Michael Burry buys troubled regional bank stock

Popular short-seller Michael Burry took big stakes in regional banks during the first quarter, including failed lender First Republic before it was bought by JPMorgan Chase & What.

His hedge fund, Scion Asset Management, acquired 150,000 shares, worth about $2 million at the end of the first quarter, according to regulatory filings. Shares of the struggling regional bank fell more than 97% this year before regulators seized it and sold to JPMorgan in a government-brokered deal on May 1.

Scion also bought 250,000 shares of PacWest The Bancorp, whose stock has fallen nearly 79% this year amid broader turmoil in the sector. The fund acquired 125,000 shares of Western Alliance Bancorp during the quarter. The bank’s stock is down about 48% this year.

Burry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Burry rose to fame after predicting the 2008 housing crash and was featured in the The Great Brief movie and played by Christian Bale. He has built a huge social media following for his predictions of impending dangers. In January, he predicted another rise in inflation and said the US was already in a recession.

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