John Paulson’s worst nightmare is on the verge of coming true. As reported yesterday, JP is a holder of 34.7 million shares of Sino-Forest, which was halted yesterday after Muddy Waters came out with a report exposing the company as a fraud, and my implication, all the sellside analysts covering the company with a buy rating, and all the hedge funds who had bought into it, as diligenceless monkeys who refuse to actually do their homework and merely follow the leader in the worst example of Wall Street groupthink. Well, yesterday groupthink became gangbang, after names as varied as JP, CapRe, Bessemer, Blackrock, John Hancock, Hartford, and many more learned they all may have been fooled by the biggest ponzi fraud since Madoff. And while the funds may pretend things are good courtesy of the continued freeze of TRE.TO on the Toronto Stock exchange, where it still has to issue an announcement despite promises it would do so before market open, its sister stock, SNOFF.PK continues to trade domestically. And it’s a bloodbath. After opening at $18 yesterday, the stock just touched $2.45, generating a loss of over $500 million for John Paulson, who in addition is rumored to be very heavily long the company’s bonds. It will be ironic if one Chinese fraud (despite our repeated warnings) ends up being the black swan that confirms that there is no such thing as a consistently good hedge fund, and it is all merely a function of one right trade, at the right time, executed with infinite amounts of leverage (thank you CDS).
Below is an example of how true research impacts a stock price, instead of merely idiots piling upon idiots.
And speaking of monkey, groupthink and idiots, here are those sellside “analysts” who up until yesterday had the company on a buy rating. We hope their resumes are up to date.