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A Star Investor in 'The Big Short' is Betting Against Canadian banks
                                          by Business Insider

Steve Eisman, the hedge-fund manager famous for betting against the US housing market ahead of the 2008 crash, is sounding the alarm on the Canadian market.

"I'm calling for a simple normalization of credit that hasn't happened in 20 years," Eisman said in an interview with the Financial Times. He didn't indicate the size of his positions or the names of the banks he was targeting.

Steve Eisman, the hedge-fund manager played by Steve Carell in "The Big Short"

Eisman, a central figure in the book "The Big Short" who was played by Steve Carell in the subsequent film, has joined a group of investors betting against the Canadian economy with expectations that banking stocks will be hit if the housing market struggles. Eisman has also said he is shorting two UK banks in anticipation that Britain falls out of the European Union without securing an exit deal.

Eisman stressed to the FT, however, that he did not consider the current situation to be as cataclysmic as that of 2008. "This is not 'The Big Short: Canada' — I'm not calling for a housing collapse," he said.

Short-sellers have targeted banks such as TD Bank and Royal Bank of Canada in recent months, with property prices now outstripping wages in Canada following years of low interest rates and lax foreign-ownership rules, the FT said.

Steve Carell playing Steve Eisman in The Big Short

Now the Canadian economy is starting to falter, with Eisman among those taking positions as a result of a recent slump in the housing sector after years of booming growth. Sales of luxury homes dropped in key markets like Vancouver and Toronto at the start of 2019, according to data from Sotheby's International Realty Canada.

Bets against Canadian banks have risen 19% this year to positions worth $12.3 billion, the FT said, citing research firm the financial-analytics firm S3 Partners.


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