Former hedge fund manager Stanley Druckenmiller is having
his first down year trading currencies, he told CNBC.
The legendary Druckenmiller, who worked for George
Soros’s Quantum Fund before opening his Duquesne
Capital Management hedge fund firm — which he
shuttered in 2010 — told CNBC, "It’s the
worst year I’ve had relative to the set of
opportunities." He admitted that "1997 was close."
In a rare admission from the trading maestro, Druckenmiller
said in an interview broadcast on Tuesday that he had
"mistraded macro" but had "done very well in stocks."
"If it was up to macro, I’d have my first down
year," he said, noting that his expertise has always been
trading currencies. "Barring miracles, this will be my first
down year in currencies, ever."
Druckenmiller, who now runs a family office, is in the black
this year thanks to gains in his equity portfolio — but, he said,
"I’m not up double digits."
John Burbank, whose Passport Capital rose to fame shorting
the subprime housing bubble, will close his firm’s
troubled flagship fund at yearend, he told investors this
"We have decided to close the Passport Global Fund at the
end of this year," he wrote in a letter to investors dated
December 11. "Despite a track record since inception that I am
very proud of, the returns over the past two years are
unacceptable and cause me to rethink how to manage money in
Burbank, who had been so bullish on gold following the
global financial crisis of 2008 that he claimed to be buying gold bullion and miners, is now
keen on bitcoin. The San Francisco hedge fund manager is
investing in cryptocurrencies and may start a separate fund for
that play, according to individuals familiar with the
As Alpha reported on November 16, Passport Global
was continuing to suffer redemptions, including $67 million in
the third quarter. At that time, it was was down 12 percent for
the year, including a big loss on some emerging market short
bets, which left it with $185 million in assets. Firmwide
assets were $835 million, down from a peak of more than $4
Burbank’s decision to shut down Passport Global
was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
Fusion GPS, the Washington, D.C., investigative firm thrust
into the spotlight by producing what’s become
known as the "Trump dossier" regarding the
president’s alleged activities in Russia, also
worked for Herbalife to try to uncover dirt on Bill Ackman, the
Pershing Square Capital Management CEO who shorted the
multilevel marketing company, the Washington Post reported.
Fusion’s contractors were looking for
information that would lead to government investigations into
Ackman, documents the Post obtained show. Richard
Hynes, a contractor for Fusion, noted that previous regulatory
investigations of Ackman — which occurred during the
beginning of his battle against municipal bond insurer MBIA
— went nowhere and wondered, "What else could we
provide them this time to effect a different outcome," the
emails showed, according to the Post.
But Herbalife, not Ackman, was investigated by the Federal
Trade Commission, which reached a $200 million settlement in
2016 with the company. Herbalife is still under investigation
by the SEC and the Department of Justice, according to its
Herbalife and Pershing Square did not return requests for
Hedge funds are on pace to have their best year since 2013,
according to new research from industry data provider
eVestment. Hedge funds are now up 7.7 percent year-to-date
through November, with an average return of 0.47 percent that
month, the report said. Some 80 percent of hedge funds are in
positive territory, its November report added.