Maverick Capital’s Ainslie Calls Out ‘Generation of Greed’

(Bloomberg) -- Hedge fund industry titan Lee Ainslie said this may go down as “the generation of greed.”

“We’re operating with a 5% budget deficit, with a robust economy and full employment,” the head of Maverick Capital said at the Economic Club of New York on Monday. “We’re already $70,000 per man, woman and child in debt and growing that by $3,000 to $4,000 a year -- and what we’ve done to the environment.”

The U.S. budget deficit is on pace to exceed $1 trillion this fiscal year, making it the highest since the financial crisis. The federal shortfall widened to $356.6 billion in the first three months of fiscal 2020, the Treasury Department said last month, as spending rose more than revenue.

Ainslie, who started Maverick in 1993 after leaving Julian Robertson’s Tiger Management, is a value-oriented stock-picker known for investing in the technology sector. At the end of last year, Google parent Alphabet Inc. was the biggest U.S. equity position in his portfolio, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

While Ainslie said he expects regulators to scrutinize privacy concerns in the technology industry, he doesn’t believe the biggest firms are in danger of the most serious regulatory action. “There’s not a lot of history of successfully breaking up big companies,” he said.

Maverick, which has $9 billion in assets, gained 16.3% in its flagship fund last year, according to people familiar with the matter.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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