Weekend Giant Reading: July 1 - 4, 2016

Fire up the BBQ, put a hose in the above-ground and unroll that Slip-N-Slide. It’s the July 4th weekend, everybody!


Fire up the BBQ, put a hose in the above-ground and unroll that Slip-N-Slide. It’s the July 4th weekend, everybody! It’s the July 4th weekend, everybody! Let the good times roll! Unless, that is, if when you hear the words “independence day” you want to lock yourself away with a few pints and a bacon butty. You know who you are. Either way, here’s some news for your reading enjoyment:

- New SWFs I: And the latest government to create a new sovereign wealth fund is . . . Louisiana! In case you weren’t aware, the U.S. has more sovereign (state) funds than any other country on Earth. In fact, this is the 8th US state to set up such a fund to manage resource wealth.

- New SWFs II: Indonesia is mulling a new “super-holding company” akin to Malaysia’s Khazanah in which it would hold (and in theory improve) the country’s state owned enterprises.

- New SWFs III: Two of Abu Dhabi’s existing sovereign funds - Mubadala and IPIC - are going to be merged into a massive, new sovereign fund with assets under management of around $130 billion.

- Department of Obvious Stuff I: According to AIMCo’s CIO, “I don’t want to pay exorbitant fees for straightforward hedge fund strategies that can easily be replicated.” I think that same principal holds true for just about everything. Everywhere.

- Department of Obvious Stuff II: The Alaska Permanent Fund is dumping $2 billion worth of hedge fund of funds because of the high cost of FoFs and the marginal performance they deliver. Well done.

- SWF Leadership I: The China Investment Corporation is getting a new boss: Tu Guangshao - executive deputy mayor of Shanghai - will replace Li Keping.

- SWF Leadership II: India’s new sovereign fund - the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) - reportedly now has a CEO. That’s a big step.

- Drawdowns: Sovereign funds have reportedly pulled $9 billion from external managers in the last quarter alone.

- Counter Cyclical: The University of California’s Investment Office and the Canada Pension Plan remind us that long-term investors are liquidity providers and see investment opportunities in dislocations.

- Important Clarification: Goldman Sachs has clarified its stance on an important issue: Prostitutes are an unacceptable gift to give to clients. Glad to see Goldman leading from the front on moral issues such as these...

- Definitions: You know you’re a Giant when . . . You lose $50 billion in a single year and are still the world’s biggest pension fund.

Enjoy your weekend!