Delivering alpha 2012

Here’s a quick roundup of the latest from The Delivering Alpha conference, hosted by CNBC and Institutional Investor, going on in New York today.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

Juliet Chang, of the WSJ, reports on some of the issues Geithner touched upon this morning, and particularly the Libor scandal.

Geithner revealed that in fact, the U.S. had sounded the alarm on the Libor rigging much earlier. According to the WSJ, Geithner, in his capacity as president of the NY Fed, had written as far back as 2008 to Bank of England Governor, Mervyn King, suggesting changes to make the Libor rate more credible.

“We acted very early in response to concerns that the processes to set this rate was impaired and flawed and vulnerable to misrepresentations,” Geithner said, during a speech at the Delivering Alpha Conference. “We were worried about it, we were concerned about it.”

Hedge Funds and their take on Europe

Juliet Chang’s report on the views on Europe of investment and hedge fund titans makes interesting reading.

Peter Briger, of Fortress Investment Group, was cautious on Europe, and preferred to be invested in cash, other than very specific, and special opportunities. Interestingly, he drew attention to the significant credit contraction that is taking place in the continent, which he observed during his meetings with financial intermediaries in southern Europe.

Perry Capital’s, Richard Perry was, however, much more optimistic, saying people were ignoring the quality of European government, and specifically the new ECB head and new chiefs at the helm in Italy and France.

Jane Mendillo of Harvard Management Company is the middle-of-the-roader. She too advocates a position in cash, but tends to look more for opportunities, considering that equities in Europe are now considerably cheaper than previously. She draws attention to a “mania” developing, as investors line up to seize opportunities in distressed credit in Europe.

Breaking news: Leon Cooperman and 10 stocks he loves

The best for the last?

Leon Cooperman in bullets:

  • The U.S. economy is OK
  • Avoid US govt bonds – because they’re “like walking in front of a steamroller”
  • “There’s a good case to be made for a few more years of deleveraging…”
  • Top ten stock picks:

Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI)

Kinder Morgan Inc (NYSE:KMI)

Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET)

Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE:WPI)

The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU

Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM)

Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL)

Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE:COF)

Express Scripts Holding Company (NASDAQ:ESRX)

AIA Group Ltd (HKG:1299)

Update at 13:36 EST: Richard Perry on Europe and the US Housing Market – Link

More updates 13:47 EST = All things covered:

Bruce Richards on Opportunities in Credit – VIDEO

Jim Chanos Explains why he is Short $HPQ – VIDEO

Leon Cooperman Talks Valuations and Economy #DeliveringAlpha – VIDEO

Timothy Geithner Is Bullish on Economy but See Risks – VIDEO

14:45EST: Jim Chanos on HPQ – article.

15:11 EST: Kravis of $KKR Says Wall St Needs to Improve its Image – VIDEO