Dan Loeb is nothing if not confident. I mean, sure, there are lots of other words that you could use to describe him, but if one of them were “self-assured” or “assertive,” you wouldn’t be wrong, even if there’s another a-word you think better captures his essence.
And so, after suffering some small losses in the first quarter, it was very much in character for Loeb to reassure investors that the overwhelming abundance of shitty companies run by shitty management serving as lackies for shitty boards meant he almost couldn’t lose. It would be shorting fish in a barrel. Nothing to worry about.
And he was right, for a few months. But then October came and he was back in the red with just two months left in the year to make things right, possibly because Real Americans weren’t being as Real as he hoped and buying an unlimited number of RVs. Still, he assured his investors that there was still just so much suck out there that all he had to do was boost his short book and everything would be fine.
And he was right! Well, half-right. Right around the time of that reassurance, the markets were beginning their rather choppy and vertigo-inducing year-end collapse. And yet:
His firm Third Point lost about 6 percent in December alone, bringing its yearly loss to about 11 percent, according to figures obtained by CNBC's Leslie Picker.
On the bright side, at least this streak’s intact.
The stock market, stirred by the trade conflicts and worries on a slowing economy, ended 2018 with the S&P 500 down 6 percent.
Prior to 2018, Loeb had nearly doubled the S&P 500′s return for more than two decades.