Hedge Funds: Did Bill Ackman Make $2.6 Billion on the Coronavirus Outbreak?

March 25, 2020 | Hedge Funds, Latest News, News

Hedge fund manager Bill Ackman says Pershing Square Capital earned $2.6 billion by betting that the coronavirus outbreak would pummel markets. The news comes a week after Ackman appeared on CNBC to tell Americans that “hell is coming” for the domestic market.

In a post on Pershing’s website Wednesday, Ackman said he earned 100 times his money on a series of $27 million bets during the turmoil.

“On 23 March, we completed the exit of our hedges generating proceeds of $2.6bn for the Pershing Square funds, compared with premiums paid and commissions totaling $27m,” Ackman wrote. Ackman has poured capital back into equity markets and purchased shares of Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX), Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.B), and Hilton (NYSE: HLT).

“We became increasingly positive on equity and credit markets last week, and began the process of unwinding our hedges and redeploying our capital in companies we love at bargain prices that are built to withstand this crisis, and which we believe will flourish long term,” he wrote.

Bill Ackman Hedges

The post says that his firm purchased “credit protection on various global investment-grade and high-yield credit indices.” Those hedges helped protect his fund from additional turmoil during the downturn. Over the last two weeks, Ackman has been very vocal about the state of the U.S. economy and the impact of the coronavirus. He said on March 18 that the White House should shut the United States economy down for 30 days and close the borders. He argued that American capitalism could survive a 30-day shutdown, but that an 18-month plan would decimate the U.S. fabric.

“The hotel industry and the restaurant industry will go bankrupt first, Boeing is on the brink, Boeing will not survive without a government bailout,” Ackman said.

This week, Congress agreed in principle on a $2 trillion stimulus deal that could see an additional $4 trillion in support from the Federal Reserve.

Related: Hedge Fund: Pershing Square Capital Sells Starbucks Stake

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