Photo: Bloomberg TV screenshot
Legendary hedge fund manager Julian Robertson, the founder of the hugely successful Tiger Management, spoke this morning on Bloomberg “Surveillance” with Tom Keene and Sara Eisen about hedge funds and the presidential election. The famed investor says hedge funds these days are really “disaster funds” meaning they will only be profitable if there’s a big disaster.
Robertson, who asked Mitt Romney to be CEO of Tiger back in 2008, expressed his support for the Republican Party’s nominee for president. He also thinks Obama made a mistake by not going through with Bowles-Simpson.
Here’s a transcript from Bloomberg “Surveillance.” We’ve included the video below.
Robertson on why hedge funds have had such a challenge in 2012:
“They are having a challenge because a lot of people in the hedge fund business have become so disenchanted with the economies of the world. Europe is a mess and we see the fiscal problems of the United States. Hedge funds -there are a lot of them that really are disaster funds now. In other words, they are really only going to be profitable in the event of a big disaster.”
On hedge funds that are underperforming:
“I think right now they are really scared. They have made a mistake. They are now unhedged because they are so scared. They really will succeed only if we have rather disastrous period…We have to assume that a black swan event is very unlikely…They have gotten so bearish that some of them that that is what has happened. They will not get out of it without a black swan type event.”
“This is still the best place to run money. One reason the hedge funds are not doing as well as they used to is the competition is more hedge funds. And that the competition is so much better than any other form of competition.”
On his support for Romney:
“I think people are getting to know the real Mitt Romney. I am thrilled that that is happening. He is really quite a guy. He is, in my opinion, intellectually and morally and managerially the man that is most qualified by far to be president of the United States. You’re having a guy this afternoon that is a great hero of mine, but Mitt Romney is even better than Ken Langone.”
On whether Romney has to move away from the Tea Party in order to govern effectively:
“I think he will have to move away a little bit from the tea party. But I do not think he has ever been thought of as a tea drinker. He has been a little bit separate from that movement.”
On how the economy would react to Romney if elected:
“I think the campaign is going good. I think Governor Romney is really getting the American people to see the real Romney. That is what we have needed all along. I wish his family would expose itself more…I’d like to see Mrs. Romney, I would like to see the boys out and all of that more.”
On what he’d want to see from Romney in his first month if elected:
“I would like to see him be himself and be the manager he can be. I would like to see him reach across the aisle to get things done. I think he will do that. His health care bill, which a lot of Republicans despised, to me was essential. I think America needs a health care bill. I do not think it needs Obamacare, but I think it desperately needs a health-care bill. I really look forward to him putting that through.”
On what economic policy the U.S. needs right now:
“I think America needs a policy on the economy of getting its house in order. It has overspent, overspent, and overspent. And it must get its budget balanced. There must be some strides taken in that direction. The president–this is the tragedy of an inexperienced person being in. he came up with the best idea of all in Bowles-Simpson and if he had done Bowles-Simpson, I think he would be sweeping into office now.”
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