Kyle Bass, the founder of Hayman Advisors, will offer a keynote address at the seventh annual AR Symposium, to be held Nov. 2-3 in New York City at the New York Athletic Club.
Bass has been ahead of the curve in global macroeconomic thinking in recent years, arguing that the world's largest economies face significant pain. For years, Bass's calls have contradicted conventional wisdom, first with the housing crisis, then with European debt and most recently with Japan's fiscal crisis.
Bass's subprime short in 2007 catapulted him and the Dallas fund he runs into the spotlight. His views on the fragility of the European Monetary Union, from which he has profited, have likewise been vindicated after being ignored just a year ago. When AR published Bass's recent investor letter, within days it was one of the most-read items posted online since the launch of the magazine last September.
Bass is one of several unconventional thinkers who will speak at the Symposium, which will once again bring together many leading managers and investors to exchange views on the important issues of the day.
Paolo Pellegrini, the founder of PSQR Management and the architect of the short subprime bet while co-managing the credit opportunity funds at John Paulson's Paulson & Co., will also speak at the Symposium. Pellegrini foresaw the credit bubble as early as 2005 and worked to devise the trades that turned Paulson into the fourth-largest hedge fund firm in the country.
He launched his fund in 2008, primarily to manage the personal wealth earned while at Paulson's firm.
Another controversial speaker is Michael Lewitt, president of Harch Capital Management and author of "The Death of Capital," which is excerpted in the Unhedged Commentary this month. Lewitt's monthly commentary, The HCM Market Letter, is widely read for its provocative views and excerpted on the AR website. William Browder, who runs Hermitage Capital Management out of London while investing in Russia—which has forbidden him to enter the country—is also in the lineup. On the investor side is Jim Berens, one of the four founders of the Pacific Alternative Asset Management Co. and responsible for the distressed debt and other credit funds. PAAMCO has been at the cutting edge of institutional investment in hedge funds.
This year, two panels will explore global macro issues. One will feature a debate on China, while the other will look across the pond to explore the future of Europe. Panelists will debate whether China's economic expansion is sustainable or will be floored by a decline in exports and an eventual real estate crash.
While Europe appears, for the moment, to have mollified investors, the future of the European Monteary Union is by no means settled. Can the union stand or will it be forced to eject some of its troubled members or break up altogether?
The opening panel will take a broad look at the state of the hedge fund industry, and an investor panel will explore issues facing the investor community. Strategy sessions will focus on event-driven, distressed strategies and the future of oil following the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
As in previous years, there will be ample time allocated for networking during coffee breaks, lunch and cocktails between or after the various sessions. We are also planning to offer parallel stream sessions—allowing us to drill down into more detailed topics that may not be of interest to all delegates but which may be of great interest to some. More details, including a booking form, are posted online at: www.AbsoluteReturnSymposium.com.