Devaney, Chief Executive Officer, United Capital Markets, Inc., was a hedge-fund manager who, along with other hedge-fund managers, bought up mortgage loans which made it profitable for lenders to sell sub-prime loans and then sell them off. Hedge fund titans were more than willing to absorb the risk of these questionable home loans in exchange for huge returns on their investments.
Devaney wasn't just a big buyer of mortgage bonds — he had his own $600 million fund devoted to buying risky loans — he was one of its cheerleaders. Worse, Devaney knew the loans he was funding were bad for consumers. In early 2007, talking about option ARM mortgages, he told Money, "The consumer has to be an idiot to take on one of those loans, but it has been one of our best-performing investments."
By July 2008, Devaney was selling off his assets, including his beloved 142 foot yacht "Positive Carry" which he put on the block for a mere $23.5 million. Shortly thereafter, his 16-bedroom Aspen, Colo., property he bought in November of 2007 went on the block for $16.5 million (he later felt the panges of greed and raised the asking price to $23.5 million). He was also pained to have been forced to sell his Renoir for $13.5 million.
In an effort to defend himself against angry investors in his now bankrupt Horizon Fund (really, who would be angry?), Devaney has retained law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius to begin developing a defense strategy.
“Do I pack up everything and quit?” he said. “Do I retire? No!”
We have a few other ideas what he should do.