Tontine's financial follies

Mon Sep 29, 2008

For the past year, Jeffrey Gendell's Tontine has been ravaged by his bet on financial stocks, but he is sticking to his guns

By Britt Erica Tunick

Jeffrey Gendell's steadfast devotion to the financial sector is testing his reputation as a savvy investor. As some of the industry's oldest and largest institutions unraveled over the past year, with no end in sight to the bloodshed, financials have been among the worst performing stocks. Not surprisingly, Gendell's long-biased Tontine Financial Partners has been one of the biggest losers: It was down 71% last year and another 76% through July, its net asset value falling to about $310 million from $1.8 billion in August of 2007.

Tontine had the foresight to unload its more than 170 million shares of AIG in the second quarter, prior to the insurer's near-collapse, which spurred a $85 billion government bailout.

Last fall, Gendell was predicting...

ISSN: 2151-1845 / CDC10004H

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