Thursday, January 15, 2009

“so bearish they’ve purchased firearms and safes and are stocking their pantries with soups and cann

Hedge-Funders Are Bullish on Gold, Guns, and Inflatable Lifeboats

During the final months of 2008, as the financial markets imploded, talk on trading desks turned to food and water stockpiles, generators, guns, and high-speed inflatable boats. “The system really was about six hours from failing,” says Gene Lange, a manager at a midtown hedge fund, referring to the week in September when Lehman went bust and AIG had to be bailed out. “When you think about how close we were to the precipice, I don’t think it necessarily makes a guy crazy to prepare for the potential worst-case scenario.”

Posted by troy @ 10:12 AM (762 views)
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2 thoughts on ““so bearish they’ve purchased firearms and safes and are stocking their pantries with soups and cann

  • There’s always this underlying fear of mass lawlessness in the US, I think this is partly an awareness that there is a vast underclass working for tips or minimum wage, or living on the criminal edge, and this sits uneasy with the rich (which is what most of these spoit traders are) in the most unequal country in the world in terms of wealth distribution. One could say these people don’t deserve to sleep well at night, given their lifestyles and attitudes.

    I worked with a guy, ex Accenture not-quite-partner (kicked out with a good payoff under their ‘up or out’ policy), who spent a lot of time boasting about his £2m house in a gated community in Augusta, Georgia (predominantly if not exclusively white, I’m sure). Well despite the security precautions, his wife woke up one night to find a (black, of course) burglar in the house – thankfully they guy left without hurting anyone, though not without helping himself to a selection of watches and jewellery.

    His response (‘good Christian’ that he was, into ‘intelligent design’ – ie denial of evolution – and all that) was to buy her a gun and start keeping more stuff in the McMansion standard issue safe – where you don’t exactly get the pleasure of it.

    I found it interesting that his response was not what mine would have been – move away somewhere more sensible, where you don’t need a gun under your pillow to supplement the moat and electric fence.

    Things can be bad here too of course and I’m glad I don’t live over the wall from some of the council estates you read about. But I think the US, with its peculiar gun culture, racial problems and nightmarish extremes of wealth and poverty, has some very particular problems (and I don’t think jailing eight times as many people per capita as their neighbour Canada is really providing much help to them either). No way I could ever live there.

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  • The full headline reads: “The New Paranoia: Hedge-Funders Are Bullish on Gold, Guns, and Inflatable Lifeboats”

    Paranoia says it all.

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