Jim Chanos Still Short China, Talks Other Positions (Interview) ~ market folly

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Jim Chanos Still Short China, Talks Other Positions (Interview)

Jim Chanos appeared on CNBC this morning to share his latest thoughts on the market and his positioning.  The Kynikos Associates hedge fund founder said that 20% of his global short fund is China.  We've posted up the hedge fund China bear thesis before as Chanos notes it's a credit boom over there.

Why He's Short China

He's been quite patient with his China short and it's paid off.  He noted that "we get criticized that China's not in smoking ruins ... we've done just fine."  Chanos says that corporate profits are imploding in the country.

He points out that while China's exports are important, their imports are also very relevant to watch.  While the trade export balance has been decreasing (not a new phenomenon), capital is also leaving and that's a new development Chanos drew attention to.

Lastly, he notes that he wouldn't trust any accounting in China and he could spend an hour talking about that issue alone as corporate accounting is that bad over there.

Chanos' Other Shorts

In regards to what else he's been shorting, he continues to dislike Hewlett Packard (HPQ).  He's long Microsoft (MSFT) and Oracle (ORCL) as hedges to that stake.

Chanos again addressed the notion of global value traps (his presentation via that link).  He says you want to be short printers and ink.  The cloud is fundamentally changing the tech landscape.

On the financial side, he likes to use the term "deleveraging credit python,"  noting that China, Europe, and the US are the three to watch.  In banking, they're long JPMorgan (JPM) and Citi (C).  For the other side of the coin, we recently detailed why Bill Ackman sold Citi.  Kynikos has also been short Chinese and Spanish banks.

Back in 2007 and 2009, Chanos was short healthcare but he no longer is short.  Though he says that longer term, healthcare is a huge issue.

Embedded below are the videos from Chanos' TV appearance this morning.  Video 1 on China:

Video 2 on tech companies & banks:


For more from the well known short seller, check out:

- Chanos on the psychology of short selling

- Chanos on the power of negative thinking

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