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August Was Brutal for Ackman, Cooperman and Loeb

August was tough on investors, and even some of Wall Street’s best and brightest got hammered.

Rocked by China’s instability, interest rate uncertainty and still-declining oil prices, the markets got ugly in August. And by the last week of the month, we appeared to enter correction territory.

All said and done, the S&P 500 fell 6.3% in August, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average saw its worst drop in five years. September may not be much better.

The hedge fund realm hasn’t been immune to the market’s volatility. The HFRX Global Hedge Fund Index dipped 2.2%. Some did better -- and others did worse. Billionaire hedge fund managers Bill Ackman, Leon Cooperman and Dan Loeb were all hit hard.

August Wipes Out 2015 Gains for Ackman

Through the end of July, Ackman’s Pershing Square had returned 10.1% net of fees. But in August, the fund plunged 9.2%, erasing all of his year-to-date gains. According to the website of the firm’s publicly-traded vehicle, Pershing Square is now down 0.1% in 2015 and 3.2% for the quarter.

Ackman acknowledged the scenario in an August investor update.

“There has been significant volatility in the investment markets over the past few weeks, largely driven by the decline of the Chinese stock markets, and the fear that slowing growth in China will have repercussions for businesses and around the world,” he wrote. “At the date of this report, the year to date investment performance has been...