Michael Burry bought up millions worth of troubled regional bank stock last quarter including First Republic

Michael Burry attends the "The Big Short" New York premiere at Ziegfeld Theater on November 23, 2015 in New York City.
Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage

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

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

Scion also bought 250,000 shares in PacWest Bancorp, whose stock has slumped almost 79% this year amid the 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 being featured in The Big Short movie and played by Christian Bale. He developed a large social media following for his predictions of looming risks. In January he forecast another inflation spike and said the US was already in a recession. 

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