Sir Michael Hintze, the billionaire hedge fund manger recently appointed to a panel advising the financial system inquiry, says shorting the dollar last year was an act of patriotism.
Back then — with the AUD trading at around 94 cents — Glenn Stevens was desperate for the currency to fall.
“There is no question the RBA made it clear that it was in the best interest of the Australian economy for the currency to be lower,” he told The Australian Financial Review.
“So at that stage you do your patriotic duty and try to help. That’s tongue in cheek but it was a fair trade.”
The dollar is hovering back around the 93 cent mark, though Hintz has closed his bet, with Stevens tempering his language, and several different economic factors at play.
“If you are short you might be worried about China’s ability to keep consuming goods at the same pace. I think the RBA remains concerned about the currency but equally, they are also worried about issues such as inflation.”
London-based Sir Michael Hintze was born in China, the grandson of White Russians escaping the Bolshevik revolution, and was educated at the University of Sydney where he studied physics and math.
Hintze, as he is known to his friends, is the founder and chief executive of CQS, a global multi strategy asset management firm. CQS was listed as the world’s third top performing large hedge fund.
The 60-year-old Australian-British businessman is listed by Forbes as the 16th richest Australian with $1.75 billion.
Sir Michael is close to Prince Charles and does work for the Prince’s Trust. He was one of a handful of Australians invited to the wedding of Prince William and Kate, the now Duchess of Cambridge.
He ‘outed’ himself several years ago, when there was a scandal involving cash for honours, as a large donor to the British Conservative Party. He received a knighthood in 2013 for his charitable work. At the same time he was made a Member of the Order of Australia.
At his 50th birthday, he hired Marcia Hines to sing at Catalina Restaurant in Sydney’s Rose Bay.