Bill Ackman’s short bets seem to be rather better than his longs. Dow Jones reckons that he made over half a billion dollars in 2007 shorting MBIA and Ambac Financial. Which is good, because his long position in Target seems to have blown up spectacularly in December:

The $2bn special purpose company Ackman set up to invest in Target – Pershing Square IV – had lost 42.7 per cent of its value after a disastrous December in which Target’s share price plummeted.

It seems almost old-fashioned, the way in which investors can lose money on stocks, rather than simply on structured credit products and the like. Maybe that’s going to be the big theme of 2008.

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