Financial news channels are never hurting for guests, but watch the same morning talk shows, before and after the bell, and your bound to see the same featured faces again and again. One face that’s known to viewers of such shows belongs to Kyle Bass, perhaps best known for having founded Hayman Capital Management. Bass’ boost in visibility arguably came about during the 2008 mortgage crisis that had financial analysts scrambling for answers. Having been able to predict it some months before hand has made Bass a regular on these shows, his notoriety, however, doesn’t necessarily reflect his capability in the markets.
Any career path in the realm of finance is inevitably tied with the possibility of risk, and that risk increases as an investor’s behavior becomes more questionable, yet this does not hold true if that questionable behavior seems like the only way to retain money.
Back in 2014, General Motors was the target of a series of invasive probes determined to find the source for several crashes that had resulted in death and injury of motorists. in record time, Bass jumped to their defense, going to any financial news show that would have him to lambast drivers as passengers for drinking or driving recklessly rather than suggest that there may have been some fault on the behalf of the manufacturer. Journalists outside of this niche market of media took Bass to task, as well as GM. Not long after Bass’ campaign of defense began news outlets revealed that he had a significant investment in GM.
While saying abhorrent things about accident victims is obviously frowned on by most, it isn’t beyond the pale for an investor who stood to lose a sizable portion of money, it may not even be illegal for him to do so. The same cannot be said about other business dealings Bass has undertaken.
For a completely different manner, Bass has attracted a separate set of probes, this time from the House of Representatives due to his business with pharmaceuticals. Bass founded Coalition for Affordable Drugs, something of a front that exists solely to purchase pharmaceutical stocks, short-sell them, then challenge them for profit. Though technically legal, this practice skirts legislation, allowing Bass to manipulate the price of medication, affecting millions who spend a great deal on it already, in order to reap profits.
When questioned about the lives he was endangering by manipulating costs of life-saving medication, Bass claimed that he was merely promoting healthy competition in the market. That was until he was pressured into admitting that his sole motivation was sole profit.
With such questionable practices, many have to wonder what it will take to limit the attention Bass gets.