Citadel CEO Ken Griffin pays $43.2 million for Constitution copy, outbidding crypto group
Ken Griffin, billionaire CEO of hedge fund Citadel, paid $43.2 million for a first-edition copy of the U.S. Constitution at a Sotheby's auction on Thursday, outbidding a group of cryptocurrency investors. The amount more than doubles its $20 million high estimate, setting a world auction record for any book, manuscript, historical document, or printed text, according to Sotheby's. A band of more than 17,000 crypto enthusiasts, identified as ConstitionDAO, had crowdfunded more than $40 million via social media earlier this week in a bid to win the auction. Griffin intends to lend the piece to a free Arkansas art museum, a Citadel spokesperson said. "The U.S. Constitution is a sacred document that enshrines the rights of every American and all those who aspire to be," Griffin said in a statement.cnbc.com
DeSantis top donor invests in COVID drug governor promotes
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — who has been criticized for opposing mask mandates and vaccine passports — is now touting a COVID-19 antibody treatment in which a top donor's company has invested millions of dollars. DeSantis has been flying around the state promoting Regeneron, a monoclonal antibody treatment that was used on then-President Donald Trump after he tested positive for COVID-19. Citadel, a Chicago-based hedge fund, has $15.9 million in shares of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals as well as options to buy its stock, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.news.yahoo.com
Cybercrime expert suggests Colonial Pipeline's ransom was so low because DarkSide messed up
Colonial Pipeline paid the Eastern European hackers who attacked its network 75 Bitcoin, worth almost $5 million at the time of the ransom payment, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday evening, backing up a report in Bloomberg News. The ransom payment to DarkSide, a group of cybercriminals in or near Russia, allowed Colonial to start restoring its network and work to reopen its massive pipeline from Texas to the East Coast, where gas stations are running out of gas amid panic buying of constrained supplies. Full restoration of gas service will take several days. The federal government discourages such payments on the grounds they encourage further ransomware attacks. But many companies, local governments, and other organizations opt to pay the ransom because not doing so — leaving company data locked in encryption or leaked or sold on the web — would cost more, and because insurance often covers the payments. Ransomware attacks are a big and growing problem for businesses of all size and scope. A report last month from a ransomware task force said payments rose by 311 percent in 2020 to about $350 million, paid in cryptocurrency, and the average payout was $312,493, Bloomberg reports. But ransom for large corporations like Colonial tends to be much larger, and DarkSide in particular boasts of going after the big fish. Colonial "had to pay," cyber expert and digital forensics executive Ondrej Krehel told Bloomberg. “This is a cyber cancer. You want to die or you want to live? It’s not a situation where you can wait.” But the $5 million ransom was "very low," he added. "Ransom is usually around $25 million to $35 million for such a company. I think the threat actor realized they stepped on the wrong company and triggered a massive government response." President Biden, under attack from Republicans over the gas shortages, signed an executive order to beef up cybersecurity after the Colonial attack, and he told reporters Thursday the U.S. might retaliate against the cybercriminals and pursue "a measure to disrupt their ability to operate." Eight websites associated with DarkSide were down Thursday, the Times reports, though it wasn't clear if the U.S was involved. “We do not believe the Russian government was involved in this attack, but we do have strong reason to believe that the criminals who did the attack are living in Russia,” Biden said, adding that "responsible countries" take "decisive action against these ransomware networks." More stories from theweek.comThe Republican theory of unemployment is classic MarxThere's growing speculation that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will name their daughter 'Philippa'A short history of White House catsnews.yahoo.com
'Flat out false' — Ken Griffin says Citadel doesn't use personal information from retail investors
Citadel CEO Ken Griffin dismissed as "flat out false" the accusation that his firm improperly uses information it garners from its market-making operation. Griffin spoke in an interview with CNBC on Friday, one day after Citadel and other market makers came under scrutiny from Congress about their role in last month's GameStop mania. In fact, a prominent U.S. senator asked us specifically about what personal identifying information do we receive from retail investors. Market makers such as Citadel Securities pay e-brokers like Robinhood for the right to execute customer trades. Citadel Securities executes roughly 40% of all retail volume, Griffin told the House Financial Services Committee on Thursday during the GameStop hearing.cnbc.com
Ken Griffin says he doesn't see the 'economic underpinning' of cryptocurrencies
Ken Griffin, who runs a sprawling Wall Street empire that includes market-making operations and a hedge fund, was dismissive of cryptocurrencies on Friday even as some see the emerging asset as the future of finance. "I don't see the economic underpinning of cryptocurrencies. Employees and customers of major Wall Street banks are also pushing for greater involvement in cryptocurrencies. Griffin also founded a hedge fund named Citadel. The Citadel hedge fund also made an investment in January in Melvin Capital, one of the funds hit hardest by GameStop's rapid rise.cnbc.com
LIVE STREAM: Robinhood, Reddit CEOs testify in House hearing on GameStop stock saga
The episode has been portrayed as a victory of the little guy over Wall Street titans, but not everyone is buying it. The head of the panel, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., is homing in on hedge funds, which she says have a history of “predatory short-selling." Chicago-based Citadel is one of the biggest hedge funds, and its separate securities-dealing business handles an estimated 25% of all U.S. stock trading. Not coincidentally, it inflicted billions in losses on the hedge funds that had placed bets that the stocks would drop. GameStop stock plunged 60%, to $90 on Feb. 2, wiping out hundreds of thousands of dollars in a few hours.
Warren presses Citadel CEO Griffin about relationship with Robinhood, payment for order flow
Sen. Elizabeth Warren is pressuring Citadel CEO Ken Griffin about his firm's relationship with Robinhood after the online broker curbed trading in names like GameStop amid a volatility spike last month. The senator also asked Griffin about the controversial, yet legal, way in which Robinhood and other brokers make money through trades despite dropping commissions: "payment for order flow." Robinhood and other brokers are large beneficiaries of this revenue model and receive payments from market makers such as Citadel Securities. Warren's letter came hours before Griffin's scheduled testimony to the U.S. House Financial Services Committee about the GameStop trading frenzy. Warren asked FINRA, which licenses and regulates broker-dealers, to review whether Robinhood's practices complied with existing laws and regulations.cnbc.com
Lawmakers to face off with GameStop saga's key players
The GameStop saga has been portrayed as a victory of the little guy over Wall Street giants but not everyone agrees, including some lawmakers in Washington. GameStop shares soared 1,600% in January before falling back to earth. GameStop stock plunged 60%, to $90 on Feb. 2, wiping out hundreds of thousands of dollars in a few hours. A raft of lawsuits were filed against Robinhood in federal court by platform users who suffered losses when they were frozen out of GameStop trading. There are indications that contrary to the populist fable, it was the Wall Street titans that mostly benefited in the end from the GameStop rollercoaster.
Melvin Capital, hedge fund that bet against GameStop, lost more than 50% in January
Hedge fund Melvin Capital Management lost 53% in January amid a record rally in GameStop and other stocks the fund was betting against, a source familiar with the matter told CNBC. The heavy losses come as retail investors piled into popular hedge fund short targets, including the struggling video game retailer. Shares of GameStop finished last week with a gain of 400%, bringing its total return this year to 1,625%. CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin reported last week that Melvin Capital closed out its short position in GameStop on Tuesday afternoon after sustaining heavy losses. The source said the hedge fund was down 1% on its Melvin investment, which it made last week.cnbc.com
Melvin Capital, hedge fund targeted by Reddit board, closes out of GameStop short position
Melvin Capital closed out its short position in GameStop on Tuesday afternoon after taking a huge loss, the hedge fund's manager told CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin. GameStop, hedge funds' most-hated stock, was targeted by an army of retail investors who marshaled forces against short sellers in online chat rooms. CNBC could not confirm the amount of losses Melvin Capital took on the short position. Citadel and Point72 have infused close to $3 billion into Gabe Plotkin's hedge fund to shore up its finances. GameStop was the single most traded name in the U.S. stock market on Tuesday, topping Tesla and Apple, even though they are 81 and 233 times larger in market cap terms, according to Deutsche Bank strategist Jim Reid.cnbc.com
Billionaire investor Steve Cohen: 'After an earthquake there are tremors'
Billionaire trader Steven A. Cohen is cautioning the staff of his investment firm, Point72 Asset Management, to remain cautious amid markets that have recovered slightly from coronavirus-driven lows. "Markets don't come back in a straight line; after an earthquake there are tremors," Cohen wrote to staff on Friday in an internal memo seen by Reuters. Others on the call included Dan Loeb of Third Point, Stephen Schwarzman of Blackstone Group, Robert Smith of Vista Equity Partners, Paul Tudor Jones of Tudor Investment Corp and Ken Griffin of Citadel. Institutional Investor recently estimated here that Cohen made $1.3 billion in 2019 following a 14.9% gain in Point72's main hedge fund. Other large so-called multi-strategy hedge funds that use teams of traders have also posted relatively strong performance deep into March.cnbc.com
Hedge fund titans Simons, Griffin, Cohen and Tepper earned $1 billion in 2019 before virus outbreak
Renaissance Technologies's James Simons, Citadel's Ken Griffin, Points72's Steven Cohen and Appaloosa Management's David Tepper were among the biggest hedge fund earners in 2019 with each man raking in over $1 billion, according to Institutional Investor's Rich List. 1 on the list was Christopher Hohn of TCI Fund Management, who earned in $1.8 billion last year, according to Institutional Investor. As a result of a banner year, the 25 highest-earning hedge fund managers made a combined $20.2 billion in 2019, the most since 2013. It's likely that a significant portion of the managers' 2019 income was erased throughout the market collapse. For example, Bridgewater's Dalio told CNBC last week that his hedge fund was down 10% to 20%.cnbc.com
Citadel turns 2020 profit after spotting virus risk early
Citadel, the Chicago-based hedge fund giant led by billionaire Ken Griffin, has so far weathered the coronavirus market storm well, turning a slight profit in its flagship Wellington hedge fund for the year through Monday, according to a person familiar with the situation. By comparison, Goldman Sachs' prime services division estimated that the average equity-focused hedge fund is down 15.5% for the month through Thursday, with average year-to-date losses at nearly 16%. Ken Griffin Lucy Nicholson | ReutersCitadel's multi-strategy competitors are still down for the year amid the coronavirus-led market rout. Millennium Management's main hedge fund is down about 4.3% for 2020 through March 20, while Schonfeld Strategic Advisors is down about 15% through March 16, according to people briefed on the returns. The Citadel Global Fixed Income Fund is now positive for the year through Monday, the person with knowledge of Citadel said.cnbc.com
Who is Ken Griffin? And how does he spend all that money?
Ken Griffin is founder and CEO of the hedge fund Citadel and the namesake of the Kenneth C. Griffin Museum of Science and Industry. He has been known as the richest person in Illinois since 2013, when he passed real estate mogul Sam Zell on Forbes’ annual ranking of billionaires. Forbes calculated his wealth at $11.7 billion in its 2019 ranking, making him the 117th-richest person in the world.chicagotribune.com