Traxis Partners hedge fund manager Barton Biggs used to be a pretty vocal stock market bull, even as recently as early May.
Back then he said, “I’m betting the next move in the U.S. market is going to be up 15 to 20 per cent,” and “I would just point out that the world is having a strong economic recovery, and so is Europe.”
His view has changed dramatically since. Explaining that he can change his mind ‘very quickly’, he’s significantly paired back his exposure to stocks.
“The economic numbers are very disappointing,” Biggs said. “Maybe the politicians respond. I’m worried that we could have not just a soft patch but a double dip which lasts two or three quarters and where nominal GDP is only up 2 or 3 per cent, and that’ll have a big effect on profits. I’m afraid the market goes down another 10 or 15 per cent if that happens.”
“I sold stocks pretty aggressively in the U.S., and we had a lot in tech,” Biggs said, referring to this week. “I’ve taken basically all of it out in the U.S., and we had a broader exposure to consumer stocks and just, in general, I’ve reduced my net long position by about 30 or 40 percentage points.
He added: “I’m not putting my money into anything. I’m raising cash.”