Hottest links for Wednesday September 4th, 2013 (see Tuesday’s edition of hottest links here). Top stories for the day include; Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) (yes that company) is back in the news. A relatively unknown investor has purchased a 5 percent stake in the MLM company, and it turns out he has some interesting connections to the industry as well; Which bank will hurt most on their big bet on emerging markets?; Is Steve Ballmer even crazier than he appears in whacky videos which have been going viral in the recent days? The answer could very well be yes; Speaking of Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V), the stock is just the latest of many big short bets which have turned sour for several famous short sellers; BD audits still a big problem says an expert on the topic of auditing; A woman wakes up with a Chinese accent...... That and much more below. Programming note: We will not be posting hottest links for the rest of this week.
Hottest Links: Stories
We Interrupt For A Brief Herbalife Update
Bill Ackman's huge Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) presentation ("Who wants to be a millionaire?") compared Herbalife to another MLM company, and it turns out that someone who bought a large stake in Herbalife yesterday was the chairman of that corporation. At this point it would not be a stretch to state that Herbalife has more lives than Nelson Mandela. [John Hempton, Bronte Capital]
What Is a Hedge Fund, Anyway?
The catchall term is used to describe an industry with an estimated $2.4 trillion in AUM, but what is a hedge fund? If you asked me I would honestly not be able to give you a good answer. See more on this interesting topic. [Daisy Maxey, The Wall Street Journal]
361 Capital Weekly Research Briefing
"The Syrian regime maintains custody of stockpiles of chemical weapons. Information available from a wide variety of sources points to the Syrian regime as responsible for the use of chemical weapons in these attacks" says the Obama Administration. Get your dose of economics, politics, etc. The always great 361 Capital has your weekly wrap up. [Blaine Rollins, The Reformed Broker]
Use of Google Trends To Predict The Stock Market
A new study which uses Google Trends to predict future financial index returns. The authors of the white paper first discuss the many subtle (and less subtle) biases that may affect the back-test of a trading strategy, particularly when based on such data. Check it out here. [Damien Challet and Ahmed Bel Hadj Ayed, SSRN]
Which Bank Is Most Exposed To Emerging Markets?
Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) appears to be the winner as noted over a year ago by ValueWalk (see Citigroup’s Big Bet on Emerging Markets Turns Sour [ANALYSIS]). According to the bank's most recent earnings presentations, Citi generated nearly half of all its earnings in the emerging markets. A number of banks say they're pulling back from Brazil, where a number of Wall Street firms, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS), had plans to expand. [Stephen Gandel, CNNMoney]
The Deal That Makes No Sense
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) acquired Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) for €3.79 billion (plus €1.65 billion for patents). It is a deal that makes no sense, here is why Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is even crazier than you thought. [Ben Thompson, Stratechery]
Nokia Adds to Shortsellers’ Big Losses This Year
Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) is the latest short bet to kill hedge fund returns. The stock joins a long list this year of other popular shorts not working out; including Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR), Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ), and Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA). [Tabinda Hussain, ValueWalk]
The Forward Earnings Outlook With Brian Gilmartin
Despite the continued worries by the financial media over “retail earnings” the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) forward earnings estimate fell just $0.25 from Friday, August 2nd, through Friday, August 30th, and most of that came in the last week. [Brian Gilmartin, CFA, The Reformed Broker]
Broker-Dealer Audits Still Badly Broken
On August 19, 2013, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, the audit industry regulator, released its second report on its interim inspection program for auditors of brokers-dealers registered with the SEC. [Francine, re: The Auditors]
Not The Onion
Woman Goes to Bed, Wakes Up with a Chinese Accent
Sarah Colwill from Plymouth. went to sleep and woke up noticing something unusual about the way she was talking.......... [Laura Sinpetru, Softpedia]