The Ira Sohn Research Conference united hedge fund managers in the fight against childhood cancer but illuminated deep divides in their thinking about the world. Though they (mostly) refrained from directly assaulting one another’s positions, the speakers did lob a few oblique attacks at each other.
Steve Mandel, founder of Lone Pine Capital, promoted an investment in Strayer Education, a for-profit provider of graduate and undergraduate degrees, supporting his view with evidence of the company’s growth but also with a macro view that the U.S. continues its march to an information/knowledge economy.
Peter Schiff, president of EuroPacific Capital, who correctly predicted the dot com and housing busts and who remains pessimistic on U.S. growth, said that view is hogwash, and that the U.S. must return to producing real tangible goods, not information products, to get out of the current malaise.
James Chanos, founder of...