How Putnam Landed in This Pickle


By Faith Arner

"REALLY DEVASTATING." This "gotcha" culture and emphasis on short-term results fed a sense of paranoia, which encouraged fund managers to make big, risky bets so they could meet quarterly goals -- and also earn a big bonus.

The results were disastrous. After skyrocketing during 1999, many of Putnam's most popular funds gave back their gains and more from 2000 to 2003. The Putnam OTC Emerging Growth fund, for instance, was the darling of the tech boom, gaining 127% in 1999. But when the market tur


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