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From the CME Trading Floor: It's quiet...too quiet?
Seeking Alpha
As Vikram Rangala worked in the MrTopStep office across from the CME, he kept hearing the same thing from traders taking a break from the floor. One 40-year vet stopped him in the hall and growled, "I was on the floor today. It sucked!" Rangala thought, "Well, he's started early." But he heard it from others all day: "Nothing's happening," "Nobody's taking a risk," "It's dead." Everyone was waiting for someone else to go first.
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Hedge funds in a post-crisis world
CFA Chicago
With insights from industry leaders in consulting, alternative beta and active hedge fund portfolio management, panelists will debate the issues of hedge fund alpha vs. beta, return vs. diversification, and the merits of accessing different strategies through the various structures available today.
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Limited space left in Investment Exchange Forum — Come discuss the effects that Japanese and Chinese economic policies have globally
CFA Chicago
Join moderators Nick Detchev from Segall Bryant & Hamill, and Adam Fleck, CFA - Morningstar in a presentation of the convergence of conflicting Japanese and Chinese economic policies. On Sept. 20 we will discuss investment opportunities within both markets, but space is limited and you must register to participate.
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International Study — Trust for investment managers is diminishing
CFA Chicago
The Investor Trust Study surveyed over 2,100 retail and institutional investors in the United States, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Australia, and Canada, and finds that while a slim majority of respondents trust investment managers, the level of trust is fragile.
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Ron Rimkus' advice to institutional investors: Choose the right investment manager
CFA Institute's Enterprising Investor
As investment practitioners, we all know that we are supposed to avoid the curse of buying high and selling low. After all, that’s what so-called mom-and-pop investors do. Institutional investors — you know, the multibillion dollar endowments, pension funds, and the like that hire professional managers with the help of sophisticated consultants — are the ones making all the right moves. Right? Wrong.
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Larry Summers pulls out of running for Fed chairman
Chicago Tribune
Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers withdrew from consideration to succeed Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke after fierce opposition from within the Democratic Party hurt his chances of being confirmed in Congress. Summers, a former top aide to President Barack Obama and widely regarded as a brilliant economist and a shrewd and decisive policy maker, was considered to be the front-runner for the position to replace Bernanke, whose second term expires in January.
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Financial wolves growling at Mayor Emanuel
Crain's Chicago Business
His chief financial officer is, at a minimum, distracted by a building financial scandal. Springfield is moving at a glacial pace on pension reform. And now the promised honey pot of privatizing Midway Airport may be gone for good. For Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the news lately has not been good regarding his foremost job: balancing the books — in this case, after they went deep into the red in the latter Richard M. Daley years.
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Chicago gets biggest credit rating cut in Moody's pension review
Crain's Chicago Business
Chicago and a Michigan school district fared the worst among 29 local governments and school systems reviewed by Moody's Investors Service using a new approach to measuring public pension obligations.With $8.2 billion of debt, Chicago was the biggest debt issuer reviewed by Moody's, which attributed the downgrade to the city's "very large and growing pension liabilities and accelerating budget pressures associated with those liabilities." The rating agency also put a negative outlook on the lower rating, saying the city faces formidable legal and political challenges to enacting pension reforms.
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Somehow, Illinois will have to find an extra $210 billion over the next 10 years
Business Insider
At only 24 percent funded, according to Moody's new methodology, Illinois is the single-most underfunded state in the union – the worst of an entire basket of bad apples. The state of Illinois's five state-level pensions (TRS, SERS, SURS, JRS, & GARS) report current accrued liabilities at $146 billion, but the state has set aside only $63 billion to cover future benefits. According to these official estimates (which are already a year old), the $83 billion shortfall in unfunded liabilities leaves the state’s pensions only 43 percent funded, on average. Unfortunately, the real numbers are far worse.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Chicago's startup challenge: Embrace risk — and don't fear failure (Crain's Chicago Business)
The key to building a better network, relationships (CFA Chicago)
No movement in Illinois pension reform (WLS-TV)
Hedge funds in a post-crisis world (CFA Chicago)
Predictability 101: Nate Silver's 'The Signal and the Noise' (Everyday EBook)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


CBOE to investigate trading glitches
Value Walk
The Chicago Board of Options Exchange is to investigate trading glitches at its options and stock exchanges that led to some trading halt. According to Financial Times, CBOE Holdings, Inc has posted an alert to traders informing that the exchange was experiencing quote dissemination issues. The C2 options market impacted last week is one of CBOE Holdings, Inc.'s smaller exchanges.
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Likely candidates to replace Bernanke in 2014
Chicago Tribune
Lawrence Summers, a former top economic aide to President Barack Obama and a Treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton, withdrew his name from consideration to succeed Ben Bernanke as Federal Reserve chairman on Sept. 15. Summers' decision to drop out appears to make Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen a strong contender for the job. But Obama has been careful to say he is considering other candidates as well to take the helm of the Fed.
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Tullman, Keywell take aim at joint healthcare venture
Chicago Business
Two of Chicago's most prominent entrepreneurs, Brad Keywell and Glen Tullman, are going into business together. The company will be called Zest Health — It will be a joint venture of their respective investment firms, Lightbank and 7wire Ventures. Zest Health doesn't even have a website yet, but it has hired a chief executive, Karen Ferrell, the former chief executive of Apollo Health Street, which was sold this year for about $183 million.
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No movement in Illinois pension reform
WLS-TV
After a summer of continued credit downgrades and persistent high unemployment, the bi-partisan pensions committee has nothing to show despite nearly three months of work. At an un-related event, a self-described "anxious" Gov. Pat Quinn worried that the Illinois House/Senate conference committee on pension reform was taking so much time.

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From the CME trading floor: It's quiet...too quiet?
Seeking Alpha
As Vikram Rangala worked in the MrTopStep office across from the CME, he kept hearing the same thing from traders taking a break from the floor. One 40-year vet stopped him in the hall and growled, "I was on the floor today. It sucked!" Rangala thought, "Well, he's started early." But he heard it from others all day: "Nothing's happening," "Nobody's taking a risk," "It's dead." Everyone was waiting for someone else to go first.

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Chicago's startup challenge: Embrace risk — and don't fear failure
Crain's Chicago Business
The spotlight is shining on Chicago as a hot spot for startups. Even so, questions linger over how well the city stacks up against established rivals such as New York, Boston and the Silicon Valley.

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Army's wind power investments could lift Chicago firms
Crain's Chicago Business
Chicago-based Acciona Energy North America Corp. made the Army's short list of 17 wind power companies eligible to bid for up to $7 billion in clean energy contracts. Chicago is the U.S. headquarters of Acciona SA, a global wind, solar and infrastructure firm based in Spain, with revenue last year of nearly $9.4 billion. Although only one Chicago-based wind energy company made the cut, one expert said the Defense Department's initiative could boost Chicago-area makers of turbines and other wind-energy components." Chicago's importance to the wind industry could mean new business for firms in the area," said Kevin Borgia, Chicago-based public policy manager at Wind on the Wires, a Midwest-focused wind energy advocacy group in Minneapolis.
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Hedge funds-of-funds managers in midst of metamorphosis
Pensions & Investments
Hedge funds-of-funds managers — those that survived tortuous outflows since the 2008-2009 financial crisis, that is — are swiftly remodeling their businesses. Their investment management processes haven't changed dramatically, but the vehicles in which they offer their strategies and how they are distributed are rapidly changing.
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Gross's trade sours as bonds lose faith in fed guidance
Bloomberg
Bond investors are losing confidence in the Federal Reserve’s pledge to keep benchmark interest rates at about zero into 2015 as the U.S. economy accelerates. Concerns the Fed will increase its target rate for overnight loans between banks next year is showing up in wider price swings for shorter-term securities. Volatility in five-year Treasuries rose above 10-year notes for the first time since 2011 and yields on two-year notes more than doubled in the past four months. Recently Bill Gross, who manages the world’s biggest bond fund at Pacific Investment Management Co., was recommending debt with short maturities.
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CFA Society Chicago NewsBrief

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