On May 12, during a webcast held by the Economic Club of New York, Stan Druckenmiller said the risk-reward calculation for equities was the worst he’d seen in his career.
The S&P 500 climbed almost 22% since then, as Druckenmiller later said he was “far too cautious."
As the S&P reverses hard today, we thought it would be worthwhile reminding readers of another important story from the Tech Bubble about the infamous short-seller's experience...
"So, I’ll never forget it. January of 2000 I go into Soros’s office and I say I’m selling all the tech stocks, selling everything.
This is crazy at 104 times earnings. This is nuts. Just kind of as I explained earlier, we’re going to step aside, wait for the next fat pitch. I didn’t fire the two gun slingers. They didn’t have enough money to really hurt the fund, but they started making 3 percent a day and I’m out.
It is driving me nuts. I mean their little account is like up 50 percent on the year. I think Quantum was up seven. It’s just sitting there..."
Druckenmiller pauses stoically before continuing...
"So like around March I could feel it coming. I just – I had to play. I couldn’t help myself. And three times during the same week I pick up a – don’t do it. Don’t do it. Anyway, I pick up the phone finally.
I think I missed the top by an hour. I bought $6 billion worth of tech stocks... and in six weeks I had left Soros and I had lost $3 billion in that one play."
Everyone listening takes a breath as the hedge fund billionaire scans the audience, sips from a tall glass of water and states confidently:
"You asked me what I learned. I didn’t learn anything.
I already knew that I wasn’t supposed to that.
I was just an emotional basket case and couldn’t help myself.
So, maybe I learned not to do it again. but I already knew that."
Of course, it's totally different this time!