Glenn Laken

Kyle Bass: A Career Gone Wrong

The career of Kyle Bass began positive and successful. Bass earned a degree in Business Administration in Finance and Real Estate Finance from Texas Christian University. College was followed by a career as Senior Managing Director at both Bear Stearns and Legg Mason. Bass later began his own company, Hayman Capital, which is a global special situations fund. Shortly after launching the hedge fund in 2006, Bass recognized a problem with the US residential real-estate market and correctly predicted and benefited from the mortgage crisis. This prediction made him very popular throughout the business world.

However, it appears Bass has admitted to being tipped off about the mortgage crisis by an investment banker. After hiring several private investigators to determine the simplicity of obtaining a mortgage, Bass pulled resources into studying the residential mortgage market and determining which mortgages were most likely to default. By doing so, Bass was eventually able to make a fortune as thousands of Americans were foreclosing on their homes.

Soon after his brief show in the spotlight, Bass’ career took a turn with a series of bad choices and collection of shady alliances. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, an Argentinean, is known throughout the business for destructing her county’s economy by defaulting on its sovereign debt multiple times and sending her own people into poverty. However, it appears Bass rationalizes this default away and by doing so, shows signs of instability and questionable character. In the year 2013 he lost 30% of hedge funds while his competitors gained 30%.

The behavior continues as Bass chose to blame airbag fatalities on car crash victims in order to receive earnings from his General Motors investment. One of his subordinates at Hayman has been accused of multiple accounts of unethical behavior by the widow of Chris Kyle.

However, most controversial is a scheme ran by Bass involving short selling pharmaceutical companies. After short selling stock, Bass will challenge their patents using a front organization he set up. Soon after, the stock will plummet and Bass will walk out with several million dollars. Meanwhile, the pharmaceutical company’s prices will increase and their research funds decrease, leaving millions of Americans without medication.

Though Kyle Bass still attempts to make negative marks on the pharmaceutical world, roadblocks are finally being put in his way. Bass has been under investigation by the Patent Trial and Appeals Board (PTAB), a government agency, for taking advantage of the system with his patent challenges. He has also been charged by Celgene for extortion. Recently, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office refused to formally review two patents on Acorda Therapeutics Inc.
Though once admired, Kyle Bass is no longer highly regarded. With time, one can only hope he will be brought to justice.