Jim Chanos, the hedge fund manager known for betting against companies, said he would back Vice President Joe Biden, who is considering seeking the Democratic nomination for president.
“If the vice president is going to run, I would raise money for him and I would give to him personally,” Chanos, 57, said in a telephone interview on Tuesday. “I’ve had no indication from him about what he’s going to do. I haven’t spoken to him.”
While Biden’s aides say he hasn’t made a decision, the accelerated pace of his deliberations over the course of the last two weeks is being read as a signal by his supporters that he is edging closer to a run. People close to Biden point to Oct. 1 as a likely deadline for him to articulate his plans, one way or the other.
Biden met with Senator Elizabeth Warren on Saturday, raising the possibility of a Biden-Warren ticket for 2016. While Hillary Clinton remains the front-runner, with support from key donors and organizers locked down, concerns mount about how she’s handled questions about her use of a private e-mail server. Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, has challenged the size and political clout of big U.S. banks.
Chanos, president and founder of New York-based Kynikos Associates, predicted the collapse of Enron Corp. in 2001. He has written his biggest checks to groups that support a broad range of Democratic candidates, such as his $100,000 donation in 2012 to House Majority PAC, a political-action committee backing Democrats in the House of Representatives, according to a tally of his donations by the Center for Responsive Politics.
The data show contributions to Barack Obama’s and John Kerry’s past Democratic presidential campaigns, but not to those of either Clinton or her husband, Bill.
Clinton has received donations from some of the biggest names in the hedge fund industry, including billionaire Paul Tudor Jones, even as she criticizes their tax rates.
A super political-action committee supporting Republican contender Jeb Bush has attracted funds from hedge fund managers including Louis M. Bacon and Julian Robertson, while a super-PAC backing Chris Christie has won funds from Steven A. Cohen. Robert Mercer, who co-runs Renaissance Technologies, gave $11 million to Ted Cruz’s super-PAC.