Mr. Barac is the founder of Barac Capital Management, LLC. Prior to founding the company, Mr. Barac held a variety of roles in institutional securities research and trading. Mr. Barac graduated from Trinity University (San Antonio, Texas) in 1989 and received a Master’s in Business Administration degree from Southern Methodist University (Dallas, Texas) in 1998. During his graduate studies, Mr. Barac’s broad-based business studies included a focus on international business which included an internship with Bank Boston’s media and telecommunications lending group in Buenos Aires, Argentina and an international exchange semester at the E.S.A.D.E. Business School in Barcelona, Spain. Following his graduate studies, Mr. Barac went to work for Moody’s Investors Services in New York, New York in 1998 and transferred to their London, England offices in 1999. At Moody’s, Mr. Barac became a Senior Credit Officer/Vice-President and lead analyst with responsibility for the credit ratings of a multi-billion dollar portfolio of high-profile European leveraged finance companies. As an expert in leveraged finance and corporate credit risk analysis, Mr. Barac was a regular speaker for Moody’s and was regularly quoted by major financial publications (e.g. the Wall Street Journal Europe, Financial Times, New York Times, Bloomberg News, and The Times of London). From 2005 to 2007, Mr. Barac worked at Schroders Investment Management, an investment management firm with assets under management in excess of $200 billion, headquartered in London, England. At Schroder’s, Mr. Barac was responsible for identifying profitable fixed-income trade ideas from within a portfolio of European high-yield and investment grade corporate bond issuers. Mr. Barac’s work at Schroder’s earned him selection for the company’s elite merit-based Business Leadership Program. Mr. Barac continued his work in corporate securities analysis with Barclay’s Capital (also in London, England) where he worked as a Director in their Principal Strategies Group from 2007 to 2008. At Barclays, Mr. Barac was a proprietary analyst and trader responsible for investing a portion of Barclay’s capital through a combination of bonds, stocks, and fixed-income derivatives (credit default swaps). Following his return from London to Austin, Texas in 2008, Mr. Barac founded, established, and now actively manages the Barac Capital Management, LLC.
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Michael Demaray is principal and founder of Elevated Capital LLC. He focuses on investing in companies in relation to their intrinsic value. He is a CFA charterholder and member of the CFA Society of Chicago.
His comments on SeekingAlpha represent his personal opinions and should neither be construed as the views and opinions of Elevated Capital LLC and its affiliated funds, nor an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security, nor investment advice of any kind.
This is a pseudonym. Individual investor. Started my career in structured finance, moved into corporate debt, and now equities.
Former CFA charterholder. I'm too cheap to pay hundreds in fees every year - already paid too much for that fancy MBA degree. Plus I have no stable income.
But I have the dream job. I sit at home and philosophize about the world, play armchair CEO and make money.
I work in Banking and have a passion for financial markets. My primary focus is on income producing dividend and bond funds and I specialize in covering macro-economic trends and their impact on the major indices. I hold an undergraduate degree in Finance and an MBA, which includes a semester studying in the UK. As a former NCAA DI tennis player, my goal is to achieve financial independence so I can spend my days on the courts while my investments work for me.
A Canadian. I focus on ETFs and Alternative Strategies. I experiment with macroeconomic data as well as exploring quantitative/systemic fundamental security selection strategies. Do you have any requests for me to write on unique ETFs or are there any countries that you want me to write a report on? Please let me know, feel free to message me.
A*L was established in 2010 by Jon Carnes, a growth and value-oriented investor who lived for six years (from 2005 to 2011) in China where he researched and invested in dozens of Chinese companies, first long (2005-2009) and then primarily short (2010-2012). Mr. Carnes outperformed other investors by performing extensive “on the ground” due diligence, conducted by a team of experienced analysts and local researchers. His investment opinions were greatly respected by other China focused fund managers attracted to the booming economy but wary of getting duped.
Over several years of scrutinizing over a hundred companies in every corner of China, Mr. Carnes realized that many of those that had gone public were seriously exaggerating their financial performance in their SEC filings. Investors raced to invest billions into Chinese companies that were dishonest and legally accountable to no one, a recipe for disaster for investors, both large and small.
Deciding to take action, Mr. Carnes decided to publicly expose the most egregious frauds he had discovered over the years, focusing on the worst offenders: companies that had exaggerated their profitability by at least 100%. In February 2010, he published a series of reports titled “Management Leaving Investors Stuck at the Pumps” showing that China Natural Gas (formerly NASDAQ: CHNG) management defrauded investors by failing to disclose and likely misappropriating $20 million from an acquisition of an undisclosed related party.
Unfortunately, when CHNG discovered that Mr. Carnes wrote the reports, its chairman Qinan Ji responded by sending an agent to threaten him where he lived in China. Frightened by Ji’s threat, Mr. Carnes removed the reports from the Internet. From this point onward Mr. Carnes knew that publishing the truth while living in China might get him killed.
Mr. Carnes nevertheless chose to remain in China to continue exposing fraud. Knowing that the safety of his researchers depended upon absolute secrecy and anonymity, he published my reports anonymously online using the obvious pseudonym “Alfred Little.” Beginning with CHNG, over the next two years Mr. Carnes exposed a diverse array of investment fraud committed by a U.S. listed Chinese companies.
After two years, CHNG Chairman Qinan Ji’s effort to conceal his fraud finally failed. On 9/21/11 NASDAQ halted trading of CHNG and on 3/8/12 CHNG was delisted. Most importantly, on 5/14/12 the SEC filed fraud charges against CHNG and its Chairman Qinan Ji.
Two more of the companies that Mr. Carnes first exposed faced the same fate. On 2/22/12 the SEC charged Puda Coal (formerly AMEX: PUDA) Chairman Ming Zhao with fraud, confirming each of the allegations in his 4/8/11 report, “Puda Coal Chairman Secretly Sold Half the Company and Pledged the Other Half to Chinese PE Investors.”
Then on 4/23/12 the SEC charged SinoTech Energy (formerly NASDAQ: CTE) and two of its officers with fraud. On 8/16/11, Mr. Carnes was the first to blow the whistle exposing CTE’s massive fraud in a report titled “SinoTech Energy: Enhanced Oil Recovery or Capital Extraction.” Unlike other numerous smaller “reverse merger” frauds, Sinotech was a $168 million IPO listed on NASDAQ underwritten by UBS and Lazard Capital Markets and audited by Ernst & Young.
Three companies, Deer Consumer Products (“DEER”), Sino Clean Energy (“SCEI”) and Silvercorp Metals (“SVM”) criticized in reports published by A*L sued Mr. Carnes for defamation. The three companies coordinated their legal and retaliatory efforts, both in the U.S., Canada and China to silence Mr. Carnes.
The epic battle that followed ended swiftly in a complete rout. NASDAQ delisted DEER and SCEI. SVM and DEER both lost their defamation claims against Mr. Carnes. SCEI abandoned its defamation claim against Mr. Carnes.
After winning the battle against DEER, SCEI and SVM, A*L emerged with the best track record of any China focused investment blog.