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Citadel Hires Bernanke as Senior Adviser

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Photo Credit: Federal Reserve

Photo Credit: Federal Reserve

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke has agreed to advise Citadel, a hedge fund founded by billionaire Kenneth C. Griffin. Bernanke was the face of the Federal Reserve for eight years, spanning February 2006 to January 2014. During his tenure at the central bank, he presided over the 2008 global financial crisis, an enormous U.S. taxpayer-funded government bailout of the financial industry and the prolonged recession riding years after 2008. Using all available “magic” bullets, Bernanke was involved with providing accommodative monetary policy to stave off a global depression. The quantitative easing (QE) policies by the Fed and now European Central Bank (ECB), have rattled the asset allocation and return expectations of sovereign wealth funds, pensions and other institutional investors.

Bernanke isn’t the first Fed official to advise hedge funds.

“We are honored to welcome Dr. Bernanke to Citadel,” said Ken Griffin in a press release. “He has extraordinary knowledge of the global economy and his insights on monetary policy and the capital markets will be extremely valuable to our team and to our investors.”

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Chuck Grassley Leaves Judiciary for Senate Finance Chair

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U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, age 85, is leaving the Senate Judiciary Committee as chair. He will become Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee next year. The Iowa Republican has served as chairman of the Judiciary Committee since January 2015. Chuck Grassley served as Chair of the Senate Finance Committee in 2001 and from 2003 to 2007.

Grassley is replacing Senator Orrin Hatch (from Utah) who is retiring from the Senate. Replacing Orrin Hatch in Utah as Senator, is former Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who lost the 2012 election to Barack Obama.

“Looking ahead, at the Finance Committee, I want to continue to work to make sure that as many Americans as possible get to experience this good economy for themselves,” said Senator Grassley in a statement. “That means working to provide Americans with additional tax relief and tax fairness so they can spend more of their hard-earned money on what’s important to them.”

The Committee on Finance is one of the original committees established in the Senate and was first created on December 11, 1815. The committee deals with a whole matter of issues including taxation, revenue, customs, trade agreements, Social Security and more. It is considered to be one of the most powerful committees in Congress. In addition, the Committee on Finance has jurisdiction over both Medicare and Medicaid.

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Liberty Mutual Inks $1 Billion Risk Sharing Agreement with OPIC

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Liberty Mutual Insurance inked a special deal with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S government’s development finance institution, to help facilitate investment in challenging markets. The deal entails forming a US$ 1 billion risk-sharing agreement to facilitate private sector investment in developing markets. OPIC recently received a new mandate from Washington D.C., armed with more capital and flexibility.

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Keppel Infrastructure to Acquire Ixom from Blackstone

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Keppel Infrastructure Fund Management Pte Ltd, in its capacity as trustee-manager of Keppel Infrastructure Trust, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, has entered into a share sale agreement with certain funds managed by Blackstone and certain management sellers for the proposed acquisition of a 100% interest in Ixom HoldCo Pty Ltd (Ixom). The enterprise value for Ixom is A$ 1,100 million. The equity value for Ixom is A$ 777 million.

Ixom is an industrial infrastructure business in Australia and New Zealand. The company supplies and distributes water treatment chemicals. The Ixom Group is the sole manufacturer of liquefied chlorine in Australia, as well as a major provider of manufactured caustic soda.

The proposed transaction will be initially funded via debt.

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