Kyle Bass, Infamous Hedge Fund Manager, Predicts Isolated Chinese Recession

In an April interview with Wall Street Week, Kyle Bass, Founder and Principal of Hayman Capital Management and one-time wunderkind of the hedge-fund industry, discussed his views on the economy, China, the 2016 presidential election, and predicted that in the coming year there was a 40-50% chance of a American minor recession.

On China and whether they were likely to see a recession in the near future, Bass pointed to China’s low Q4 growth, “the lowest in 41 years”. He identified this as a consequence of the tremendous growth the Chinese banking system has had in the last 10 years, and the recent reverse migration from urban to rural areas. Although he predicted the Chinese recession would resemble the aftermath of the 2001 dot-com bubble, he also noted that the country would not see a “Lehman moment”, because of the insularity of the Chinese economy.

When host Gary Kaminsky asked which presidential candidate would be best for equity markets, Bass briefly answered that Hillary Clinton was the sanest of the candidates, but when pressed on the likelihood that Clinton’s economic policies would negatively impact the market, Bass quickly pivoted to attacking the high price of prescription drugs, before turning to the topic of higher personal income taxes, which he called “inevitable”.

Bass first came to public notice after correctly predicting the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis in 2006, two years before the collapse of the housing bubble. He was able to bet against subprime securities and subsequently profit off of the crisis. He has more recently gained infamy for unscrupulous dealings with top officials in the administration of Argentinian President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and blaming passengers for their own deaths in GM vehicles with defective airbags and power steering. He gained the attention of regulators when he began to short sell stock in major pharmaceutical companies, then challenging drug patents owned by the same companies (negatively affecting share prices), and profiting from the abuse of patent law, while consumers saw a subsequent rise in prescription drug costs.

He closed the interview with his thought that the banking world is better today, having seen Lehman Brothers fail, as it served as a wakeup call. Read the full story here:

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