Jim Chanos started Kynikos Associates in 1985 and the group has since become the world’s largest exclusive short-selling investment firm. As of mid 2015, The hedge fund manages approximately $6 billion in assets.
Throughout his investment career, Chanos has identified and sold short the shares of numerous well-known corporate financial disasters; among them Baldwin-United, Commodore International, Coleco, Integrated Resources, Boston Chicken, Sunbeam, Conseco and Tyco International. His celebrated short-sale of Enron shares was dubbed by Barron’s as “the market call of the decade, if not the past fifty years.”
Chanos’ most famous short landed Chanos on the cover of Barron’s in 2002 as “The Guy Who Called Enron.” But the list of his targets stretches from Michael Milken’s junk bond empire through the real estate boom of the late 1980s, the telecom bubble of the late 1990s, Dennis Kozlowski’s Tyco and Bernie Ebbers’s WorldCom at the turn of the century, subprime mortgage lenders and home builders in 2007, and most recently China.
For more on Jim Chanos, head over to ValueWalk’s Jim Chanos Resource Page, where you can find a detailed rundown of his background, bio and investment philosophy.
Jim Chanos: Recommended books
The story of a 20th century Swedish businessman named Ivar Kreugar, who convinced everyone that he's a tycoon in the match business. Really, he just borrowed money in the U.S. and loaned it out in Europe in exchange for match companies.
Bernard Baruch: The Adventures of a Wall Street Legend by James Grant.
This biography of Bernard Baruch considered to be renowned as the definitive story about the notorious financial wizard and presidential advisor.
Waterloo: The History of Four Days, Three Armies, and Three Battles by Bernard Cornwell
Updated 5/12/18 the following three book recommendations come from a Jim Chanos interview with Barry Ritholtz of Bloomberg
American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880-1964 by William Manchester
The Last Lion Box Set: Winston Spencer Churchill, 1874 – 1965 by William Manchester
A World Lit Only by Fire: The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance: Portrait of an Age by William Manchester
Updated 10/05/2018 the following are Jim Chanos's "recommended readings for the class" as seen on the Institutional Investor.
The Great Crash 1929 by John Kenneth Galbraith
Manias, Panics, and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises by Charles P. Kindleberger, Robert Aliber
Ponzi's Scheme: The True Story of a Financial Legend by Mitchell Zuckoff
The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron by Bethany McLean, Peter Elkind
Fooling Some of the People All of the Time by David Einhorn
Confidence Game: How Hedge Fund Manager Bill Ackman Called Wall Street's Bluff by Christine S. Richard