Paul Singer gives gold an "A," Bernanke a "D"

By Lawrence Delevingne

Tue Jan 29, 2013

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Leaked views from Jeff Vinik, Lee Ainslie and others at Morgan Stanley's Breakers conference.


   
   Paul Singer (Photo: Bloomberg)
Paul Singer of Elliott Associates is bullish on gold, Jeff Vinik of Vinik Asset Management is optimistic about housing and Lee Ainslie of Maverick Capital thinks hedge funds are set to outperform in 2013.

Those were some of the views expressed yesterday at Morgan Stanley's annual hedge fund conference at The Breakers hotel in Palm Beach, Fla. The event, organized by the bank's prime brokerage division and traditionally featuring some of the most prominent managers in the industry, is closed to the media.

Singer said during a panel discussion yesterday that he is bullish on gold and worried that the government's seemingly endless printing of money will not end well, according to an investor in attendance.

The panel--moderated by Morgan Stanley's chief U.S. economist, Vincent Reinhart, and featuring Vinik, Ken Ebberts of Goldman Sachs Investment Partners, Michael Novogratz of Fortress Investment Group and Rob Citrone of Discovery Capital Management--was asked to grade Ben Bernanke. Everyone on the panel gave the Federal Reserve Chairman an "A" or a "B;" Singer gave a "D."

A spokesman for Elliott declined to comment.

One trade the panel agreed about was to short the 10-year U.S. treasury, according to the person in attendance.

Vinik also strongly recommended gold, saying that he bullish on global mining equities, according to the audience member. Vinik also noted that the housing recovery is real and that there would be 10% to 15% per year price increases each of the next three years.

Vinik did not respond to requests for comment.

Another panel yesterday, titled "Trends in the hedge fund industry," featured Lee Ainslie of Maverick Capital, who said that "new capital has very different expectations," referring to institutional investor views on lower volatility and lower returns, according to two people in attendance. Ainslie also said the biggest surprise for the hedge fund industry in the next three years would be its production of above average returns.

An external spokesman for Maverick, Fraser Seitel of public relations firm Emerald Partners, declined to comment.

That panel also featured Neil Chriss of Hutchin Hill Capital, Sheldon Kasowitz of Indus Capital Partners, Sean McGould of Lighthouse Investment Partners and Andre Stern of Oxford Asset Management.

Today, panels are set to feature more big names: Dmitry Balyasny of Balyasny Asset Management, James Dinan of York Capital Management, Glenn Dubin of Highbridge Capital Management, Jacob Gottlieb of Visium Asset Management, John Lykouretzos of Hoplite Capital Management, Eric Mindich of Eton Park Capital Management, Dan Och of Och-Ziff Capital Management, Larry Robbins of Glenview Capital Management, and Ricky Sandler of Eminence Capital.

Steve Cohen of SAC Capital Advisors is not set to speak, although he is in attendance.

The dinner speaker tonight is Chris Gardner, the rags-to-riches trader memorialized in the book and movie "The Pursuit of Happyness." Yesterday it was Colm Kelleher, Morgan Stanley's co-president of Institutional Securities.

Darren Levy, Morgan Stanley's head of capital introductions for the Americas, said during introductory remarks that 64 hedge funds averaging $9 billion in assets are presenting at the conference and 323 investors from 260 different investment firms are in attendance, according to the investor in attendance.

Morgan Stanley did not respond to requests for comment in time for publication.

ISSN: 2151-1845 / CDC10004H