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Trader 'to start hedge fund' following credit crunch cash-in

Ex-Goldman Sachs trader Josh Birnbaum is to head up a new hedge fund worth $1 billion, Bloomberg reports.

The 35-year-old, who enjoyed a strong 2007 thanks to betting against the sub-prime sector prior to its collapse and the ensuing credit crunch, is to use the fund to specialise in mortgage assets.

Two anonymous sources close to the trader - whose take-home pay approached $15 million last year - confirmed his plans to the news agency.

Asset manager adviser Geoff Bobroff commented: "Some people believe, and probably rightfully so, that there's a lot of opportunity in all these distressed products out there.

"The question is really, 'What's [Mr Birnbaum's] encore?'''…the question is whether he's capable of identifying what's the next sub-prime.''

Around 70 new hedge funds have been created over the past year, in order to buy up mortgages made much cheaper by the collapse in US house prices.

Mr Birnbaum declined to comment on the proposed fund.