Marc Lasry & Sonia Gardner, Avenue Capital
Marc Lasry & Sonia Gardner, Avenue Capital
Marc Lasry and Sonia Gardner at a 100 Women in Hedge Funds event in 2011, supporting Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

The book dedicates a full chapter to the Moroccan-born brother-sister duo who founded their now-well-known hedge fund in 1995 to focus on distressed assets. But little known is the fact that the firm generated some of its best returns amid the U.S. auto industry crisis in 2008.

As pundits declared the end of car making in America, Ahuja writes, Avenue concluded that liquidating General Motors and Chrysler would crush labor unions, put a web of parts suppliers out of business, and destroy whole towns with sky-high unemployment. The firm bet the government would be forced to rescue the auto industry. Avenue bought Ford bonds between December 2008 and February 2009, when prices had drastically fallen despite the company's strong position relative to GM and Chrysler.

When the industry was bailed out, Avenue's position doubled in value, and in 2009 the firm delivered some of its best-ever annual returns.

By Katie Benner @FortuneMagazine - Last updated May 21 2012: 10:26 AM ET
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