The Daily Alpha: Alternative Thinking on “Leftist Progress,” Clinton’s Cash, and the Community Chest

The Daily Alpha: Alternative Thinking on “Leftist Progress,” Clinton’s Cash, and the Community Chest

Garrett Baldwin

May 23, 2016

“I believe there will be a culling of hedge funds like we've never seen before. I'd estimate the number of funds gets cut in half over the next couple of years.”

I’ll take the other side of this prediction in a heart beat.

If you know K.C. Nelson, get this column to him.

I’ll bet him a steak at Delmonico’s with all the trimmings. We’ll agree on whose data we will use, and we will start with June 1, 2016.

We’ll end on January 1, 2020.

There are roughly 10,000 hedge funds...

If it hits somewhere around 5,000 any time by 2020, I’ll buy him two steaks.

I’m giving 2 to 1 odds here.

We can even start a tracker of the total number of funds on FinAlternatives if he’d like.

Here’s why: This is one of those predictions that drives me completely insane because it will be forgotten in about two months. If this happens, and the odds are low, KC will live the rest of his life as the man who predicted the demise of hedge funds. CNBC will invite him on and run that little ticker beneath his name, glorifying him for the rest of eternity.

When it doesn’t happen… KC will be able to walk this off and no one will ever bring it up.

Sure, a slump could start in mid-2017. Maybe it falls to 8,000.

But around late 2018, something will happen. The world will turn on its side, and media outlets will need to get their clicks. We’ll see headlines that scream: “Hedge funds are back.”

Why: Because history shows us that all of us are bad at this.

We are so lost in the near-term that we underestimate the reality that even a slight turnaround for this industry is going to make this projection a bad one. Wall Street media love stuff like this because it gave MarketWatch a clickable headline that generated more than 20,000 views.

It’ll be revisited a few times by their writers in the months ahead… they’ll cite it several times.

Then they’ll move onto something else. Click bait is all they know.

Does he realize how long the mutual fund industry has been losing against index funds? And they’re on a hell of a run. Funny what good marketing can do for you these days.

So again: Two for one steaks at Delmonico’s. I’ll even serve both of them if I lose.

If I win?

I’m taking it to go and eating it in my favorite bar in Manhattan: Beckett’s Bar & Grill.

“Follow the money.”

The New York Post engaged in accidental journalism:

On Clinton: “Mandatory financial disclosures released this month show that, in just the two years from April 2013 to March 2015, the former first lady, senator and secretary of state collected $21,667,000 in ‘speaking fees.’”

Hillary Clinton is wealthy.

And an in-demand speaker.

Here’s the thing, Wall Street...

I am willing to tell anyone exactly what he or she wants to hear for $46.50 an hour and a sandwich.

I have a pretty good education, a background in economic policy, and I don’t contradict myself on a regular basis.

Look how much money these companies could have saved by hiring me instead:

Oh… and I don’t send a 40-page non-disclosure agreement ahead of time…

  • 4/18/2013, Morgan Stanley Washington, DC: $225,000
  • 4/24/2013, Deutsche Bank Washington, DC: $225,000
  • 4/24/2013, National Multi Housing Council Dallas, TX: $225,000
  • 4/30/2013, Fidelity Investments Naples, FL: $225,000
  • 5/8/2013, Gap, Inc. San Francisco, CA: $225,000
  • 5/14/2013, Apollo Management Holdings, LP New York, NY: $225,000
  • 5/16/2013, Itau BBA USA Securities New York, NY: $225,000
  • 5/21/2013, Vexizon Communications, Inc. Washington, DC: $225,000
  • 5/29/2013, Sanford C. Bernstein and Co., LLC New York, NY: $225,000
  • 6/4/2013, The Goldman Sachs Group Palmetto Bluffs, SC: $225,000
  • 6/6/2013, Spencer Stuart New York, NY: $225,000
  • 6/16/2013, Society for Human Resource Management Chicago, IL: $285,000
  • 6/17/2013, Economic Club of Grand Rapids Grand Rapids, MI: $225,000
  • 6/20/2013, Boston Consulting Group, Inc. Boston, MA: $225,000
  • 6/20/2013, Let’s Talk Entertainment, Inc. Toronto, Canada: $250,000
  • 6/24/2013, American Jewish University Universal City, CA: $225,000
  • 6/24/2013, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Company, LP Palos Verdes, CA: $225,000
  • 7/11/2013, UBS Wealth Management New York, NY: $225,000
  • 8/7/2013, Global Business Travel Association San Diego, CA: $225,000
  • 8/12/2013, National Association of Chain Drug Stores Las Vegas, NV: $225,000
  • 9/18/2013, American Society for Clinical Pathology Chicago, IL: $225,000
  • 9/19/2013, American Society of Travel Agents, Inc. Miami, FL: $225,000
  • 10/4/2013, Long Island Association Long Island, NY: $225,000
  • 10/15/2013, National Association of Convenience Stores Atlanta, GA: $265,000
  • 10/23/2013, SAP Global Marketing, Inc. New York, NY: $225,000
  • 10/24/2013, Accenture New York, NY: $225,000
  • 10/24/2013, The Goldman Sachs Group New York, NY: $225,000
  • 10/27/2013, Beth El Synagogue Minneapolis, AIN: $225,000
  • 10/28/2013, Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago Chicago, IL: $400,000
  • 10/29/2013, The Goldman Sachs Group Tuscon, AZ: $225,000
  • 11/4/2013, Mase Productions, Inc. Orlando, FL: $225,000
  • 11/4/2013, London Drugs, Ltd. Mississauga, ON: $225,000
  • 11/6/2013, Beaumont Health System Troy, 111: $305,000
  • 11/7/2013, Golden Tree Asset Management New York, NY: $275,000
  • 11/9/2013, National Association of Realtors San Francisco, CA: $225,000
  • 11/13/2013, Mediacorp Canada, Inc. Toronto, Canada: $225,000
  • 11/13/2013, Bank of America Bluffton, SC: $225,000
  • 11/14/2013, CB Richard Ellis, Inc. New York, NY: $250,000
  • 11/18/2013, CIIE Group Naples, FL: $225,000
  • 11/18/2013, Press Ganey Orlando, FL: $225,000
  • 11/21/2013, U.S. Green Building Council Philadelphia, PA: $225,000
  • 01/06/2014, GE Boca Raton, Fl.: $225,500
  • 01/27/2014, National Automobile Dealers Association New Orleans, La.: $325,500
  • 01/27/2014, Premier Health Alliance Miami, Fl.: $225,500
  • 02/06/2014, Salesforce.com Las Vegas, Nv.: $225,500
  • 02/17/2014, Novo Nordisk A/S Mexico City, Mexico: $125,000
  • 02/26/2014, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Orlando, Fl.: $225,500
  • 02/27/2014, A&E Television Networks New York, N.Y.: $280,000
  • 03/04/2014, Association of Corporate Counsel – Southern California Los Angeles, Ca.: $225,500
  • 03/05/2014, The Vancouver Board of Trade Vancouver, Canada: $275,500
  • 03/06/2014, tinePublic Inc. Calgary, Canada: $225,500
  • 03/13/2014, Pharmaceutical Care Management Association Orlando, Fl.: $225,500
  • 03/13/2014, Drug Chemical and Associated Technologies New York, N.Y.: $250,000
  • 03/18/2014, Xerox Corporation New York, N.Y.: $225,000
  • 03/18/2014, Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal Montreal, Canada: $275,000
  • 03/24/2014, Academic Partnerships Dallas, Tx.: $225,500
  • 04/08/2014, Market° Inc. San Francisco, Ca.: $225,500
  • 04/08/2014, World Affairs Council Portland, Or.: $250,500
  • 04/10/2014, Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc. Las Vegas, Nv.: $225,500
  • 04/10/2014, Lees Talk Entertainment San Jose, Ca.: $265,000
  • 04/11/2014, California Medical Association (via satellite) San Diego, Ca.: $100,000
  • 05/06/2014, National Council for Behavioral Healthcare Washington D.C.: $225,500
  • 06/02/2014, International Deli-Dairy-Bakery Association Denver, Co.: $225,500
  • 06/02/2014, Lees Talk Entertainment Denver, Co.: $265,000
  • 06/10/2014, United Fresh Produce Association Chicago, II.: $225,000
  • 06/16/2014, tinePublic Inc. Toronto, Canada: $150,000
  • 06/18/2014, tinePublic Inc. Edmonton, Canada: $100,000
  • 06/20/2014, Innovation Arts and Entertainment Austin, Tx.: $150,000
  • 06/25/2014, Biotechnology Industry Organization San Diego, Ca.: $335,000
  • 06/25/2014, Innovation Arts and Entertainment San Francisco, Ca.: $150,000
  • 06/26/2014, GTCR Chicago, II.: $280,000
  • 07/22/2014, Knewton, Inc. San Francisco, Ca.: $225,500
  • 07/26/2014, Ameriprise Boston, Ma.: $225,500
  • 07/29/2014, Coming, Inc. Coming, N.Y.: $225,500
  • 08/28/2014, Nexenta Systems, Inc. San Francisco, Ca.: $300,000
  • 08/28/2014, Cisco Las Vegas, Nv.: $325,000
  • 09/04/2014, Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP San Diego, Ca.: $225,500
  • 09/15/2014, Caridovascular Research Foundation Washington D.C.: $275,000
  • 10/02/2014, Commercial Real Estate Women Network Miami Beach, Fl.: $225,500
  • 10/06/2014, Canada 2020 Ottawa, Canada: $215,500
  • 10/07/2014, Deutsche Bank AG New York, N.Y.: $280,000
  • 10/08/2014, Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) Chicago, II.: $265,000
  • 10/13/2014, Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers Colorado Springs, Co.: $225,500
  • 10/14/2014, Salesforce.com San Francisco, Ca.: $225,500
  • 10/14/2014, Qualcomm Incorporated San Diego, Ca.: $335,000
  • 12/04/2014, Massachusetts Conference for Women Boston, Ma.: $205,500
  • 01/21/2015, tinePublic Inc. Winnipeg, Canada: $262,000
  • 01/21/2015, tinePublic Inc. Saskatoon, Canada: $262,500
  • 01/22/2015, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce Whistler, Canada: $150,000
  • 02/24/2015, Watermark Silicon Valley Conference for Women Santa Clara, Ca.: $225,500
  • 03/11/2015, eBay Inc. San Jose, Ca.: $315,000
  • 03/19/2015, American Camping Association Atlantic City, NJ.: $260,000

Total: $21,667,000

Good work if you can get it…

“Retired Cuban leader Fidel Castro and Bolivian President Evo Morales discussed "imperialist efforts" to undo leftist progress in Latin America during Morales' two-day visit to the Communist-ruled island, Cuban state television reported on Saturday.”

You know where this is going.

Two revolutionaries who drove their economies into the dirt with the promise of utopian socialism are blaming the United States – a nation that stopped paying attention to them during the Reagan administration.

Castro is a pathetic dictator who blasts capitalism while wearing an Adidas tracksuit…

Evo Morales is just an absolute idiot. 

(And if that story didn’t make you realize it, try this one.)

(Or this one, in which he claims that eating chicken will make you bald and gay.)

History will serve humanity well – remembering them as total failures.

Hopefully, we move past this human desire to chase socialism into the pit and learn that economic freedom of every single human being is the antidote to the very problems that these wannabes promise to solve.

And… by the way… what is it with this terminology “leftist progress” from Reuters.

That’s an oxymoron.

What economic progress has been made in Bolivia, Cuba, Venezuela, or Argentina over the last ten years? If your answer is: “Everyone is equal,” realize that everyone now equally “zero” dollars, and you need to go back to the start square on the Monopoly board.

If you find any of these nations’ economies to be successful, we’ll put you in charge of the Utility Company for a little bit, and your economic view will likely lead to that square being mortgaged during your next roll of the dice.

And don’t get me started on economically dumb and corruptible a “Community Chest” is.


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