The news at a glance

Hedge funds: Clients want their money—now; Airlines: Ryanair aims high; Casinos: Trump skips payment; Insurance: AIG unloads a unit; Banking: UBS execs give back bonuses

Hedge funds: Clients want their money—now

A tsunami of redemption requests swept over the already-beleaguered hedge fund industry this week, said Alistair Barr at After pulling a record $40 billion out of hedge funds in October, investors bailed out at an even quicker pace in November, although final figures aren’t yet available. In response, at least 75 funds are limiting redemptions, and in some cases barring them outright. The efforts to prevent investors from cashing out are “raising tension between hedge fund investors, who may need cash quickly, and managers,” who are interested in “protecting their businesses.”

Feelings are running so high that some hedge fund investors have banded together against “rapacious fund managers,” said Katie Benner in Sandra Manzke, whose Maxam Capital Management invests in hedge funds on behalf of clients, says she’s “appalled and disgusted” at fund policies. She’s urging investors to pressure Congress and the industry for reforms. With the average hedge fund down 15 percent this year, Manzke says, the ban on redemptions adds insult to an already sizable injury.

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Airlines: Ryanair aims high

Irish discount carrier Ryanair this week offered $675 million for Irish national airline Aer Lingus, said Steve Goldstein in The bid is half the amount Ryanair offered two years ago, when it made an abortive run at Aer Lingus. Ryanair backed off after the European Union and the Irish government raised objections. Aer Lingus quickly rejected the most recent offer. But with airlines struggling and the Irish government, which owns 25 percent of Aer Lingus, “hungry for cash,” that might not be the last word.

Casinos: Trump skips payment

Hotel and casino operator Trump Entertainment said this week it would miss a $53 million interest payment on its bonds, throwing the company’s survival into question, said Michael Nol in The company’s fortunes have dimmed “as rising unemployment and near-record home foreclosure rates deterred gamblers.” A Chapter 11 filing would be the second in Trump Entertainment’s troubled history. Following the first bankruptcy, company namesake Donald Trump was barred from taking an active management role.

Insurance: AIG unloads a unit

AIG, the insurance giant now in federal receivership, this week sold AIG Private Bank, which caters to wealthy individuals around the world, said Maurna Desmond in Forbes. Dubai-based Aabar Investments paid $254 million for the bank. Investors weren’t impressed, with AIG shares falling 7.5 percent on the news, to $1.86. AIG has kept taxpayers and shareholders “largely in the dark” since receiving a $152 billion federal lifeline, and its promise to repay the government “may be losing its credibility.”

Banking: UBS execs give back bonuses

While executives of U.S. banks, investment firms, and car companies cling to their jobs, pay, and perks, Swiss banking executives are saying, “We are not worthy,” said the Associated Press. Unnamed “former executives who oversaw massive losses at Swiss banking giant UBS” promised this week to return $18.5 million in bonuses, bringing to nearly $59 million the amount that company executives have repaid this year. Former UBS Chairman Marcel Ospel, who oversaw $40 billion in losses, last week alone forfeited $18 million.

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