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Open-Government Laws Fuel Hedge-Fund Profits

WSJ – When SAC Capital Advisors LP was weighing an investment in Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc., the hedge-fund firm contacted a source it knew would provide nonpublic information without blinking: the federal government.

An investment manager for an SAC affiliate asked the Food and Drug Administration last December for any “adverse event reports” for Vertex’s recently approved cystic-fibrosis drug. Under the Freedom of Information Act, the agency had to hand over the material, which revealed no major problems. The bill: $72.50, cheaper than the price of two Vertex shares.

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