Fairholme Capital Management’s motto is “Ignore the Crowd,” and the hedge fund is sticking close to that maxim with its roughly $200 million investment in MBIA Inc.

MBIA isn’t quite the Mecca of the stock market these days. Its share value is down 88% since its January 2007 peak; its insurer subsidiaries haven’t written new policies in more than two years; the company is engaged in numerous legal battles, both as plaintiff and defendant, against major Wall Street firms; and MBIA’s core industry — municipal bond insurance — often looks closer to extinction than revival.

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