Here's some food for thought as we head into the weekend: at least one fund manager is telling the press that he's going long on subprime mortgage-backed securities. This month. Yes, really. UK-based Thames River fund manager Ken Kinsey-Quick told Reuters this week that his firm went long on subprime MBS -- Kinsey-Quick manages roughly $2.3 billion in a fund of hedge funds. His current move into a long position is tentative, to understate things, given that he's risking only 1 to 1.5 percent of fund assets, but it reflects a growing industry sentiment that wonders if the worst may finally be over. At least for subprime. From the story:
"Everybody hates the word subprime. You bring it up and it's a dirty word, nobody wants to discuss it," Kinsey-Quick said in an interview late on Wednesday. "Everybody's just dumped it. "You can get a high IRR (internal rate of return) out of these things by buying up some of these pools." Prices are now too low relative to expected default rates, he said.
It's a small investment, sure, but it's interesting to see fund managers start heading back to the well here.