Einhorn Ends 2011 Just Over +2%, Closes FSLR Short, Warns On Asia, Mocks "Lather. Rinse. Repeat" Broken Markets

Anyone wondering why FSLR just jumped, it is because as was just made known, David Einhorn's Greenlight has decided to close its FSLR position, after bleeding that particular corpse dry. "Our largest winner by far was our short of First Solar (FSLR) which fell from $130.14 to $33.76 paper share and was the worst performing stock in the S&P 500." Einhorn also announces that he was among the "evil" hedge funds who dared to provide market clearing transparency and buy CDS on insolvent European governments: "We also did well investing in various credit default swaps on European sovereign debt." As for losers, Einhorn and Kyle Bass can commiserate: "For the second year in a row, our biggest loss came from positions designed to capitalize on eventual weakening of the Yen." He summarizes the global economic environment as follows: "The global environment is very complicated. On the one hand the Federal Reserve has taken a much-needed break from quantitative easing (at least for the moment). Accordingly, inflation in oil and food has abated, providing relief to the US economy. Bearish forecasts that the US was headed back into recession proved wrong for the third time since the end of the last recession. On the other hand, Asia appears to be in much worse shape than it was at this time last year and could be a drag on the world economy going forward. Very few people trust any of the economic data coming out of China, making it difficult to gauge the situation there. Some of the smartest people we know have very dim views. The Chinese have been a leading growth engine for the last two decades and are largely credit with leading the world out of the recession in 2009. A change in their economic circumstances could really upend things." Yet the best thing is his summary of the current investing climate in our utterly and hopelessly reactionary broken markets.

Einhorn at his best:

 

The cycle looks like this: time passes and the crisis deepens. Markets, eternal creatures of habit, begin to reflect the ensuing fear. Then, just as things appear ready to unravel, there is a reprieve, as red headlines race across the screen: "Sarkozy and Merkel to Meet at Deauville", "Obama Phones Cameron", or "Christine Lagarde Waves from Bus". The market jumps. You'd think the media would quit falling for this charade, but having run out of clever headlines to describe the impending doom - "Eurogeddon" Really? - they herald every briefing, meeting, assembly, and conference call.

 

The market embraces these announcements as eagerly as the media, behaving as if any and all communication is equally constructive, and likely to yield a solution. The market continues to rise until the day of that summit, as all ears await a Grand Communique. Within minutes of any proclamation, the market may cheer with a final, celebratory spike. Upon evaluation of the actual statement, it becomes clear that either nothing has truly been agreed upon, or the plan is insufficient, impractical or just won't work. The market sells off and the crisis deepens some more. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Full letter below.

Greenlight