Hedge fund leaders duck for cover

July 29, 2011

By Matthew Goldstein

Top hedge fund managers are great at enriching themselves through savvy trades that presumably come from a keen insight into the markets and economic trends. But all too often these titans of Wall Street come up small when asked for their opinions on the pressing economic questions of the day.

That’s what happened when three Reuters reporters recently asked 30 of the top U.S. hedge fund managers to respond to a quick email survey about the political morass in Washington and the potential for a double dip recession. Less than a handful of  managers offered any thoughts on the subject. The overwhelming majority either didn’t respond, or had a representative reply that the manager was either too busy to comment, or didn’t want to participate.

I’m not going to embarrass any one by calling them out for not responding but it’s hard to fathom how some of the wealthiest people on the planet couldn’t find the time to have someone on their staff take 5 to 10 minutes out to respond to a three question survey. (We were trying to make it real easy to get some responses).

One brave manager who did respond to the survey was Leon Cooperman, the founder of Omega Advisors, and one of the elder statesman of the now $2 trillion industry. The veteran trader’s top economic analyst told us on Monday he did not see the U.S. “slipping into recession in the next 12 months.”  But he thought the recovery would be “middling,” something that was clearly reflected in the most recent GDP numbers.

Cooperman’s point man also was optimistic the politicians in DC would reach a deal to raise the nation’s debt limit before the Aug. 2 default deadline. But he didn’t forsee any meaningful “deficit/debt issues” until after next year’s presidential election.

Then again, that was the view at Omega on Monday and four days later we seem no closer to a deal. So who really knows.

But kudos to Cooperman for standing up and being a thought leader. Hedge fund titans, it’s still not too late to let’s us know what you think.

We at Unstructured Finance will be around all weekend to update the blog as need be.



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Why on earth did you think Hedge Fund people would respond? All they do is plunder a system they manipulate to their own advantage. The Government of the PRC has more commitment to America than these people do. And China is not our friend.

Posted by txgadfly | Report as abusive

So – answering a Reuters reporter’s 3 question survey makes someone a “thought leader”?

I decline opportunities to take surveys several times a week. I guess I’ve misunderstood the opportunity…

Posted by gordo365 | Report as abusive

And these are the geniuses that the Republicans say ‘create jobs’ for the sheeple and are rewarded for this by a 15% tax rate. What they actually do is destroy jobs and partake in the rip-off of the sheeple by their speculations. And for this we are supposed to be grateful to our ‘leaders’ (ie slimy corrupt politicians)

Posted by Eric93 | Report as abusive

maybe they declined because they thought the questions came up small – maybe the source. I had no idea Reuters was so important…

Posted by PortlandMP | Report as abusive

Someone at Reuters actually thought this article was worthy of the front page? Sad.

Posted by Makisupa43 | Report as abusive

Probably a good idea to make themselves scarce. A lot people would love to string them up, and for good reason.

Posted by BowMtnSpirit | Report as abusive

They don’t have time for anyone they are too busy.

Yea right they have done enough damage.

Posted by theant | Report as abusive

I think txgadfly has it right. They simply don’t care. They profit off of whatever they can with total disregard to any consequences. Why would they bother discussing things of no interest to them when they can make another couple of dollars instead?

Seriously, I don’t think Reuters has any idea who they’re dealing with.

Posted by Narvid | Report as abusive

All probably too busy looking at new yachts.

Posted by borisjimbo | Report as abusive