Watchers of the boldface names in the hedge fund industry were treated to an eyeful and an earful at today's Delivering Alpha conference held in New York. Managers ranging from Leon Cooperman to John Paulson each took to the stage presenting their views of where markets are today and where they see the best opportunities.
"This is a very exciting time to be involved in merger arbitrage," John Paulson said during his interview. He expects already frothy M&A activity to "continue for the foreseeable future."
The midday was a time for politics, with John Harwood interviewing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. The interview, which seemed tailor made for the hedge fund set touched on a range of issues from education spending to Elon Musk and Tesla. The Governor said he honestly "doesn't know" if he will announce a presidential run in the next cycle. He also declined to take a view on the Export-Import Bank, a fairly inside baseball issue that has taken on a higher profile as it was cited as one of the reasons for Eric Cantor's recent electoral defeat.
Late afternoon was marked by activists. Carl Icahn took to the stage for a wide ranging interview where he said that the CEO of Family Dollar should no longer be the CEO. He also turned his gaze to the big four banks noting, "If I had been Secretary of the Treasury in 2008, you wouldn't see the same management at some of those banks as you do today."