The Globe and Mail reports in its Tuesday edition that U.S. hedge fund manager Steve Eisman became famous through his depiction in Michael Lewis's financial crisis book, The Big Short. The Globe's Tim Shufelt writes that Mr. Eisman is now famous in Canadian investing circles after reports that he has built short positions against Canadian bank stocks. Bank of Montreal is a potential target for one of the short positions Mr. Shufelt is not so much interested in the merits of Mr. Eisman's move. Rather, it is the dismissive reaction he has seen on social media from Canadian investors to news of these naked shorts -- "Good luck with that, Loser" is one memorable tweet. Mr. Shufelt says that he cannot foresee any situation where any of the major Canadian banks will experience anything close to insolvency. That said, one of the primary lessons of the financial crisis is that, at the end of an unprecedented credit cycle, no company is immune. It is also true that Canadian households have never carried debt loads amounting to almost 180 per cent of disposable income. In Mr. Eisman's case, Canadian investors should not so easily dismiss a manager with undeniable credibility in predicting the end of financial cycles.
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