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Congress Testimony 'Slowed Us': Hedge Fund Pro

Wednesday, 8 May 2013 | 2:31 PM ET
Congress Testimony 'Slowed Us Down': Hedge Fund Pro
Wednesday, 8 May 2013 | 12:12 PM ET
"Nothing stops the momentum of a hedge fund like appearing in front of Congress," says Josh Birnbaum of Tilden Park, the top-performing hedge fund in 2012, recalling his own testimony about his role in betting against the housing market during his time at Goldman Sachs.

Being called to testify before the U.S. Congress did little to help him lure clients, said Tilden Park Capital Management CIO Josh Birnbaum, whose hedge fund nonetheless managed to top the industry in 2012.

Asked whether his testimony regarding his role in then-employer Goldman Sachs's $3.7 billion windfall in betting against the subprime housing market had hurt his business, Birnbaum said, "Without a doubt."

"You go back to that period in 2010, when we were just getting our firm rolling, and nothing stops the momentum of a hedge fund like appearing in front of Congress, so there's no question that that slowed us down," he said on "Fast Money."

Birnbaum, a former managing director at Goldman Sachs who was instrumental in the investment bank's , provided testimony in Washington in June 2010.

(Watch Video: 'Golden Boy's' Big Short Bet on Housing)

Nearly two years later, "we're dealing with a very different situation where that's in people's rear-view mirror," he said. "And my role in the bank was very different than many other people's role that were actually selling the securities to clients, and that made it very easy for me to separate myself from a lot of that."

Birnbaum also spoke about the effect of the housing recovery on the financial sector.

(Read More: Housing 'A Mixed Bag' for Banks: Josh Birnbaum)

Trader disclosure: On May 8, 2013, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC's "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders: Jon Najarian is long JPM; Jon Najarian is long MSFT; Jon Najarian is long CLF; Jon Najarian is long NUE; Jon Najarian is long OC; Jon Najarian is long XLY; Jon Najarian is long UVXY;

For Colin Gillis
Investment banking (next 3 months): BGC Financial LP and/or its affiliates, expect to receive, or intend to seek, compensation for investment banking services within the next three months from all of the companies referenced within this report; Lead or Co-manager: BGC Financial LP and/or its affiliates, has not acted as lead or co-manager in a public offering of equity and/or debt securities for Microsoft within the last 12 months. BGC Financial LP and/or its affiliates has not received compensation for investment banking services in the last 12 months from Microsoft; Lead or Co-manager: BGC Financial LP and/or its affiliates, has not acted as lead or co-manager in a public offering of equity and/or debt securities for Yahoo within the last 12 months. BGC Financial LP and/or its affiliates has not received compensation for investment banking services in the last 12 months from Yahoo.


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