After turning $27 million into $2.6 billion earlier this year by hedging against the pandemic, billionaire investor Bill Ackman placed a similar (although somewhat smaller) bet in early November after news of an effective COVID-19 vaccine broke. This according to an article in Business Insider.
During a talk at the Financial Times’ Dealmakers Conference, Ackman argued that the vaccine news is “bearish,” warning that people could become nonchalant about wearing masks now that inoculation is on the horizon.
In February, Ackman’s Pershing Square bought credit-default swaps on investment-grade and high-yield bonds to insure against issuer defaults, the article explained. The value of those hedges surged to $2.6 billion after the pandemic increased the potential for corporate defaults, the article said, adding that those profits offset hits to the firm’s equity portfolio when the market dropped.