‘Big Short’ investor Burry bet on regional banks in first quarter

May 15, 2023

By David Randall

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Hedge fund manager Michael Burry, who rose to fame with his bets against the U.S. housing market before the 2008 financial crisis, added new positions in several regional banks during a tumultuous first quarter for the sector, according to securities filings released on Monday.

Burry’s Scion Asset Management’s positions included 150,000 shares in First Republic Bank, 250,000 shares in PacWest Bancorp, 850,000 shares in New York Community Bancorp, and 125,000 shares of Western Alliance Bancorp , filings showed.

First Republic collapsed May 1, making it the largest bank failure since the 2008 financial crisis. The filings did not show whether Scion had sold its positions before then.

Burry’s firm also added a position in Wells Fargo & Co.

Burry did not immediately respond to a request to comment for this story.

The positions were revealed in quarterly securities fillings known as 13-fs. While backward looking, these snapshots show what funds owned on the last day of the quarter and are one of the few ways that hedge funds and other institutional investors have to declare their positions. They may not reflect current holdings.

Burry, who is known for turning over his entire portfolio quarterly based on thematic shifts, liquidated his positions in MGM Resorts International Inc, SkyWest Inc, Qurate Retail Group Inc, and Wolverine World Wide Inc, according to securities filings.

Burry was featured in the 2010 nonfiction book “The Big Short” by Michael Lewis which was made into a popular movie five years later.

(Reporting by David Randall; Editing by Ira Iosebashvili and David Gregorio)

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