Harbinger Down 16% In July

Aug 5 2008 | 9:34am ET

July is shaping up to be one of the worst months for hedge funds in recent memory, and some of the industry’s top performers were not spared the carnage.

Harbinger Capital Partners, the activist hedge fund shop that enjoyed double- and even triple-digit returns last year and was on pace for a similar year in 2008, took a 16% loss in its flagship fund last month, the New York Post reports. The firm, which has profited handsomely by shorting financials and going long oil over since last year, was hurt when financials spiked in the wake of government efforts to shore up mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and by oil’s weak performance during the month.

The eponymous $25 billion flagship remains up 27% year-to-date.

Hedge Fund Research’s data shows that hedge funds could be down more than 3% in July, which would make it the worst month in the history of the five-year-old index.

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