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  • hank September 10
  • msf September 10
Here's a statement of the obvious: The opinions expressed here are those of the participants, not those of the Mutual Fund Observer. We cannot vouch for the accuracy or appropriateness of any of it, though we do encourage civility and good humor.

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Stan Druckenmiller on Bubbles and Mania, Parties and Hangovers

edited September 10 in Other Investing
You may remember Stan Druckenmiller as a frequent guest on the old PBS Nightly Business Report. This is not intended to represent a broad spectrum of opinion. Nor is his view anything new (unless you’ve been asleep in a cave for the past decade or longer). Since Wikipedia is a free encyclopedia, I’m quoting an amount of bio that under normal circumstances might be inappropriate.

Druckenmiller began his financial career in 1977 as a management trainee at Pittsburgh National Bank. He became head of the bank's equity research group after one year. In 1981, he founded his own firm, Duquesne Capital Management. In 1985, he became a consultant to Dreyfus, splitting his time between Pittsburgh and New York, where he lived two days each week. He moved to Pittsburgh full-time in 1986, when he was named head of the Dreyfus Fund. As part of his agreement with Dreyfus, he also maintained management of Duquesne. In 1988, he was hired by George Soros to replace Victor Niederhoffer at Quantum Fund. He and Soros famously "broke the Bank of England" when they shorted British pound sterling in 1992, reputedly making more than $1 billion in profits, in an event known as Black Wednesday. They calculated that the Bank of England did not have enough foreign currency reserves with which to buy enough sterling to prop up the currency and that raising interest rates would be politically unsustainable. He left Soros in 2000 after taking large losses in technology stocks ...

According to Bloomberg News, on August 18, 2010, Druckenmiller announced the closing of his hedge fund "telling investors he'd been worn down by the stress of trying to maintain one of the best trading records in the industry while managing an 'enormous amount of capital.'" Duquesne Capital Management posts an average annual return of 30 percent without any money-losing year. His funds were down for about 5 percent when he announced his retirement in August. However, they had since erased the losses and closed with a small gain through successful bets that the market would rally in anticipation that the Federal Reserve would announce further "Quantitative Easing" to assist in reducing unemployment and avoid deflation.

According to The Wall Street Journal, on August 18, 2010, Druckenmiller "told clients that he's returning their money and ending his firm's 30-year run, citing the 'high emotional toll' of not performing up to his own expectations." He indicated it was not easy to make big profits while handling very large sums of money.

Link to Wikipedia Article

Postscript: It’s clear to me that one of my money managers has absolutely no concept of what a bubble is. Dodge and Cox clearly doesn’t like to party. Their flagship domestic stock fund, DODGX, is down nearly 10% YTD. It’s negative over 1-year and has averaged just a sedate 5.2% annualized return over the past 3. “What mania?” they might be asking about now.


  • A side note, since you equated "free" with "unrestricted use". A copyright owner may, without charge, give someone the right to read copyrighted material. That's different from giving someone an unrestricted license to reproduce, retransmit, or make any other use of the material.

    Wikipedia's authors (the copyright holders) are fairly generous in what they allow you to do with its material (if properly attributed). "Permission to reproduce and modify text on Wikipedia has already been granted to anyone anywhere by the authors of individual articles as long as such reproduction and modification complies with licensing terms."

    In general though, one can't assume freely distributed equates to right to redistribute freely. Unless one checks the licensing terms for a particular site or piece, it may be best to stick with fair use.
  • edited September 10
    @msf - Glad you pursued this. And your clarification is important.

    I’ve on occasion shaken my head at the occasional incorporation here of excessively lengthy verbatim excerpts. What little I know of the law on this comes from work decades ago in the field of education. At that time the concept of “fair use” was often cited / discussed among colleagues. That’s not a “blank check” to copy / reproduce at will. The concept of limited use also applies. I take that to mean: a “reasonable” amount necessary to convey or represent a particular concept, style, idea, and also in some kind of “reasonable“ proportion to the overall length of the work. Likely, things have evolved since my day when the internet was still in its infancy. But my understanding has always been that for “educational purposes” (ie: this forum) a more liberal (vs a more restricted) application of “fair use” applies.

    From Wikipedia (“The Free Encyclopedia”): “Fair use is a doctrine in the law of the United States that permits limited use of copyrighted material without having to first acquire permission from the copyright holder. Fair use is one of the limitations to copyright intended to balance the interests of copyright holders with the public interest in the wider distribution and use of creative works by allowing as a defense to copyright infringement claims certain limited uses that might otherwise be considered infringement.”

    That’s the simplified take. Most of the linked article focuses on roughly a dozen court decisions that have established precedent. Trying to read them without legal training is a challenge. Apparently, those cases are what’s important for users to be aware of. I have on rare occasion quoted briefly from a market commentator whose opinions I subscribe to. Fortunately, the proprietor has alluded at least once to being agreeable to readers citing brief passages as long as proper citation is provided.

    Wikipedia Article

    BTW: This is pledge week at Wikipedia. Please do your share. One of the saddest things growing up was that my family could not afford to own a set of Britannicas (or any encyclopedia for that matter) as some of the better-off families did. They were very expensive. Had we had them at home, I’d surely be a lot smarter today than I am.
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