Icahn Calls Financial Crisis 'My Finest Hour'

Apr 25 2011 | 11:45am ET

Famed hedge fund activist Carl Icahn isn't one to take things lying down. And the legendary corporate raider has taken issue with an article in The New York Times profiling him on the occasion of his 75th birthday.

The article, published on April 17, states that "Mr. Icahn lost so much money during the financial crisis that his is still a bit shaken by the experience."

"I find this statement to be nonsense," Icahn wrote in a letter to the editor last week.

"Ironically, and at the risk of being immodest, I believe the financial crisis was my finest hour as an investor and as a man who stood by his commitments."

The Icahn Enterprises chief, who last month said he would return all outside capital because he did not "wish to be responsible to limited partners through another possible market crisis," noted that his investment of $500 million during the crisis—allowing him to meet redemption requests without selling his fund's asset at rock-bottom crisis—was one of his "best ever," producing a 61% return. All told, Icahn said, during his seven years running his hedge fund, he earned $2.1 billion in profits for himself alone.

"I don’t wish to manage other people’s money through another 2008," which he believes will come within "the next several years," Icahn wrote. "It may sound corny, but it bothers me more to lose money for those who have entrusted me than to lose my own capital. I am battle-hardened; they are not. "

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