Yale Alumni Magazine | Articles

Yale Alumni Magazine | Articles.  Jim Chanos

On a muggy Thursday in the dog days of August 2011, the news broke that the American technology giant Hewlett-Packard was about to acquire British software maker Autonomy Corp. The offer price represented a 64 percent premium on the previous day’s close. At his office in mid-Manhattan, hedge fund manager Jim Chanos ’80 did not rejoice.

Only a few weeks earlier, his firm, Kynikos Associates, had put together a report on Autonomy, calling its chief operating officer unqualified, its customers unenthusiastic, its market share and growth numbers questionable, its financial disclosures “very poor,” and its margin profile “suspiciously high.”

“We thought this was one of the great shorts of all time,” says Chanos, who specializes in ferreting out corporate bad behavior and then short-selling the companies that indulge in it.

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