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Hedge Fund That Blew Up The Gold Market

This is funny.

Maybe Thomas could sue him for heartburn.

Meet The Man Behind The Liquidating Hedge Fund That Blew Up The Gold Market

Mr. Shak’s positions were extended as far as December 2015, according to exchange data.

“He just had too much position on,” said a person who is familiar with his trades. “He didn’t think he was flying naked the whole way.”

A CME spokesman said he couldn’t comment on specific trades.

Mr. Shak said the trade had been profitable for him for years, but it stopped working and the exchange kept raising his margin requirements, forcing him to put up more money. Mr. Shak said that when the exchange raised it by 25% Monday, he decided to cut his losses and end the trade.

Some Wall Street banks and gold producers were on the other side of the trade, according to people close to the matter.

“It was David against Goliath,” Mr. Shak said, referring to his position in the market in relation to banks and the commodity exchange. “I just decided to get out; down 70% is better than down 100%.”

He had worked as a floor trader at Comex for years before he set up his own fund in 2002. The firm suffered losses of about 12% in 2008, before rising 20% in 2009 and 100% last year, Mr. Shak said.

Mr. Shak, who lives in Las Vegas and also owns a home in the Hamptons on New York’s Long Island, also is a competitive poker player and says he has won more than $2 million, including a $1 million win at the Aussie Millions in Melbourne, Australia, last year.

Mr. Shak said his decision to close his position wasn’t related to the faulty trade, but rather was a “lifestyle decision.”

“I just chose to close, I didn’t like my positions so I chose to liquidate, I wasn’t forced,” he said. “I was in the process of closing anyway.”

Mr. Shak said he will return to trading in a few weeks, though perhaps not manage money for others.

“This is not career ending,” he said. “I’m not stopping trading.”

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