Elliott's Singer Says Derivatives Bad For Society

Jan 23 2014 | 1:43pm ET

Paul Singer feels about derivatives the way most people feel about junk food: He knows they aren't good for anyone, but he still loves them.

"I love trading them," the Elliott Management founder said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. But, he added, "on balance, there's been a net negative to society from this particular type of invention."

The hedge fund manager said that derivatives increase leverage and complexity of balance sheets, dangers which outweigh their hedging benefits. Singer said that the banking industry remains a major threat to global stability.

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