Bruce Berkowitz, head of the Fairholme Fund, has an unorthodox background -- which he is using as he makes a bid to move General Growth Properties out of bankruptcy. He "has built up enough goodwill to earn a long leash," according to Patrick Ryan at Madison Asset Management. The Fairholme fund, Ryan added, "doesn't operate like a standard mutual fund" but rather has "a more hedge-fund-like strategy."

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