James Chanos, founder and president of Kynikos Associates, is best known for being a brilliant short seller. He became famous as a short seller when he predicted the fall of Enron Corp. before it filed for bankruptcy in 2001.
James Chanos started his career in 1980 as an analyst with Paine Webber, Gilford Securities and Deutsche Bank, where he focused on short selling. In 1985, he started Kynikos Associates, the world’s largest exclusive short-selling investment firm. His move at Enron originated from an assessment that their management was overstating earnings while the return on capital investment was low, which profited him considerably when Enron’s troubles became public. As of March 2016, Kynikos Associates had an AUM of $3.3 billion.
Born (1957) and raised in Milwaukee, James Chanos currently lives in New York City, and has four children. In 1980, he received his B.A. in political science and economics from Yale University. He is currently a lecturer in finance at Yale.
James Chanos’ estimated net worth is $1.5 billion. Since his divorce in 2006, James Chanos’ personal life has also landed in the New York tabloids. In 2008, he claimed that he met Ashley Dupré, the prostitute involved in the Eliot Spitzer sex scandal, at a nightclub several years earlier. He frequently invited Ashley Dupré to parties, and she worked as James Chanos’ house sitter. In 2012, Chanos’ ex-girlfriend, Julie Hayek, was reportedly penning a book about ‘the pitfalls of dating high-profile men’.