David Einhorn’s nothing month

June 8, 2011

By Matthew Goldstein

If numbers told the entire story, one might conclude that hedge fund manager David Einhorn took the month of May off.

That’s because Einhorn flagship fund at his Greenlight Capital registered a big nothing for the month. In other words, Greenlight’s flagship fund registered a zero percent gain/loss, according to my colleague Svea Herbst-Bayliss.

Of course, May was a very big busy month for Einhorn. At the annual Ira Sohn charitable event, Einhorn unleashed a blistering attack on Steve Ballmer, in which the 42-year-old hedgie called for the ouster of the Microsoft chief executive officer. Then, the very next day, Einhorn announced he had reached a deal with New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon to buy a minority stake in the Major League Baseball team for $200 million.

Ever since the news of Einhorn’s interest in the Mets, the manager has been giving press conferences about his intentions and showing up at games at Citi Field. Privately, some Greenlight investors are grumbling that Einhorn’s personal investment in the Mets could distract him from the job at hand–making money for his $7.8 billion hedge fund.

To be sure, Einhorn’s flat performance in May was better than a lot of other managers who lost a bundle betting on commodities. And in May, at least, Einhorn looked a lot smarter than John Paulson’s whose flagship fund dropped about 4 percent in the month.

Then again, Einhorn’s overall performance this year isn’t impressing. His main fund is down a little over 2 percent for the year.  Ironically, Einhorn’s beloved Mets find themselves in a similar situation–3 games under .500 as of the writing of this post.

Many Mets fans (myself included) think the team will struggle to end the year with a winning record. For Greenlight investors the stakes are higher. They can only hope Einhorn will start hitting some trades out of the ballpark.


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