This isn’t the first time business journalists have glossed Tiger Management’s history. The Times’s own Paul Krugman wrote this in 2000, shortly after Robertson closed his fund:
But the reporting on Tiger’s demise was surprisingly sympathetic. Some of the stories seemed to cast Mr. Robertson as a victim, the defender of genuine economic values against irrational hype. And that is apparently how he sees himself: he was withdrawing, he said, ”from an irrational market, where earnings and price considerations take a backseat to mouse clicks and momentum”…
I don’t want to say Mr. Robertson never knew what he was doing. In the early days of Tiger, when it was small enough to research and speculate in small companies, the story may have been different. But by the 90’s, the inflow of money from eager investors who thought past success guaranteed future gains made Tiger too big to play that game. Mr. Robertson shifted his focus to ”macro” bets — attempts to forecast the future of whole classes of stocks, even whole economies. And there are no consistently good macroeconomic forecasters — only bad forecasters who get lucky. (That includes me.)’
Gerson left Tiger a couple of years before the bottom fell out there. For all we know, Tiger may have fallen off because all the Tiger cubs left.
In a piece that was already a little too fluffy (one trade site called it “nothing short of a home run for him and his company” and said “Some guys make it look easy, and they tend to have good PR people”), you can’t talk about a major hedge fund’s “double digit returns” and let its founder go on about its success without pointing out its failure.