What Happens When A Hedge Fund Hotel Explodes

Sometimes, when one desperately chases alpha at any cost, all one needs to see is a somewhat credible asset manager, in this case Bill Ackman's Pershing Square, invest a massive amount of cash in a given company, to decide to invest alongside. In this case the company is JCPenney, and the amount in question invested by Ackman being $1.3 billion (at last check his third biggest positions after GGP and CP). Usually this strategy, elsewhere known as herding, 13F chasing, or alphacloning, works, until it doesn't. In the case of JCPenney it just didn't, after the company just blew up in real time dropping a tape bomb, missing on the top and the bottom, cutting the forecast, and for good measure also eliminating the dividend. End result: Ackman just lost nearly $200 million after the stock imploded by nearly 15% after hours, and all those who blindly piggybacked along without doing their homework (such as Whtiney Tilson whose 4th largest cash position is JCP), went for the ride.

Full list of JCP holders below.


Is it finally safe to say that the artificially propped up (no mortgage payments for ever... or until a point?) consumer discretionary tide is now over? And how long before we shift from retailers to those selling other iconic fads which now have a 6-9 month product cadence and are starting to self-cannibalize? Because, shockingly, it appears that unlike the Fed, US consumers just can't print money...


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