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by Rahul 16 Dec 2008, 09:24
Branded as the biggest hedge fund collapse in history, Amaranth lost $6 billion of investor's money in one week alone. Amaranth Advisors, the US-based hedge fund whose investments were hit by a misplaced bet on gas prices, saw its losses reach about $6bn in 2006. The firm sold its portfolio of energy trades and off-loaded other assets in a bid to stave off collapse. Amaranth invested most of its funds on trades that bet the longstanding trend in rising natural gas prices would continue.
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However, natural gas prices dropped sharply. According to media reports, the firm and its former head trader Brian Hunter's poor bets on the price of natural gas triggered those losses. As Amaranth's losses mounted, the fund's bankers called in their loans, forcing the fund to sell more assets to avoid defaulting. The collapse in the fund's value raised major questions over the lack of adequate risk management controls at Amaranth, and wider concerns over lax control of hedge fund managers.