||Bass left all but his mental artillery behind
when he gave a keynote speech at the 2010 AR
Though bestselling author Michael Lewis tackles the troubles
of Iceland, Ireland, Greece and others in his latest book,
"Boomerang," it is Texas hedge fund manager
Kyle Bass who gets the prime opening profile.
The famously contrarian Bass, who manages the $900 million
macro-oriented hedge fund firm Hayman Advisors, does not
disappoint. Hurtling across a sprawling Texas ranch in the dead
of night, Bass whips out an infrared U.S. Army sniper rifle and
opens fire on beavers from the back of his Jeep. In addition to
the rodent slaughter, Bass takes Lewis on a daytime ride across
his ranch outside Dallas.
"He enjoys the unsettled life," Lewis writes in the book,
which will be released Tuesday. "We hopped into his Hummer,
decorated with bumper stickers ('God Bless Our Troops,
Especially Our Snipers') and customized to maximize the amount
of fun its owner could have in it: for instance, he could press
a button and, James Bond-like, coat the road behind him in
On the markets, Bass offers an analysis that would be
no surprise to attendees of the 2010 AR Symposium,
where he delivered a sobering economic outlook. In the book,
Lewis writes that Bass urged him to buy as many nickels as
possible to hedge against the depreciation of fiat currencies
and to take advantage of the value of the underlying metal. To
prove his sincerity, Bass whipped out a photo of 20 million
nickels he is having stored in a Brink's vault in downtown
"Here's the only way I think things can work out for these
countries," Bass says of Greece, Spain et al. "If they start
running real budget surpluses. Yeah, and that will happen right
after monkeys fly out of your ass."
Bass declined to comment on his appearance in the book.
While his view are broadly represented, Lewis doesn't mention
the trade that Bass now considers one of the most asymmetric
bets in history: His wager that Japan will finally reach a
point, which he calls a Keynesian endpoint, when the country
will no longer be able to finance its debt without either
debasing its currency or selling significant amounts of debt to
foreigners. The result could lead to a massive drop in the
value of the Yen, the bonds or both. The outcome would be a
payoff that would make the returns on the subprime trade look
small by comparison. But Lewis, whose stories for Vanity
Fair have taken him around the work, hasn't yet written
extensively about Japan.
Look for a full review of Lewis' "Boomerang" in the November
issue of AR.
Kyle Bass is betting on veterans
Kyle Bass on debt, Japan, Greece, Iceland and popular economic
Kyle Bass expects a radical government intervention in