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Clarium Loses 1.4% In May


Date: Thursday, June 11, 2009
Author: FINalternatives

May might have been the best month in nine years for hedge funds, but it certainly wasn’t for Clarium Capital Management.

For the second straight month, the $1.8 billion San Francisco-based hedge fund missed out on the stock market rally. But while it managed a positive return in April, last month the fund actually managed to lose money, while the average hedge fund rose about 5%.

PayPal founder Peter Thiel’s hedge fund dropped 1.4% last month, according to a performance update obtained by the blog Valleywag, which Thiel last month called “the Silicon Valley equivalent of Al Qaeda.”

Clarium is down 1.7% on the year. It’s U.S. stock and currencies portfolio were the culprits for last month’s losses; its foreign debt and commodities bets did the best in May.

In an interview with Private Equity Hub last month, Thiel blasted Valleywag, saying they were “terrorists.”

“It’s terrible for the Valley, which is supposed to be about people who are willing to think out loud and be different,” he said. “I don’t understand the psychology of people who would kill themselves and blow up buildings, and I don’t understand people who would spend their lives being angry; it just seems unhealthy.”

For its part, Valleywag offered some psychoanalysis of its own, suggesting that Clarium’s losses are getting to Thiel.

“Even as Wall Street rallied last month, Peter Thiel’s hedge fund lost close to $25 million, according to leaked documents obtained by Valleywag,” the blog wrote. “Maybe this is why the PayPal founder has been grumpily calling people frauds.”