Website unveils 'hottest hedge fund wives on Wall Street' From the land of the politically correct comes something that is rather less so. Business Insider, the Wall Street gossip column website that veers towards the scurrilous, has taken the footballers' wives theme to the next level with a feature on hedge fund manager's wives entitled: 'The hottest hedge fund wives on Wall Street.' The piece includes potted bios on the wives of Carl Icahn, David Tepper and Paul Tudor Jones among others. As the website observes the wives might not be as well known as their husbands but they probably should be. One manages her own hedge fund, one founded a luxury travel company and another is a fashion designer, as well as there being a number of former models. Lisa Falcone was in a league of her own in that she trained her pet pig to play the piano and spin in circles when he saw a Cheerio (breakfast cereal). For those who want to pursue the theme there is also a follow up on 'Wall Street's hottest offsprings.' Tut Tut. A whole new level of risk One of Britain's most influential fund managers, Neil Woodford, head of investment at Investment Perpetual, has raised eyebrows with his decision to buy a 29.5 per cent stake in Masawara, a Jersey registered investment company focused on acquiring interests in businesses and projects based in Zimbabwe and the Southern African region. Masawara recently raised ?5.5 million (HK$187.06 million) on London's AIM market. But the risk factors outlined in its prospectus make those outlined in the prospectus for Russian aluminium company Rusal seem like child's play. Citywire financial news service notes that Masawara's prospectus contains the following disclosure: 'The group, and companies in which it invests, may in the future be the subject of government investigations and other accusations of corrupt practices or illegal activities, including improper payments to individuals.' The prospectus goes on to say that rules intended to prevent this from happening may not be adhered to and warns that crime could materially damage its finances. When much of the fund management business is moving towards ethical investing and managing risk more tightly, it's intriguing to see a more contrarian approach. Professional ... and proper We hear of more excitement from Southeast Asian gambling mecca Singapore. In recent weeks there has been a HK$5.7 million-plus win and a spectacular HK$12.5 million loss. Now, according to a local newspaper report, Taiwanese pop star Jay Chou took a break after two of his sellout concerts to lose S$2 million (HK$11.5 million) at the Marina Bay Sands. However a spokesman for Chou's Taiwan company conceded that Chou had lost some money but definitely not S$2 million. The reports said 'people familiar with the situation' said that his behaviour was 'professional' throughout despite his whopping loss. One aspect of his behaviour that did arouse interest was his request for 'aunty' croupiers rather than pretty young girls. This was to avoid any controversy or gossip over links with young women. You could say that maybe he protests too much. The dark underbelly of potash Potash is enjoying an unusual period in the limelight on account of BHP's interest in buying Potash Corporation the world's largest producer. Given the interest, we feel we should reveal a fact that is little-known except to people in the industry. The benchmark price for potash is FOB Morocco. Strange but true. This is because the Western Sahara together with Morocco, which illegally controls most of the territory, accounts for two-thirds of the world's production of potash, which makes up more than half of Morocco's national income. Morocco seized control of much of the territory in 1975 after Spain pulled out as a result of international pressure. Since then, potash production has been cranked up and Morocco has been increasingly unwilling to execute a United Nations plan for a referendum among the 500,000 or so residents over whether they wanted to remain under Moroccan rule. Authoritarian flight rules Some visitors to Shanghai's Expo last week may have been impressed with the show and progress the country has made in recent decades. But they will have been less impressed after spending 41/2 hours on Saturday morning cooped up in a Dragonair plane on the tarmac at Pudong airport. Without giving reasons, air traffic control refused to let the aircraft leave for two hours, despite fine weather. This happens usually when military planes want the airspace. However, when the green light came on, another 2 1/2-hour wait ensued as a result of a technical fault on the aircraft. So the 2 1/2-hour journey took 6 1/2 hours. Unfortunately, air traffic control delays are not infrequent in Shanghai.