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Morning Brief: White House Blames Congress for Carried Interest

Economic advisor Gary Cohn said Congress prevented the Trump administration from keeping its campaign promise to eliminate the loophole.

White House chief economic advisor Gary Cohn, the former Goldman Sachs executive, said Wednesday that the Trump administration tried to end the “carried interest” tax loophole that benefits hedge funds and private equity managers – but failed.

In an interview with Axios co-founder Mike Allen, Cohn said Congress would not go along with the change, which had been promised by Trump during his campaign.

“We probably tried 25 times,” he told Allen.

Carried interest refers to a manager’s incentive income, which is taxed at the capital gains rate, even though it doesn’t come from a manager’s own equity investment. Critics say it should be taxed at the higher ordinary income rate, as it is a manager’s compensation.


Jeffrey Gendell’s Tontine Associates is selling out of its long-held stake in troubled wind energy company Broadwind Energy, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In mid-December, the hedge fund sold 265,300 shares of the company, falling below the 5 percent stake that requires a securities filing.

Tontine first filed a 13D regarding the company on March 5, 2007, when it took a 21.2 percent stake in the company, then known as Tower Tech Holdings, for a total of $3.6 million, or more than 10 million shares. The hedge fund has been selling out for years, but as of May 9, 2016, it still owned 6.8 percent of the energy company, according to a filing at the time.

The firm has never come back from the financial crisis, as it peaked at more than $270 in June of 2008 and now trades under $3.


Paul Singer’s Elliott Management is continuing its assault on European companies, taking a 5.6 percent stake in Swiss duty-free retailer Dufry AG, according to a regulatory filing.

A Reuters report, citing a source close to the hedge fund manager, said that Elliot could be eying a private equity sale.


Christopher Hohn’s TCI Fund Management has failed in its effort to oust London Stock Exchange chairman Donald Brydon.

TCI said some shareholders have asked the LSE board to “commence work on the chairman’s succession plan immediately,” according to a Reuters report Tuesday. But the LSE denied that any shareholders have made such requests.

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