Friday, May 8, 2009

Clifford Asness of AQR Capital

It is nice to see someone speak out against the destruction of contracts and age old lender principles. Clifford Agness is a found of AQR Capital Management, a 20 billion hedge fund in Greenwich. Apparently he is not part of the lender group involved with Chrysler but was "aghast" at Obama's comments attacking the funds. Deal Book has the full letter.

Unafraid In Greenwich Connecticut
Clifford S. Asness
Managing and Founding Principal
AQR Capital Management, LLC

The President has just harshly castigated hedge fund managers for being unwilling to take his administration’s bid for their Chrysler bonds. He called them “speculators” who were “refusing to sacrifice like everyone else” and who wanted “to hold out for the prospect of an unjustified taxpayer-funded bailout.”


Let’s be clear, it is the job and obligation of all investment managers, including hedge fund managers, to get their clients the most return they can. They are allowed to be charitable with their own money, and many are spectacularly so, but if they give away their clients’ money to share in the “sacrifice,” they are stealing.

and this is my favorite part

Let’s also mention only in passing the irony of this same President begging hedge funds to borrow more to purchase other troubled securities. That he expects them to do so when he has already shown what happens if they ask for their money to be repaid fairly would be amusing if not so dangerous. That hedge funds might not participate in these programs because of fear of getting sucked into some toxic demagoguery that ends in arbitrary punishment for trying to work with the Treasury is distressing.

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