$34 billion hedge fund Elliott Management says a 'denouement' is approaching - and it's a disaster waiting to happen

$34 billion hedge fund Elliott Management says a 'denouement' is approaching - and it's a disaster waiting to happen

Paul Singer


Billionaire Paul Singer, founder of Elliott Management.

  • Paul Singer's Elliott Management, a $34 billion hedge fund, is beating the drum again about an impending market crash.
  • Elliott has long raised concerns about market conditions.
  • "If you think the human race is in a better and more knowledgeable state than in the past, good luck to you," Elliott wrote in its most recent client letter, which was seen by Business Insider.
  • "Our centered case is still that the prices of global debt instruments are significantly distorted (on the upside) by money-printing and artificially low interest rates, and that there will be some kind of significant downward price adjustment soon," the letter said.

Elliott Management, a $34 billion hedge fund founded by billionaire Paul Singer, is once again beating the drum about an impending market crash.

In a January letter to clients seen by Business Insider, Elliott dedicated a little more than two pages to its thesis, starting the section by saying: "We like the word 'dénouement' better than 'outcome,' and it sounds way more sophisticated and nuanced than 'the end is near' or "the chickens are coming home to roost."

The letter then sets out why Elliott believes the "long, steady, upward movement in asset prices" is a cause for alarm, saying the movement has been driven by unprecedented levels of new debt, accelerating growth of passive investing, emergency-level interest rates, and the confidence expressed in volatility-selling strategies.

"These drivers of asset-price levitation seem to us to presage the possibility of a sudden, possibly intense, downward readjustment (you may substitute "crash" for that phrase if you desire)," the letter said.


Elliott's letters are known for their bearish views, and this latest letter notes that advancing the possibility of a severe bear market or crash puts the firm "in the wild-eyed and 'a bit off' category."

"But we can say with assurance that unless the human race and the principles of finance and economics have entered an entirely new realm, with history being irrelevant, it seems like an extraordinarily treacherous period for the global economy and financial system."

The challenge for Elliott, according to the letter, is maintaining these contrarian views without "letting those views blow up careers, capital and credibility." After all, Elliott has been warning of a potential crash for several years now, in which time it's been expected to deliver a return in an environment where markets have continued to rise.

"We have faced this challenge for decades, but we cannot remember a sterner test than the challenge which is posed currently by the minefield of puzzling, silly and implausible structures and elements, combined with wildly inappropriate and widespread complacency," the letter said.

The hedge fund also wrote a brutal takedown of cryptocurrencies, saying they will likely one day be described "as one of the most brilliant scams in history," in its letter.


Elliott managed $34.1 billion as of January 1, according to the letter, making it one of the world's largest hedge funds. The Elliott Associates LP fund returned 8.7% last year, and has a compound annual rate of return of 12.1%, making it one of the better performing funds in the industry.