New York Post:
Bill Ackman just placed another big bet against the credit markets as coronavirus cases surge nationwide.
The billionaire investor said he has bought $8 million worth of insurance that will pay off if companies start defaulting on their debts like they did when the virus shut down the economy in the spring.
The bet is nearly identical to — albeit only 30 percent as big as — his now-famous hedge in late March, in which he bought $27 million of credit-default swaps that netted him a staggering profit of $2.6 billion.
“I hope we lose money on this next hedge,” Ackman told a Financial Times conference on Tuesday. “We’re in a treacherous time generally and what’s fascinating is the same bet we put on eight months ago is available on the same terms as if there had never been a fire and on the probability that the world is going to be fine.”
Ackman said he made his new hedge on the day that Pfizer announced its new, promising new COVID-19 vaccine. Pfizer’s announcement was “actually bearish,” Ackman said, predicting that it will prompt Americans to grow complacent about mask-wearing, allowing the deadly virus to spread even wider.
When Ackman took his profits on Mar. 23, there were just over 10,000 new cases of COVID-19 nationwide. On Tuesday, new cases were just shy of 140,000, a dizzying number that has stoked fears of a second lockdown.
While he sees risk in the near term, Ackman predicted “a robust recovery” in 2021.