Dubbed the “Midas of Misery” by BusinessWeek "after he made a killing by snapping up failing companies and distressed bonds over the course of his financial career," according to the Harvard Crimson. Most recently, in 2009, Falcone started Credit Distressed Blue Line Overseas Fund, a division of his $8 billion hedge fund, Harbinger Capital Partners. The new fund's focus is distressed debt.
Falcone grew up playing hockey with his 8 siblings in Minnesota. He continued playing hockey at Harvard (where he was class of '84) and went pro in Europe until a leg injury cut his career short. He began his current career at Kidder, Peabody & Co.'s junk bond desk 1985, later spending time in the junk bond departments at Wachovia and Barclays. He bought troubled plasticsmaker AAB Manufacturing 1990 but quickly lost the entire investment. He founded Harbinger Capital in 2001 with $25 million. The firm now manages two funds totaling $28 billion. Falcone became a billionaire betting against subprime; he boasted a 125% return in 2007. Shorted Bear Stearns this year; fund up 40% so far in 2008. Falcone is reportedly superstitious: if a fund loses money one day, he wears a different watch the next. Shareholder activist leveraged 20% stake in The New York Times Co. into 2 seats on board; looking to expand newspaper's digital presence. Also invested in wireless spectrum licenses, steelmaker Cleveland-Cliffs. In 2008, he and his wife, Lisa, bought a mansion that once belonged to Robert C. Guccione, founder of Penthouse magazine, for $49 million. The Falcones have a pet potbellied pig named Pickles that has his own room in Falcone's Manhattan townhouse. He also has twin daughters named Liliana and Carolina.more » « less