Lister Wilson

Argentina Returns to the International Bond Market; Highland Capital Management

Highland Capital Management is set to invest in the Argentine International Bond Markets, this comes after the company raised over $12 million to facilitate acquisition of this bonds. James Dondero who is the CEO of the asset management firm has indicated the firm’s intention to buy into the Argentina Bonds, an undertaking which is not alien to them. The firm has previously invested in the Argentine Bonds, boasting of being the biggest holder of Argentina’s $4 Billion of notes set to mature in 2033.

The announcement by Highland Capital Management LP is a great relief to Argentina, who are looking to make a return to the international bond market in an attempt to to raise capital to clear their debts. Rumors have emerged about the distressed investors being potential buyers of the bonds, but it remains to be seen if this eventuality will pass.

Highland Capital Management has no intention of selling the original bonds but is looking to add to the original bonds through buying into the new issuance. James Dondero who is seen by many as an authority with regards to international trade is optimistic that the acquisition of the bonds will pay off.

Argentina has announced issuance of $11.68 billion of bonds expected to yield 7.5 to 8 percent in Mid-April, this is according to the finance ministry officials who presented the debt bill to congress. In an attempt to clear the debt of most hold outs the bonds have been categorized in three phases, one maturing at 5, 10 and 30 year. The move by Argentina to make a return to the Bond Market comes through attempts by President Mauricio Macri seeking to propel the country’s economy to the right direction.

The Argentina has faced very hard economic times with the policies of the Former President Fernandez de Kirchner driving the country deeper into debt and economic depression.

U.S District Judge Thomas Griesa lifted the ban which expressly stopped the country from paying its restructured debt. The new administration seems to have it all figured out with regards to growing the country’s economy. Investors like James Dondero of Highland Capital Management LP, has indicated his intention of pursuing further investments in the country.

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Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-08/argentina-luring-highland-shows-distressed-bond-buyers-to-stay

George Mason University Benefits Largely from the Koch Education Philanthropy

Although it is not unusual for the wealthy billionaires to donate towards education and schools, sometimes the size of the donations make headlines. One such example is the Charles Koch Foundation’s donation towards George Mason University.

George Mason University is a public school located outside the nation’s capital. The donations towards the University made the headlines after it was reported that the University had enjoyed nearly $48 million in donations from the Charles Koch Foundation between 2011 and 2014. Although the Foundation donates over $20 million annually towards education, the donation to George Mason University would make about half of the entire donation over the period.
Why all this donation to a single institution? Well, there are several reasons for this. Foremost, over the years, George Mason University has quietly established itself as a conservative powerhouse in economics and law, a field that Charles Koch, the founder of the Charles Koch Foundation is passionate about. Secondly, George Mason has always had a connection to the Foundation. Currently, Charles Koch himself the Chairman of the IHS board as well as a member of the Mercatus board.
Charles Koch is not the only link between Koch Industries and George Mason University. Richard Fink, who is an executive vice president of Koch Industries, also serves on the IHS and Mercatus boards. Previously, Nancy Pfotenhauer, the head of Koch Industries’ Washington office also served on the board.
In 2014 alone, George Mason benefited from the Charles Koch Foundation by receiving $16.8 million. This amount accounted for more than a third of the total donation George Mason received from donors. The relationship keeps growing and most recently, Mason’s law school received a $10 million gift from the Koch Foundation.
The Charles Koch Foundation funds mainly go towards the Mercatus Center. The Mercatus Center is a free-market think tank involved in conducting research geared towards educating the federal regulators and Congress staff, who can, later on, influence the direction of government.
Born in 1935, the 80-year-old Koch is the Chairman and CEO of Koch Industries. With an estimated net worth of $36 billion, Charles Koch has severally been ranked among the top ten richest persons in the world. He is a philanthropist and a great Republican supporter.

MARC SPARKS TALKS PRESENTATIONS

If you look on the “About” page on Marc Sparks’s personal website, you’ll see that Sparks is “the entrepreneurs’ entrepreneur”. After 34 years of entrepreneurialism Sparks decided it was time to write a book so that others might learn from his experiences–the successful ones and the distastrous ones.

Sparks says, “I feel like anyone reading [They Can’t Eat You] will learn much more from my unsuccessful ventures than they will learn from my successful ones. It’s easy for me to say…look at me, I started a software company and sold $200 million dollars a year worth of our product, but it’s much more educational for me to say…look at me, I started an insurance holding company out of my back bedroom and built it to nearly a billion dollar market cap and then lost it all in a ninety-day period of time.”

A couple years ago, an article was published on ireport.cnn.com wherein the writer detailed what a venture capitalist like Sparks wants from a presentation. The article at https://disqus.com/by/marcsparks/ says that while having a meaningful presentation is key to successfully selling a business idea to a venture capitalist, it’s just as important to think about what you’re putting into the presentation and what they can expect to get out of it.

Entrepreneurs’ time is valuable. Don’t waste it by including graphics that serve no purpose other than dressing up your presentation. This is the first step: to make sure that every visual you use makes a point. Secondly, you should outline what your data means and tell a legitimate story with it.

The third step is one we’ve all heard a hundred times: keep it simple. Having an overly-complicated presentation means you risk losing the investors’ attention. The final step is to be proud of product and get your whole team out to present.

Every Friday is a holiday? Now it is, but it’s not what you think.

Venezuela is now considering to make every Friday a holiday for workers so that they can save money on electricity for the month of April and May. Workers in Venezuela can now stay at home on Friday at least for the next 60 days. According to Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro, this decision was made because of the drought that has caused problems in the power plants.

This is really sad to hear for expats like Danilo Diaz Granados, considering here in the United States, this is not something we really worry about as a nation. Already, Venezuelans are suffering from economic turmoils and now this. This news is very heartbreaking and devastating to Diaz Granados.

What I want to know is how come this is something that is not in the mainstream media here in the United States? As neighboring country, I think we should provide our support for our fellow neighbors by possibly providing solar panels for homes or for neighborhoods in order to help decrease the use of water for power.