Bank stocks are back in vogue for hedge funds, which have shunned the industry over the past seven years due to a squeeze on banks' profitability from low interest rates and because of their opaque balance sheets. The election of U.S. President Donald Trump has already tempted some hedge funds back into bank stocks to raise their bets on deregulation and interest rate rises in the United States, which could help banks to earn higher returns on deposits.
The top U.S. securities regulator on Wednesday charged billionaire investor Leon Cooperman with insider trading, making him the highest-profile target in years in Washington's ongoing crackdown on illegal trading at hedge funds.
Where do you find a decent investment return these days? While stocks are back near all-time highs, they are up just 1% during the last 12 months, while the average corporate bond yields about 1.75% a year. Are the days of double digit returns gone forever?
The top 100 hedge funds averaged a return north of 10.5% in 2015, and the three-year average is a tad below 17%. Meanwhile, there are a lot of equity-long-short funds, indicating that good stock pickers are still around.