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Legendary Short-Seller Jim Chanos Closes Hedge Fund

Jim Chanos, one of Wall Street’s most successful short sellers, is shutting down his hedge fund after nearly 40 years in operation.

One of Chanos’ most successful bets was an early short position in Enron, the energy trader that collapsed in 2001 amid an accounting scandal, making him a fortune.

However, Chanos also waged an unsuccessful short campaign against electric vehicle maker Tesla (TSLA) that cost him millions of dollars in losses.

Short sellers take positions against stocks, betting that the share price will decline over a specified period of time.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal newspaper, Chanos said that he plans to return most of his investors’ capital to them by Dec. 31 of this year and close his hedge fund called Chanos & Co.

Going forward, Chanos said he plans to focus on advisory and research work for a select number of clients.

Chanos & Co. was founded in 1985 at the height of a stock market boom. At its peak in 2008, the hedge fund managed about $6 billion U.S. of investor capital.

Today, the fund is managing less than $200 million U.S. and is down 4% this year versus an 18% gain in the benchmark S&P 500 index.

In the interview with the Journal, Chanos said: “The marketplace for what I do has changed… “While I am as passionate as ever about research and investing, I feel compelled to pursue these passions in a different construct.”