Short selling in the time of the coronavirus with Carson Block

IMG_1410Short seller Carson Block, the founder of Muddy Waters Research, catapulted to fame almost a decade ago for exposing alleged frauds in publicly traded Chinese companies, like the well-known case of Sino-Forest Corp.

While Block started out investigating alleged fraud in China, he has branched out to Europe, Canada and the U.S. in recent years. In 2015, he launched his first hedge fund, followed by another one in 2016. Block had been planning to move his company from the San Francisco Bay area to New York City over this coming summer—but now is not sure.

The coronavirus  crisis has made him wonder whether cities will be the popular places to live that they have been in recent years, or whether people will want to take mass transit again. (He’s looking to talk to an expert on the Spanish flu of 1918 for insights on that.)

Block is also wondering whether anything will change, particularly in China, which gave birth to the new scourge. A skeptic, he’s somewhat doubtful.

I recently caught up with Block to discuss all this. You can read my Worth  interview with the famous short seller here.


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