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Paul Singer on Finance

9:46 AM, Mar 21, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
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The Wall Street Journal interviewed hedge-fund manager Paul Singer over the weekend:

At the height of the housing bubble, hedge-fund manager Paul Singer was shorting subprime mortgages. By the spring of 2007, he was warning regulators on both sides of the Atlantic that the world was facing a major financial crisis.

They ignored him. Now the founder of Elliott Management says the biggest banks are headed for another credit meltdown. Among the likely triggers for the next crisis, Mr. Singer sees one leading candidate: Monetary policy "is extremely risky," he says, "the risk being massive inflation."

In some areas gas prices have reached $4 per gallon, and now Americans must brace themselves for higher grocery bills. This week the Labor Department reported that February wholesale food prices posted their sharpest increase since 1974. News like that has driven Mr. Singer to the history books: He treats visitors to his 5th Avenue office to a copy of a 1931 treatise on German currency debasement, Constantino Bresciani-Turroni's "The Economics of Inflation."

Mr. Singer—who launched Elliott in 1977 and has delivered a 14.3% compound annual return (compared to the S&P 500's 10.9%)—is not comparing today's Federal Reserve to the Reichsbank of the early 1920s. Rather, he's once again warning financial regulators. This time the message is: Don't take for granted investor faith in a major currency.

Whole thing here.

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