One year ago
Prominent hedge fund managers urged Washington to reduce the national debt.
Bill Ackman of Pershing Square Capital Management, Tom Steyer
of Farallon Capital Management, Lee Ainslie of Maverick Capital
and John Burbank of Passport Capital were among the business leaders to sign on with the Campaign to Fix the
Debt, a non-partisan group founded by former deficit
commissioners Al Simpson and Erskine Bowles.
So far, efforts to reduce the debt have been less
than effective. The national debt recently surpassed $17
trillion for the first time. It stood at $17,078
trillion as of October 23, up from $16,066 on September 30, 2012.
Five years ago
To read the mainstream press, you'd have thought
the sky was falling. "The gilded age of hedge funds is losing
its luster," pronounced The New York Times.
The Grey Lady later added, "now that the days of easy money are
over, some fund managers are throwing in the towel," which gave
the paper the opportunity to cite Andrew Lahde, a manager who
made a killing on subprime bets and then quit the business with
a swan song investor letter that remains one of the
industry's most amusingly missives.
Written October 18, 2008, Lahde wrote "not to
gloat" but to "say goodbye."
"Recently, on the front page of Section C of the
Wall Street Journal, a hedge fund manager who was also closing
up shop (a $300 million fund), was quoted as saying, 'What I have learned about
the hedge fund business is that I hate it.' I could not agree
more with that statement," Lahde wrote. "I was in this game for
the money." More of that letter here.