16 Jun 2009

Black Swan Hyperinflation Fund

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Von Pepe passes along this story:

36 South Investment Managers Ltd., whose Black Swan Fund gained 234 percent in 2008, is raising money for a new hedge fund, betting that government efforts to pump money into economies could result in hyperinflation.

The Excelsior Fund targets returns that will be five times the average annual rate of inflation of the Group of Five economies — France, Germany, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S. — should the rate exceed 5 percent, Jerry Haworth, co-founder of the firm, said yesterday. Raising $100 million for the fund would be a “good” amount, he said.

Most investors are underestimating the risk of inflation, Haworth said. Consumer prices in the U.S., the world’s largest economy, are set to rise 1.7 percent next year, following a 0.6 percent decline this year, according to the median of 70 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

“There is certainly talk about inflation but people might think of inflation at 5 percent or 6 percent,” Zimbabwean-born Haworth said. “We’re talking 5, 10, 15, 20 percent or more.”

36 South’s Excelsior Fund will buy long-dated options it considers cheap and that “stand a good chance of outperforming in an inflationary environment,” Haworth said. Options are contracts to buy or sell a security by a certain date at a specific price.

The fund will wager on an increase in commodity and equity prices, bond yields and increased currency volatility.

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