The Morning Brief: Ex-Hedge Fund Honcho Arnold Seeks to Stop Pensions

A retired Texas hedge fund manager has shelled out more than $40,000 to support a Phoenix ballot initiative that seeks to end public pensions for newly hired city workers, according to Reuters. John Arnold, who ran the Houston-based hedge fund firm Centaurus Advisors before retiring, made his donation through his non-profit organization, Action Now Initiative, Reuters reports. He earlier supported successful efforts to alter retirement benefits in Rhode Island and Kentucky and backed a failed effort in California, according to the report.

The National Public Pension Coalition, which is supported by unions, claims Arnold has given more than $53 million to groups backing pension reform efforts in 17 states since 2008, an assertion Arnold denies. Arnold, a one-time energy trader at Enron Corporation, made more than 3.5 billion in just the five years he qualified for Alpha’s Rich List while trading natural gas for Centaurus.


Hedge fund manager and basketball mogul Marc Lasry thinks now is a good time to buy energy stocks. In an interview Friday on CNBC, the distressed bond investor says the stocks are very cheap, asserting: “A number of equities have gotten hit anywhere between 25 to 50 percent because prices have come in so much on the oil side.”

Lasry, who recently bought the Milwaukee Bucks with Fortress Investment Group’s Wesley Edens, also manages $14 billion at Avenue Capital Group, which he co-founded with his sister, Sonia Gardner. “From a macro standpoint you want to be in energy,” Lasry said in the television interview. “The U.S. is going to be energy sufficient. Over the course of the next two, three or four years, [investors] are going to end up doing well.”

Elsewhere, Lasry said he recently invested in the equity of Ford Motor after buying the debt. He also singled out YRC Worldwide, a transportation services holding company. “We ended up buying the debt, converted that debt into equity,” he said in the interview. Lasry also thinks interest rates are heading down, so he likes the 10 year Treasury.


Shares of LinkedIn surged nearly 13 percent Friday, to close at $228.96, after the company reported strong third-quarter results. In addition, on Friday investment bank Stifel Nicolaus lifted its price target from $250 to $260.

The stock is now up 60 percent since May. However, just one hedge fund had a meaningful investment in the social media company at the end of the second quarter. London-based Lansdowne Partners was the tenth largest shareholder, with 1.92 percent of the total shares.