By Sarah Wood
After bonuses had been announced in late 2004, a rumor shook some of the investment staff at Duquesne Capital Management. As it went, a rival hedge fund manager had ribbed founder Stanley Druckenmiller at a hedge fund charity breakfast regarding Duquesne's uncharacteristically middling returns that year. The breakfast was held the day before bonuses were to be disclosed, and, the rumor went, the exchange had caused the competitive and driven Druckenmiller to announce disappointing payouts.
The story is preposterous, say several people who know Druckenmiller well. They say the intensely private hedge fund manager, who did not respond to requests for an interview, is by nature generous and much too strong-willed to be swayed by a fleeting jibe from another manager. More to the point, the firm had produced only single-digit returns for the year, creating a smaller bonus pool than usual.
True or not, the rumor's mere...