Opening Bell: 1.25.23

Tiger, Third Point tumble out of top hedge fund list; Rupert Murdoch to keep running two companies; egg smuggling; and more!

Hedge Funds Lost More Than $200 Billion Last Year [II]
Almost 9 percent of those losses are attributable to one hedge fund firm — Chase Coleman’s Tiger Global…. Loeb’s Third Point, which joined the list in 2021 at No. 20, appears to have lost close to $4 billion in 2022, ending its brief reign as one of the top money managers…. Its offshore hedge fund lost 21.8 percent in 2022 — the fund’s worst showing since the 2008 financial crisis.

Is a US Recession Near? Making the Call Is Trickier Than Ever [Bloomberg]
Right now, the puzzle pieces aren’t fitting together very well. The manufacturing sector is arguably already in a recession, and the housing market has slumped, yet factory and construction employment remain elevated. Fourth-quarter GDP numbers due on Thursday, Jan. 26, may only complicate the picture further, showing that consumers—the main engine of the economy—remained largely resilient but companies cut back.

Rupert Murdoch calls off proposed Fox-News Corp merger [CNBC]
Fox said Tuesday its board received a letter from Murdoch, its chairman, and his son and Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch that “determined that a combination is not optimal for the shareholders” of either of the companies at the time.
The withdrawn proposal comes as News Corp has been in advanced discussions to sell its stake in Move Inc., the parent company of, to commercial real estate company CoStar Group….

Lender Popular Bank Fined Over Bad Covid Relief Loans [WSJ]
The Federal Reserve announced the [$2.3 million] fine Tuesday, saying New York-based Popular Bank, a subsidiary of Puerto Rico-based Popular Inc., had processed six PPP loans worth about $1.1 million despite having detected significant signs of potential fraud…. Though the government has taken action against PPP borrowers who committed fraud, the fine against Popular Bank represents the first time the Fed has taken action against a bank itself in connection with the program….

Candidates to become top Biden economist include Fed Vice Chair Lael Brainard, Treasury official Wally Adeyemo [CNN]
The process to replace [Brian] Deese as head of the powerful National Economic Council remains ongoing and the situation is fluid…. In addition to Brainard and Adeyemo, contenders to replace Deese include senior Biden adviser Gene Sperling, former secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Mathews Burwell and deputy NEC director Bharat Ramamurti, the person familiar with the matter told CNN.

The Newest Contraband at the Mexican Border: Eggs [NYT]
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents had more than 2,000 encounters with people trying to bring eggs into the United States from Mexico between Nov. 1 and Jan. 17, an agency spokesman said. In the same 11-week period a year earlier, there were about 460 such encounters….
The average [U.S.] price for a dozen large Grade A eggs rose to $4.25 from $1.92 between January and December 2022…. At grocery stores in Mexico last week, the wholesale price for a kilogram of eggs, which is more than a dozen jumbo eggs, was between 30 and 51 pesos, or between about $1.59 and $2.71….


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