Barton Biggs, who warned of dot-com crash, dies

NEW YORK (AP) — Barton Biggs, the former chief global strategist for Morgan Stanley, who warned three years before the crash in dot-com companies that stocks were too expensive, has died, the bank said Monday. He was 79.

Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman confirmed Biggs' death in a memo to employees. A bank spokeswoman told The Associated Press that Biggs died after a short illness.

In 1997, Biggs said that stocks in most parts of the world "are currently very expensive." In January 1999, he warned that a spectacular rally in Internet stocks would "come to a very bad end."

The most widely watched measure of technology stocks, the Nasdaq composite index, peaked on March 10, 2000, before losing almost 80 percent of its value over the next two and a half years.

Biggs co-founded one of the first hedge funds, Fairfield Partners, in 1965, Gorman said. Biggs founded Morgan Stanley Investment Management in 1975 and served as its chairman until 2003. He served on Morgan Stanley's board until 1996.

Gorman said in the memo to employees that Biggs "left an indelible mark on our business, our culture and our shared notion of leadership at Morgan Stanley."

Biggs graduated from Yale University and served as an officer in the Marine Corps. He was the author of three books.