Bloomberg – Hedge funds run by Jeffrey Gendell and John Burbank III posted their worst monthly losses in October. Peter Thiel gave back gains made earlier in the year. Nobel-prize winner Myron Scholes froze his biggest fund.
The managers, like many in the $1.7 trillion hedge-fund industry, were caught in a downdraft of market declines, client redemptions, demands from lenders for more collateral and forced asset sales that accelerated after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. collapsed in mid-September.
Funds fell by an average 5.4 percent last month, pushing the year-to-date drop to 15.5 percent, according to the HFRI Fund Weighted Composite Index compiled by Chicago-based Hedge Fund Research Inc. Investors have been handed losses for five straight months, the longest streak since HFRI started the index in 1990.
“October was the perfect storm for liquidity drying up, especially in the credit markets,” said Gary Vaughan-Smith, co- founder of London-based SilverStreet Capital LLP, which has $600 million invested in hedge funds for its clients. “We are through the worst and the turmoil should be gone by the end of November.”