Bloomberg – When Iceland’s banks failed in 2008 under $85 billion of debt, dozens of hedge funds flocked to the island betting they could make money buying up creditor claims. Five years later, they’re still waiting.
The firms, including Davidson Kempner Capital Management LLC and Taconic Capital Advisors LP, snapped up the claims on the lenders’ assets at prices far below face value. They were wagering, as they did when Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. went bust, that they’d profit as markets recovered, bank assets were sold off and creditors repaid. Over the years, about 80 firms joined, including Paulson & Co., which had made more than $1 billion betting on Lehman claims.