Meredith Whitney

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Meredith Ann Whitney
Meredith Whitney (2852008236).jpg
Born (1969-11-20) November 20, 1969 (age 45)
Summit, New Jersey
Nationality American
Alma mater Brown University
Occupation Chief Investment Officer
Employer Kenbelle Capital LP
Spouse(s) John Layfield (m. 2005)

Meredith Ann Whitney was born November 20, 1969[1] and grew up in New Jersey. She is the co-founder and Chief Investment Officer of Kenbelle Capital LP, a hedge fund based in New York City.

Education and career[edit]

Whitney graduated from The Madeira School in 1987 before doing a post-graduate year at The Lawrenceville School, becoming a member of its first co-ed graduating class. She graduated with honors from Brown University[2] in 1992 with a B.A. in History.[1]

Whitney joined Oppenheimer Holdings in 1993 as a Director, and in 1995 she joined the company's Specialty Finance Group. In 1998, she left Oppenheimer to become an Executive Director of Wachovia. Whitney returned to Oppenheimer in 2004, where she researched banks and brokers as a Managing Director. She resigned from Oppenheimer on February 19, 2009 to establish her own firm, Meredith Whitney Advisory Group (MWAG), where she produced company-specific equity research on financial institutions and analyzed the sector's operating environment.[3] In 2013, Whitney de-registered MWAG[4][5] and started her own hedge fund, Kenbelle Capital LP, which has contended with significant difficulties.[6]

Rise to fame[edit]

Whitney wrote a particularly pessimistic, but accurate, research report on Citigroup on October 31, 2007, to which many Wall Street analysts, and the news media, paid attention.[7][8]

Recognition[edit]

In 2007, Forbes's "The Best Analysts: Stock Pickers" listed Whitney as the second-best stock picker in the capital-market industry[9] and the New York Post named her one of the fifty most powerful women in New York City.[10]

Whitney's extremely bearish view on banks landed her on the cover of the August 18, 2008, issue of Fortune magazine. Even before the problems that befell Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers in September, she said, "It feels like I'm at the epicenter of the biggest financial crisis in history."[11] In October 2008, Whitney was ranked as one of Fortune’s “50 Most Powerful Women in Business.” In 2008, she won CNBC's "Power Player of the Year" over Jamie Dimon, Ben Bernanke, and Hank Paulson.

On December 19, 2010, in an interview on the CBS program 60 Minutes, Whitney stated that between fifty and a hundred counties, cities, and towns in the United States would have "significant" municipal bond defaults, totaling "hundreds of billions" of dollars in losses, and that this would be "something to worry about within the next 12 months".[12] Since the record amount of money lost in one year through municipal bond defaults is $8.2 billion, Ms. Whitney's comments about hundreds of billions in losses drew a great deal of attention, much of it critical.[13] As of July 2013, "[her] prediction has not materialized", save the recent bankruptcy of Detroit ($18 billion).[14]

According to Michael Lewis in Vanity Fair: "Many of the articles attacking her accused her of making a very specific forecast — as many as a hundred defaults within a year! — that failed to materialize... But that’s not at all what she had said: her words were being misrepresented so that her message might be more easily attacked. 'She was referring to the complacency of the ratings agencies and investment advisers who say there is nothing to worry about,' said a person at 60 Minutes who reviewed the transcripts of the interview for me, to make sure I had heard what I thought I had heard. She says there is something to worry about, and it will be apparent to everyone in the next 12 months.”[15]

"A tale of two Americas is emerging: one weighed down by debt and facing de minimis economic growth and another brimming with opportunity and nimble to invest in the future." This is the thesis to Whitney's book, Fate of the States: The New Geography of American Prosperity.[16] She argues that a "new map of prosperity" is emerging in the wake of the bust, with jobs moving away from the coasts and toward 17 "central corridor" states in the Midwest and Mountain West.[17]

Personal life[edit]

Whitney married retired WWE professional wrestler and Fox News & Fox Business contributor John "Bradshaw" Layfield on February 12, 2005, in Key West, Florida.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b McDonald, Duff (September 29, 2011). "The Prophet Motive". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 13, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Weddings/Celebrations; Meredith Whitney, John Layfield". New York Times. February 12, 2005. Retrieved 2005-02-13. 
  3. ^ "Prominent Oppenheimer bank analyst Whitney resigns". Reuters. February 19, 2009. 
  4. ^ Abelson, Max; Moore, Michael J. (October 10, 2013). "Meredith Whitney Winds Down Brokerage After Setting Up Fund". Bloomberg News. Retrieved January 13, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Company Overview of Meredith Whitney Advisory Group LLC". Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Retrieved January 13, 2015. 
  6. ^ Abelson, Max (January 12, 2015). "How Meredith Whitney’s American Revival Sputtered in Debut Year". Bloomberg News. Retrieved January 13, 2015. 
  7. ^ Michael Lewis. "The Rise and Rise of Analyst Meredith Whitney". 
  8. ^ Philip Goldstein (November 2, 2007). "Meredith Whitney: The $360bn analyst". The Times (London). Retrieved May 12, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Forbes.com: The Best Analysts-Stock Pickers". 
  10. ^ "JBL's wife named one of NY Post's 50 Most Powerful Women in NYC". 
  11. ^ Birger, Jon (August 4, 2008). "The Woman Who Called Wall Street's Meltdown". Fortune. Retrieved May 12, 2010. 
  12. ^ James Jacoby (producer), Steve Kroft (reporter), Meredith Whitney (interviewee) (December 19, 2010). State Budgets: Day of Reckoning. 13 minutes in. Retrieved October 22, 2012. It'll be something to worry about within the next 12 months. 
  13. ^ "Meredith Whitney Overreaching With Muni Bond Meltdown Call". 
  14. ^ Ro, Sam (July 8, 2013). "Meredith Whitney Advisory Group Struggling". Business Insider. Retrieved January 13, 2015. 
  15. ^ Lewis, Michael (November 2011). "California and Bust". Vanity Fair. Retrieved January 13, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Meredith Whitney’s 7 Best States for Business and Economic Growth". Yahoo Finance. June 5, 2013. Retrieved January 13, 2015. 
  17. ^ Mullaney, Tim (June 5, 2013). "Meredith Whitney redraws 'map of prosperity'". USA Today. Retrieved January 13, 2015. 

External links[edit]