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Staring Down Doom

Martin Fridson has earned a reputation as a hard-core pessimist for the gloomy outlook of the many books and articles he’s written since resigning as chief high-yield-bond strategist at Merrill Lynch in November 2002.

Martin Fridson has earned a reputation as a hard-core pessimist for the gloomy outlook of the many books and articles he’s written since resigning as chief high-yield-bond strategist at Merrill Lynch in November 2002. So how does he feel about today’s credit squeeze, yawning bond spreads and other signs of heightened risk? Enthusiastic: He’s diving right back into the bond market as CEO and CIO of Fridson Investment Advisors, a new junk bond boutique backed by BNP Paribas Investment Partners. Fridson was recruited by Los Angeles–based investor Richard Hollander, who founded the BNP-backed company and has started four other asset management firms that together now manage more than $80 million. “When the whole market is moving up and down violently, it’s a great environment to operate in,” says Fridson, who will approach institutional and wealthy investors this month.