The following year, Greensill made a $350 million loan to General Atlantic, using money from the Credit Suisse funds, according to the Wall Street Journal. The loan is currently being refinanced, said a person familiar with the matter.A spokeswoman for General Atlantic declined to comment.Shortly after the Credit Suisse probe concluded, more red flags popped up. In Germany, regulator BaFin was looking into a small Bremen-based lender that Greensill had bought and propped up with money from the SoftBank injection. Greensill was using the bank effectively to warehouse assets he sourced, but BaFin was worried that too many of the those assets were linked to Gupta’s GFG -- a risk that the Credit Suisse’s managers, for their part, had brushed off earlier.SoftBank, meanwhile, was quietly starting to write off its investment in a stunning reversal from a bet it had made only a year earlier. By the end of last year, it had substantially written down the stake, and it’s considering dropping the valuation close to zero, people familiar with the matter said earlier this month.Credit Suisse, however, was highlighting the success of the funds to investors. Varvel, the head of asset management, listed them in a Dec. 15 presentation as an example of the “innovative” and “higher-margin” fixed-income offerings that the bank was planning to focus on.By that time, Greensill already knew that a little-known Australian insurer called Bond and Credit Company had decided not to renew policies covering $4.6 billion in corporate loans his firm had sourced. The policies were due to lapse on March 1, prompting a last-ditch effort from the supply-chain firm to take the insurer to court in Australia. That day, a judge in Sydney struck down Greensill’s injunction, triggering the series of events that have since reverberated around the world.Credit Suisse didn’t know until very recently that the insurance was about to lapse, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.In an update to investors Tuesday, Credit Suisse said that several factors “cumulatively” led to the decision to freeze the funds, and that it was looking for ways to return cash holdings. But in a twist that may complicate the liquidation of the remainder, it also said that Greensill’s German Bank was one of the insured parties and plays a role in the claims process, and that bank was just shuttered by BaFin.Many of the assets in the funds have protection to make them more appealing to investors seeking an alternative to money market funds. Yet the second-biggest of them, the High Income Fund, doesn’t use insurance. It’s also the fund with the least liquidity, with less than 20% of the net assets in cash.Credit Suisse has said it wasn’t aware of any evidence suggesting financial irregularities with the papers issued by Greensill or by the underlying companies. The bank still hasn’t commented on how many of the assets in the funds are tied to Gupta’s GFG Alliance.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
And will you even get a payment this time, under the new limits the president agreed to?
To win Senate passage, Biden agreed to make millions ineligible for the third checks.
Congress is nearing passage of the third economic stimulus check it will send out to you and other taxpayers as part of its Covid-19 relief bill.
(Bloomberg) -- Brent oil surged above $71 a barrel after Saudi Arabia said the world’s largest crude terminal was attacked, although output appeared to be unaffected after the missiles and drones were intercepted.Futures in London jumped as much as 2.9% after rising 4.9% last week. The kingdom said a storage tank at Ras Tanura in the country’s Gulf coast was targeted on Sunday by a drone from the sea. The terminal is capable of exporting roughly 6.5 million barrels a day -- nearly 7% of oil demand -- and, as such, is one of the world’s most protected installations.The assault follows a recent escalation of hostilities in the Middle East region after Yemen’s Houthi rebels launched a series of attacks on Saudi Arabia. The new U.S. administration has also carried out airstrikes in Syria last month on sites it said were connected with Iran-backed groups.Oil’s rally accelerated last week after Saudi Arabia and OPEC+ made a surprise pledge to keep output steady in April. The move prompted a raft of investment banks to raise their price forecasts, with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. estimating global benchmark Brent will top $80 a barrel in the third quarter.The broader market is also being supported by bullish Chinese export data and the outlook for U.S. stimulus. President Joe Biden is on the cusp of his first legislative win with the House ready to pass his $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief plan, the second-biggest economic stimulus in American history.See also: Andurand Predicts Commodities Bull Run as Hedge Fund Soars 12%“It’s a perfect mix of bullish news at the moment,” said Warren Patterson, head of commodities strategy at ING Bank NV in Singapore. “It does seem that these attacks are picking up in frequency, so the market may need to price in some risk premium.”Brent’s prompt timespread at 70 cents a barrel in backwardation, a bullish market structure where the front-month contract trades higher than later shipments. It averaged 58 cents in backwardation last week.The Sunday attack is the most serious against Saudi oil installations since a key processing facility and two oil fields came under fire in September 2019, cutting oil production for several days and exposing the vulnerability of the Saudi petroleum industry. That assault was claimed by the Houthi rebels, although Riyadh pointed the finger at Iran.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
The bill that passed the Senate makes payments harder to get. Your tax return might help.
ARK Investment founder Cathie Wood says her new Tesla price target is coming soon. What will it be? Barron's hazards a back-of-the-envelope guess.
Class-action suits contend that insurers have been unfairly profiting from emptier roads.
“These transactions are not anonymous,” the IRS' national fraud counsel said. “We see you.”
“Over 85% of American households will get direct payments of $1,400 per person,” Biden said over the weekend.
It’s time to check in with the macro picture, to get an idea of just where markets are headed in the coming months. That’s what a JPMorgan global research team, headed up by Joyce Chang, has been doing. The JPM team starts by noting the sell-off in US Treasury bonds last week, pushing up yields as investors acted in response to inflationary fears. However, the rise in bond yields steadied on Friday, and Chang’s team does not believe that inflation is the great bugaboo it’s made out to be; her team sees a combination of economic growth and fiscal stimulus creating a virtuous circle of consumer spending fueling more growth. They write, “Our global economics team is now forecasting US nominal GDP to average roughly 7% growth over this year and next as targeted measures have been successful in addressing COVID-19 and economic activity is not being jeopardized. Global growth will exceed 5%...” What this means, in JPM’s view, is that the coming year should be good for stocks. Interest rates are likely to remain low, in the firm’s estimation, while inflation should moderate as the economy returns to normal. JPM’s stock analysts have been following the strategy team, and seeking out the stocks they see as winners over the next 12 months. Three of their recent picks make for an interesting lot, with Strong Buy ratings from the analyst community and over 50% upside potential. We’ve used the TipRanks database to pull the details on them. Let’s take a look. On24 (ONTF) The first JPM pick were looking at here is On24, the online streaming service that offers third parties access for scaled and personalized networked events. In other words, On24 makes its streaming service available for other companies to use in setting up interactive features, including webinars, virtual events, and multi-media experiences. The San Francisco-based company boasts a base of more than 1900 corporate users. On24’s customers engage online with more than 4 million professionals every month, for more than 42 million hours every year. As can be imagined, On24 saw a surge of customer interest and business in the past year, as virtual offices and telecommuting situations expanded – and the company has now used that as a base for going public. On24 held its IPO last month, and entered the NYSE on February 3. The opening was a success; 8.56 million shares were put on the market at $77 each, well above the $50 initial pricing. However, shares have taken a beating since, and have dropped by 36%. Nevertheless, JPM’s Sterling Auty thinks the company is well-placed to capitalize on current trends. “The COVID-19 pandemic, we believe, has changed the face of B2B marketing and sales forever. It has forced companies to move most of their sales lead generation into the digital world where On24 is typically viewed as the best webinar/webcast provider.” the 5-star analyst wrote. “Even post-pandemic we expect the marketing motion to be hybrid with digital and in-person being equally important. That should drive further adoption of On24-like solutions, and we expect On24 to capture a material share of that opportunity.” In line with these upbeat comments, Auty initiated coverage of the stock with an Overweight (i.e., Buy) rating, and his $85 price target suggests it has room for 73% upside over the next 12 months. (To watch Auty’s track record, click here.) Sometimes, a company is just so solid and successful that Wall Street’s analysts line up right behind it – and that is the case here. The Strong Buy analyst consensus rating is unanimous, based on 8 Buy-side reviews published since the stock went public just over a month ago. The shares are currently trading for $49.25 and their $74 average price target implies an upside of 50% from that level. (See On24’s stock analysis at TipRanks.) Plug Power, Inc. (PLUG) And moving over to the reusable energy sector, we’ll take a look at a JPM ‘green power’ pick. Plug Power designs and manufactures hydrogen power cells, a technology with a great deal of potential as a possible replacement for traditional batteries. Hydrogen power cells have potential applications in the automotive sector, as power packs for alt-fuel cars, but also in just about any application that involves the storage of energy – home heating, portable electronics, and backup power systems, to name just a few. Over the past year, PLUG shares have seen a tremendous surge, rising over 800%. The stock got an additional boost after Joe Biden’s presidential election win – and his platform promises to encourage ‘Green Energy.” But the stock has pulled back sharply recently, as many over-extended growth names have. Poor 4Q20 results also help explain the recent selloff. Plug reported a deep loss of $1.12 per share, far worse than the 8-cent loss expected, or the 7-cent loss reported in the year-ago quarter. In fact, PLUG has never actually reported positive earnings. This company is supported by the quality of its technology and that tech’s potential for adoption as industry moves toward renewable energy sources – but we aren’t there yet, despite strides in that direction. The share price retreat makes PLUG an attractive proposition, according to JPM analyst Paul Coster. “In the context of the firm's many long-term growth opportunities, we believe the stock is attractively priced at present, ahead of potential positive catalysts, which include additional ‘pedestal’ customer wins, partnerships and JVs that enable the company to enter new geographies and end-market applications quickly and with modest capital commitment,” the analyst said. “At present, PLUG is a story stock, appealing to thematic investors as well as generalists seeking exposure to Renewable Energy growth, and Hydrogen in particular.” Coster’s optimistic comments come with an upgrade to PLUG’s rating - from a Neutral (i.e., Hold) to Overweight (Buy) - and a $65 price target that indicates a possible 55% upside. (To watch Coster’s track record, click here.) Plug Power has plenty of support amongst Coster’s colleagues, too. 13 recent analyst reviews break down to 11 Buys and 1 Hold and Sell, each, all aggregating to a Strong Buy consensus rating. PLUG shares sell for $39.3 and have an average price target of $62.85, which suggests a 60% one-year upside potential. (See Plug’s stock analysis at TipRanks.) Orchard Therapeutics, PLC (ORTX) The last JPM stock pick we’ll look at is Orchard Therapeutics, a biopharma research company focused on the development of gene therapies for the treatment of rare diseases. The company’s goal is to create curative treatments from the genetic modification of blood stem cells – treatments which can reverse the causative factors of the target disease with a single dosing. The company’s pipeline features two drug candidates that have received approval in the EU. The first, OTL-200, is a treatment for Metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD), a serious metabolic disease leading to losses of sensory, motor, and cognitive functioning. Strimvelis, the second approved drug, is a gammaretroviral vector-based gene therapy, and the first such ex vivo autologous gene therapy to receive approve by the European Medicines Agency. It is a treatment for adenosine deaminase deficiency (ADA-SCID), when the patient has no available related stem cell donor. In addition to these two EU-approved drugs, Orchard has ten other drug candidates in various stages of the pipeline process, from pre-clinical research to early-phase trials. Anupam Rama, another of JPM’s 5-star analysts, took a deep dive into Orchard and was impressed with what he saw. In his coverage of the stock, he notes several key points: “Maturing data across various indications in rare genetic diseases continues to de-risk the broader ex vivo autologous gene therapy platform from both an efficacy / safety perspective… Key opportunities in MLD (including OTL-200 and other drug candidates) have sales potential each in the ~$200-400M range… Importantly, the overall benefit/risk profile of Orchard’s approach is viewed favorably in the eyes of physicians. At current levels, we believe ORTX shares under-reflect the risk-adjusted potential of the pipeline...” The high sales potential here leads Rama to rate the stock as Outperform (Buy) and to set a $15 price target, implying a robust 122% upside potential in the next 12 months. (To watch Rama’s track record, click here.) Wall Street generally is in clear agreement with JPM on this one, too. ORTX shares have 6 Buy reviews, for a unanimous Strong Buy analyst consensus rating, and the $15.17 average price target suggests a 124% upside from the current $6.76 trading price. (See Orchard’s stock analysis at TipRanks.) Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.
Tetragon lost its bid to reclaim its portion of a $200 million Series C investment in the blockchain company.
Putting money into retirement accounts on a pretax basis doesn't mean you will avoid paying Uncle Sam eventually. Here's what to know.
Ark Funds CEO and Founder Cathie Wood joined Benzinga’s “Raz Report” last week and discussed the history of Ark Funds. Wood also shared some of the reasons why Ark Funds owns several positions. Wood on Nano Dimension: Several of the Ark Funds ETFs hold positions in Nano Dimension (NASDAQ: NNDM). “Originally it used to call itself a 3D printed circuit board company,” Wood said. Now, Nano Dimension has broadened the view of itself into a 3D-printed-technology device company, she said. One of the important things about the Nano Dimension story is their contracts they are winning from defense agencies. “We always look for where the defense is putting their money,” Wood said. Wood said she is very impressed with new management at Nano Dimension and points out that the founder is still very involved. Ark Funds: The Ark Next Generation Internet ETF (NYSE: ARKW) owns over 5.8 million shares of Nano Dimension worth $45.8 million. The Ark Autonomous Technology & Robotics ETF (NYSE: ARKQ) owns over 7.1 million shares of Nano Dimension worth $55.4 million. Nano Dimension represents 0.6% and 1.6% of ARKW and ARKQ respectively. Related Link: 15 Big Ideas In Disruptive Innovation According To Cathie Wood’s Ark Funds See more from BenzingaClick here for options trades from BenzingaChamath Palihapitiya's 14 SPAC, PIPE Deals: Tracking Lifetime Performance — And The Past Week'sChamath Palihapitiya Shares Lessons Learned After Tough Week For SPACs© 2021 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
Ark Funds CEO and Founder Cathie Wood joined Benzinga’s “Raz Report” this week and discussed the history of Ark Funds. Wood also shared some of the reasons why Ark Funds owns several positions, including in DraftKings Inc (NASDAQ: DKNG). Wood on DraftKings: Wood told Benzinga that DraftKings is becoming accepted as a platform for sports betting as the public grows more comfortable with the activity. “We do think sports betting is losing its taint,” Wood said. The fund manager sees more states turning toward legalizing sports betting, especially as many face huge deficits, Wood said. Wood used New Jersey as an example of the success states can have. The state is a mature market and DraftKings’ revenue was up 100% in the state. “New Jersey was very telling to us," she said. Ark Funds: DraftKings was added to two different Ark Funds beginning in February. Ark Next Generation Internet ETF (NYSE: ARKW) owns around 1.4 milion shares of DraftKings worth $88.1 million. Ark Fintech Innovation ETF (NYSE: ARKF) owns around 546,000 shares of DraftKings worth $33.8 million. DraftKings represents around 1.2% and 0.8% of ARKW and ARKF, respectively. Price Action: Shares of DraftKings finished the week down 6.24% at $59.52. Related Link: DraftKings And Dish Network Partner On Sports Betting, TV Integration See more from BenzingaClick here for options trades from BenzingaFuboTV Shares Pop On Caesars Partnership, Access To Additional States For Sports BettingHorizon Acquisition Corp SPAC Jumps 20% On Potential Sportradar Merger© 2021 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
A search for “blockchain” on JPMorgan’s career pages actually brings up 56 open positions, with 34 including the tech in the job title.
Shares of Hong Kong-listed Chinese photo editing app Meitu Inc rose as much as 14.4% on Monday morning after the company said it had bought $40 million of cryptocurrencies. The beauty-focussed technology firm said in a Sunday evening exchange filing that it bought $22.1 million worth of Ether, the world's second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation, and $17.9 million worth of Bitcoin on March 5. Meitu is the latest company to say it will hold cryptocurrencies as part of its treasury operations.
The last week has been a tough one for investors in many growth stocks. SPACs is one segment that was hit particularly hard. Lessons Learned From Palihapitiya: SPAC King Chamath Palihapitiya shared on Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR) how much he lost in the week and his thoughts on the SPAC market. “It’s been a super tough week for me and I’m sure a super tough week for some of you as well. Here is how I’m doing after Friday and what I’ve learned...” Palihapitiya tweeted. The investor broke down his lessons learned during the week as follows: “The first thing I tried to do yesterday was take a step back and try to see the bigger picture,” he said. Palihapitiya went on to say that March 2020 could be a guide as markets were down 20% then. Is this current market environment the same or different? Palihapitiya asks. He said he looked at his relative performance vs the S&P500, which breaks down as 3.6% compared to 2.3%, or 56% above the benchmark. He said he's not a "huge fan" of these numbers. “I re-questioned my goals and concluded my strategic view is still right: that inequality and climate change investments are a once in a lifetime opportunity to make hundreds of billions of dollars AND do the right thing," he said. “I freed up some capital by selling some shares in $SPCE so I can keep investing at scale without impacting my pace and strategic view.” Palihapitiya added that he hated selling the shares but had to do it after his balance sheet shrank by nearly $2 billion during the week. Palihapitiya also said he has not sold any shares of any other SPAC he’s launched. He went on to say that investing is hard, he is not perfect, and he is trying to learn just like his audience and followers on Twitter. “Be resilient and keep fighting,” he said. Markets are volatile and unforgiving, Palihapitiya added. Companies that do valuable things tend to see their value reflected in gains. “Find a way to make sure you are comfortable with what you own and if not, don’t be afraid to make changes. Prices are temporary but your peace of mind should not be,” he said. Palihapitiya ended his tweet with the Persian adage: “This too shall pass.” Related Link: 5 Things You Might Not Know About Chamath Palihapitiya Sale of Virgin Galactic Stock: The tweet from Palihapitiya came after he was in the news Friday for selling his personal stake in Virgin Galactic Holdings (NYSE: SPCE). Palihapitiya sold 6.2 million shares for around $211 million, according to Business Insider. It follows a similar sale in December. Palihapitiya still owns 15.8 million shares in Virgin Galactic through Social Capital Hedosophia, the company that Palihapitiya and partner Ian Osborne used to take the space tourism company public via SPAC. “I sold 6 million shares for $200 million, which I am planning to redirect into a large investment I am making towards fighting climate change,” Palihapitiya told Business Insider in an emailed statement. The investment will be made public in the next few months. It’s been a super tough week for me and I’m sure a super tough week for some of you as well. Here is how I’m doing after Friday and what I’ve learned... pic.twitter.com/fX5YHdqBv6 — Chamath Palihapitiya (@chamath) March 6, 2021 Disclosure: Author is long shares of SPCE. See more from BenzingaClick here for options trades from Benzinga3 Former SPACs Report Earnings: What Fisker, Velodyne Lidar, Virgin Galactic Investors Should Know© 2021 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
The direction of the April Comex gold market on Monday is likely to be determined by trader reaction to the major Fibonacci level at $1711.70.
This week, investors will be eyeing new inflation data, which will offer a look at whether prices have already begun to creep up as some have feared ahead of a major economic reopening. A highly anticipated direct listing for the vide0 game company Roblox is also on deck.