The Patron Saint of Post-Credit Crisis Bullishness, David Tepper, gets the profile treatment in the latest issue of New York Magazine. And even if you are a bear or hysterical about quantitative easing or a survivalist or whatever, you should probably take the time to read it anyway…
In midtown in the spring of 2010, all anyone in the hedge-fund world seemed to believe in was gold.
Then, late in the afternoon, David Tepper, a hedge-fund manager out of New Jersey, bounded up onstage and ripped off his tie, as though the lack of air in the room had become physically constraining. “I got a little story for you,” he said into the microphone, and proceeded to read it from a crumpled piece of paper in his hand.
“In 1898, the first international urban-planning conference convened in New York,” he said. “It was abandoned after three days because none of the delegates could see any solution to the growing crisis caused by urban horses and their output. In the Times of London, one reporter estimated that in 50 years, every street in London would be buried under nine feet of manure.”
He paused, allowing people in the crowd to snicker to themselves, then went on to recommend a handful of investments most would consider highly risky, among them debt in AIG and equity in financial companies like Bank of America and even some banks in teetering Europe. “I know, everyone hates the financials,” he said. “But the PIIGS”—Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain, considered to be the most troubled European economies—“every single one has a deficit-reduction plan! The ECB—the Bundesbank—bought back government bonds!” He paused for dramatic effect. “Holy Christ. It’s like the chastity belt is off, and the girl is starting to play.”
The crowd tittered nervously. “On the way to work this morning, I got a headache because I was listening to one guy talking about how there’s gonna be hyperinflation. And then after him there was some guy telling me there’s going to be a depression and deflation. Neither—neither—is most likely going to happen,” he said. “The point is, markets adapt, people adapt. Don’t listen to all the crap out there.”
Go ahead, click over for the rest, I won’t be mad at you.