Chanos Cuts Down On Financial Shorts

Oct 13 2008 | 1:29pm ET

George Soros isn't the only hedgie who's betting that markets have bottomed out.

James Chanos said in a television interview that he's shorting the fewer financial shares than at any point in the last five years, betting that government moves to infuse banks with cash will turn the sector around. So far, that bet may be paying off as stocks soared around the world today on assurances of government help for the financial industry.

Financial stocks "are down quite a bit, and clearly with these kinds of rescue packages our view is the risk-reward is not great on the short side, probably selectively on the long side," the Kynikos Associates chief told Bloomberg Television. "We're looking elsewhere."

Chanos also added his voice to criticism of recent short-sale bans, which have expired in the U.S. but continue elsewhere, including in the U.K. Like his colleagues, Chanos said that short-sellers were not to blame for the precipitous decline in stocks.

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