7 Things That DIDN'T Happen In 2012

The much longer title of this post should be, "7 Things That Everybody Was Convinced Beyond the Shadow of a Doubt Was Going To Happen In 2012, And If You Thought Otherwise You Were Basically Stupid, Insane, or Both."

I have to hand it to the Fisher editorial staff for putting this gem together. We tend to forget that everything we fear so much at one point turns out to be...well, not that big of a deal. If everybody's convinced something is going to happen and it doesn't, it's satisfying to buck the trend. Here are 7 things the Fisher editorial staff remembers everyone was freaking out about in the beginning of 2012 (http://www.marketminder.com/a/fisher-investments-e...)


Debt Ceiling "Crisis" - Early Predictions

Morning Monkeys,

We've just concluded the "fiscal cliff" and now it's time for a new and exciting "crisis"! Hooray! How I love all this contrived nonsense. Will we default? Will the government shut down? Will the coming crisis be determined not by congressional vote but by a cage fight between Obama & Boehner? (Answers: No, Maybe, Hopefully).

Needless to say, in an effort to not get sucked into the kabuki theater that the US congress has become, I thought I'd lay out my predictions for the resulting deal, then immediately stop paying attention:


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What We Learned from the Fiscal Cliff

There was a lot of hysteria about the fiscal cliff last month, and partisan hyperbole pretty much ruled the news cycle. So you can imagine my relief to find some actual rational analysis that fleshes out what we actually learned from the exercise. Here Planet Money's Adam Davidson breaks it down for us and it's well worth the watch. Best quote: "Talk about [the economy] like what it is: not an existential crisis, not some battle between two fundamentally different religious views, but a math problem, a really solvable math problem."


Private Equity MegaFund Recruiting Process - Summer 2013

Hey,

As we approach the beginning of the 2013 process, wanted to get the updates on Funds that people are in contact with. We can make this an official thread if people would like.

I have been to a few cocktail events and coffee chats with Apollo, KKR, BX. However, I am more interested in their Credit/Special Sits businesses but I know they begin at the same time.

I was told by KKR (know a senior person in HR) that their process will start Jan 7th regardless of when everyone else goes.


Killing Me Silently: Beijing's Smog

Working in an office in and of itself usually wouldn't expose one to hazardous conditions. The city in which one lives could have its fair share of dangers though. Crime is a given; all big cities have their fair share of crime, but it's usually isolated in certain neighborhoods. The truly awful smog in Beijing the past few days has made me to give a little more thought to the silent killer that is pollution.


Life in PE when Things are Going According to Plan

This week I thought I might do a little writing on my time in private equity. Specifically, I'd like to compare and contrast life in private equity when a fund's portfolio companies are performing well with life in PE when a fund's portfolio companies are performing poorly.

To be clear, I can only provide the perspective of an Associate, so I've never been in a position to have money tied up in a fund. I imagine the stresses of being a Partner are far different than those of a pre-MBA Associate, given that your net worth can change drastically based on whether or not your portfolio companies meet or beat their forecasts.

With that said, let's dive into today's post in which I'll focus on life as an Associate when one's portfolio companies are performing well.


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THE GOVERNMENT

This is a syndication from Jared's Daily Dirtnap daily market newsletter. WSO readers qualify for a $100 discount...just email [email protected] and mention "WSO Monkey Discount" You can follow Jared on twitter at @dailydirtnap

People go back and forth on this: government is too big, government is too small. Well, if there is one thing that most people on Wall Street have in common, it is that almost none of them have worked in government. I have. I have an opinion on the size of government, for sure, but at least mine is an educated one.

So let me tell you a couple of government stories, leaving aside all the ones from the Coast Guard Academy (or maybe we will get to those later). So I graduate from the Academy, and I go to a ship. A white one. White ones do law enforcement. I was stationed in the Pacific Northwest. There are a lot of fish in the Pacific Northwest. At least, there used to be a lot of fish. Maybe we will get to that, too.

So I report aboard the cutter, and the first thing they do is make me Weapons Officer. I have a gunner's mate working for me. Before long, he is scooped up by CGIS (yes, like NCIS) for being a bigamist. Well, it is not as bad as it sounds. He got drunk and got married, a second time, in a blackout.


Facebook Search / what will happen to stock price after announcement?

Big announcement from FB coming up in ~1 hour, likely about details of FB search.

Patrick and I were having a discussion about this, and whether or not it will be effective/useful. What are your thoughts? How could they best tailor search for you to want to use it instead of other search engines?


Jim Chanos on His Career, Psychology of Shorting, and China

Given the nice start to the new year we've had, I felt it only proper to highlight shorting, specifically with a interview by Jim Chanos which covers his career, the psychology of shorting, and China (July 2012):


Herba-Flight: Ackman vs. Loeb Cont.

Today is not a good day for Pershing Capital or Bill Ackman, as his short position on Herbalife (HLF) is looking progressively worse as closing time approaches. The session before he announced his short on December 18, 2012 saw a closing price of $42.50 and in the aftermath, it crashed 38% to around $26.06. So far, it has rallied 10.09% to a price of $44.06.

This, of course, says nothing about his questionable position in JCP, which has steadily fallen since Jan. 2. Additionally, Ackman's fund has underperformed over the past two years.

Dan Loeb (Third Point LLC), an outspoken rival of Ackman, opened a position with 8.9 million shares at the beginning of this year. Last year, his hedge fund beat the market and another of his funds saw net returns of 35%.


How to breeze through your next performance review

If like most of us you are a cog in the wheel at a BB, this is the time of year for performance reviews / objective setting. For some this can be a bit of a stressful time, especially if you feel like you haven't done much to show for the past year and you have little to no motivation for the year ahead. If you stick to a script you can be in and out of your performance review in 15 minutes and back at your cage cube before your know it. Read on for some tips