Hedge Fund Manger Eyes Sony Break-up; J.P. Morgan’s Dimon is in the Crosshairs; Verizon-Vodafone Agrees to Slice $7 Billion Dividend Pie

Eagle Eye Opener

Hedge Fund Manager Who Cut His Teeth on Yahoo Targeting Sony Next (NewYorkTimes)

Daniel Lieb, the man behind the ouster of Yahoo’s former chief and the hiring of Marissa Mayer away from Google to run Yahoo. is setting his sights on Sony Entertainment. Lieb is the founder of Third Point Hedge Fund and currently holds about 6.5 percent of Sony’s outstanding equity shares, valued at $1.1 billion. Sony Entertainment still is part of the massive Japanese electronics conglomerate, but according to Lieb, spinning off the Entertainment division (and perhaps even the insurance division), could increase Sony’s profit margins and restore its focus on its core electronics business. Sony is seen as one of the least risky ways to re-enter a Japanese market that currently is buoyed by new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s policies.

JP Morgan’s Dimon Back in the Crosshairs in Whale-Sized Witch-hunt (YahooFinance)

Jamie Dimon, the polarizing chairman/CEO of JP Morgan Chase, may be one or two steps away from losing a substantial portion of his power. Despite JP Morgan’s reputation as one of the best-performing banks on Wall Street, Dimon is facing what some people might consider a witch hunt. It seems neither regulators nor banking industry leaders are content with Morgan’s actions to clean up (and forget) the bank’s botched “Whale Trades,” which have cost the bank billions of dollars so far. Even though Dimond publicly acknowledged mistakes and took corrective steps after the huge losses came to light, it appears he may yet be held personally accountable. In his dual roles as Morgan’s chief executive and chairman of the board, Dimon ultimately is responsible for the activities of his bank. Investors should not be surprised if Dimon ultimately loses one or possibly both of his titles in the fallout.

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Verizon-Vodafone Agrees to Slice up $7 Billion Dividend Pie (Bloomberg)

To diffuse tension at the top of Verizon Wireless, the management teams of two major warring factions (Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group PLC) have “agreed” to pay out a joint $7-billion dividend to shareholders on June 25. Well, “agreed” may not be the right word, since the dividend may be a negotiating tactic by Verizon, which ultimately wants to buy Vodafone’s shares. In fact, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdams said earlier this month that the $7 billion in funds may not even be ear-marked for dividends — news which seems to have been created to ease Vodafone into a better position to sell its shares to Verizon.

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With the average hedge fund failing to beat the U.S. stock market for four years in a row, the reputation of Wall Street's Masters of the Universe is taking a beating of late. According to London's Financial Times, a simple portfolio of 60% U.S. equities and 40% bonds generated the same 7.3% return that an average hedge fund did over the past decade. Adding fuel to the fire was last week's report that the top recommendations of the hedge fund world's leading lights at the annual I

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