Pessimism Porn: Hedge Fund Survivalists

I’m told this actually Armageddon porn, not pessimism porn, but still:

The New Paranoia: Hedge-Funders Are Bullish on Gold, Guns, and Inflatable Lifeboats

During the final months of 2008, as the financial markets imploded, talk on trading desks turned to food and water stockpiles, generators, guns, and high-speed inflatable boats. “The system really was about six hours from failing,” says Gene Lange, a manager at a midtown hedge fund, referring to the week in September when Lehman went bust and AIG had to be bailed out. “When you think about how close we were to the precipice, I don’t think it necessarily makes a guy crazy to prepare for the potential worst-case scenario.”

Preparations, in Lange’s case, include a storeroom in his basement in New Jersey stacked high with enough food, water, diapers, and other necessities to last his family six months; a biometric safe to hold his guns; and a 1985 ex-military Chevy K5 Blazer that runs on diesel and is currently being retrofitted for off-road travel. He has also entertained the idea of putting an inflatable speedboat in a storage unit on the West Side, so he could get off the island quickly, and is currently considering purchasing a remote farm where he could hunker down.

More here.


  1. A tale of the tail wagging the dog.

  2. I wonder if all that stuff stays with the house when it is foreclosed on? Or could it be counted as assets when they get sued for blowing their fiduciary duties and lying to investigators about their investments with Madoff and Stanford?

  3. Where do i get historical data to plot my efficient frontier with all these great new survivalist asset classes popping up? Any thoughts on VaR for cases of single malt whisky?