Trader Who Blew Up Amaranth Hedge Fund Gambling On Commodities Again

Brian Hunter’s gambling on natural gas prices at Amaranth a year or two back racked up $6.6 billion in losses and blew the firm to smithereens. But Brian didn’t own the firm and it wasn’t his money and this is Wall Street, so whatever.

Brian’s gambling on commodities again, and, this time, for now, he’s coming out ahead:

Bloomberg: Commodity hedge-fund traders Brian Hunter, Paul Touradji and Renee Haugerud made money in July as energy, metals and agricultural prices fell the most since 1980.

Peak Ridge Commodity Volatility Fund in Boston, advised by Hunter, the former Amaranth Advisors LLC energy trader who helped trigger $6.6 billion in losses there, returned about 24 per cent, leaving it up at least 230 per cent this year, according to an investor. The main fund of New York-based Touradji Capital Management LP gained 6.5 per cent, cutting its loss to 5 per cent in 2008.

Commodity prices in July fell 10 per cent, the biggest monthly decline since March 1980, as measured by the Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index. The index has plunged 19 per cent from its July 3 peak. Rising inventories and slumping demand sent contracts from oil to soybeans tumbling, raising the prospect of an end to the six-year commodity boom.

“They timed their trades well when everybody else missed the beginning of the correction,” said Aoifinn Devitt, founder of Clontarf Capital, a London-based investment consulting firm. “And this correction is increasingly looking like it’s got legs.”

Unfortunately, some other high profile funds aren’t so skillfully navigating the market:

The flagship fund of New York-based Ospraie Management LLC, the $9 billion hedge-fund firm run by Dwight Anderson, 41, fell 13 per cent, extending its loss this year to 15 per cent, clients said…

Christian Levett, 38, a former Moore Capital Management LLC commodity trader who started the $2.5 billion hedge fund Clive Capital LLP in London, lost 8 per cent in July, cutting his return this year to 25 per cent, investors said…

Fortress Investment Group LLC’s $1 billion Drawbridge Commodities Fund, run by William Callanan in London, lost about 3 per cent in July, paring its return to 5.7 per cent this year.

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