Ted Frank’s Bet On Wal-Mart Didn’t Pay Out

June 20th, 2011

I previously blogged about Ted Frank’s strategic bet on the stock price of Wal-Mart. Anticipating a reversal–the actual outcome of the case–Ted made a massive bet (about 10% of his net asserts) that the stock would bounce. What happened? Fail.

WSJ Law Blog has the story:

No, unfortunately for the lawyer he was in court all morning, challenging the $3.4 billion settlement reached in 2009 in the high-profile Indian trust litigation, which claims the federal government mismanaged the revenue in American Indian trust funds. (Here’s an LB post on the settlement in that case.)

Frank told the Law Blog that by the time he got out of the Cobell settlement hearing, for a noon lunch break, he had missed the bump from the Dukes ruling.

“There were 90 people in the courtroom,” he said. “I couldn’t say, ‘can we stop the proceedings, because I need to engage in a stock sale.’”

And Ted blames it on the Greeks!

The thing is Frank likely would  have lost money even if he had not been in court, because he said the overall drop in the market because of the Greek debt crisis also soured his bet.

“The Greek crisis hammered me,” he said. “If Greece had been paying its bills on time and I wasn’t in court, I might have seen a small profit.”

So how much did Ted lose?

As it stands, he said he lost “tens of thousands” on his Wal-Mart wager.  That money, he added, came out of the “gambling fund” that he compiled over a lifetime from sports bets, poker, and trips to Vegas. If he can build up that fund again, he said, he may try his hand again at betting on expected case outcomes.

I’ll be sure to buy Ted a drink next time I see him for taking a chance on timing the Supreme Court?