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In the summer of 2015, Penn State’s endowment invested $US50 million in Pershing Square Capital, a high-profile hedge fund run by New York City billionaire Bill Ackman.
The endowment, one of the largest held by a university, invested as the fund was coming off years of stellar performance. Two years later, the fund has had a reversal of fortune. The Pershing Square International fund reported a loss of 16.6% in 2015 and a loss of 10.2% last year. The fund gained 1.83% through mid-June of this year.
At those rates, a $US50 million investment in 2015 would be worth about $US38 million now. That doesn’t include annual fees, of about 1.5% of the assets (about $US750,000 on the initial amount), paid to the hedge fund.
The Penn State-Pershing Square situation highlights a turning point for the hedge fund industry. Once a cottage industry financed by the rich, hedge funds are now largely funded by public universities and pensions, which oversee the retirement money of the nation’s teachers, firefighters, and police officers.
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Business Insider’s “Undividing America” series continues. Here’s the latest:
- A hated, mile-long highway shows an overlooked problem with America’s infrastructure — but it could soon come crumbling down
- American farmers are facing a political paradox because of Republicans’ hard line on immigration
- Millions of American adults are not allowed to vote — and they could have changed history
- How a 128-year-old brand that makes clothes for workers made the jump from cornfields to catwalks
In economics news, a battle is raging at the Fed over how low the unemployment rate should go. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the Trump administration isn’t considering a tax increase on wealthier Americans, knocking down a report that White House adviser Steve Bannon had floated the idea as a way to pay for tax cuts for middle-income taxpayers. And the world is now more unstable than during the Vietnam War.
In markets news, traders haven’t been this confident since the early days of the financial crisis — and that’s a huge red flag. Treasurys are getting close to some “big levels,” according to bond guru Jeff Gundlach.
A five-minute iced coffee trick could save you $US100,000 by the time you retire. Cheddar bought the viral game where a guy lets Twitch buy and sell stocks for him. And a $US2.7 trillion money manager is backing an investment fund cofounded by Bono.
Wells Fargo will shell out $US142 million to settle fake accounts scandal.
In deal news, Elliott Management is launching a $US18.5 billion bidding war with Warren Buffett. US lawmakers are trying to stop the sale of the Chicago Stock Exchange to Chinese buyers. And Deutsche Boerse has invested $US10 million into a NYC startup backed by Peter Thiel and George Soros.
Amazon is unleashing a new service that should terrify Best Buy. Nvidia is set to dominate the “4th tectonic shift” in computing, according to Jefferies. And here are 7 startups that were massively funded that died in 2017.
New aerial photos appear to show just how massive Tesla’s Gigafactory is. Volvo became an unlikely tech superpower when no one was watching. The electric-car startup Faraday Future is scrapping its big Nevada factory as its cash crisis deepens. And a $US100,000 electric car trying to take on Tesla hit a top speed of 235 mph
Lastly, nobody wants to buy this $US18 million Brooklyn mansion with connections to mobsters and a Russian heiress.