The author has been described by News Ltd as an "iconoclast", "Svengali", a pollie's "economist muse", and "pungently accurate". Fairfax says he is a "Renaissance man" and "one of Australia’s most respected analysts." Stephen Koukoulas concludes that he is "85% right", and "would make a great Opposition leader." Terry McCrann claims the author thinks "‘nuance’ is a trendy village in the south of France", but can be "scintillating" when he thinks "clearly". The ACTU reckons he’s "an enigma wrapped in a Bloomberg terminal, wrapped in some apparently well-honed abs."

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Vale Barton Biggs

One of the world's most colourful and charismatic investment strategists, Barton Biggs, has sadly passed away. I enjoyed his book, Hedge Hogging. The AFR reports today:

"He was known as an independent thinker, colourful writer and one of the pioneers of emerging markets investing," Gorman wrote in the memo which was obtained by Reuters... "Our Firm benefited from his vision," he added. At Morgan Stanley, Biggs got the bank to focus on the equities business and later helped the bank see beyond US markets, changing its vision from domestic to global, Wien said. "He was a major figure for Morgan Stanley." Biggs also played a significant role in the hedge fund industry where he co-founded one of the industry's first firms, Fairfield Partners, in 1965. Nearly four decades later in 2003 he founded hedge fund firm Traxis Partners and remained one of its portfolio managers until the end of his life. "Barton was an exceptional financial strategist and a great friend. He had an immense impact on the financial industry for five decades," said Julian Robertson, chairman and founder of hedge fund industry heavyweight Tiger Management, LLC. But he may be best remembered for raising concern about what he called overpriced technology stocks long before the crash in 2000 and warning that the rally might end badly.