Prospective Puerto Rican John Paulson may have an unpleasant tax problem here in New York, but he’s got a bigger problem with his biggest investment. Despite his faith in and love for shiny objects, the rest of the world simply does not share his insatiable appetite for gold. Read more »
It looked like JP&Co. may have turned the corner in January. This proved illusory. Read more »
Convinced the impending Western economic collapse (or today’s end of civilization) will plunge the financial centers of North America and Europe into looting, murder and anarchy? Don’t trust the impregnability of Fort Knox or the New York Fed’s basement, let alone the places you actually keep you gold? Read more »
Paulson, the billionaire hedge-fund manager seeking to reverse record losses in 2011, posted a 13 percent decline last month in his gold fund as bullion and mining stocks fell, a person briefed on the returns said today. The loss leaves the $1.2 billion fund, which can buy derivatives and other gold- related investments, down 23 percent this year. Paulson & Co., which manages about $24 billion, posted losses during May in its Advantage funds, Recovery Fund and Partners Enhanced fund. Paulson’s Credit Opportunities Fund rose 0.9 percent last month and 5.3 percent in 2012. [Bloomberg]
In addition to being known as one of the most loved and revered businessmen- some would say- ever, a savvy investor and a lover of Cherry Coke, Buffett is known for one thing above all else– going out of his way to awkwardly marry aberrant sex fetish with folksy business wisdom. Some of his greatest hits include telling Bloomberg, on the matter of why people should want to sell their companies to BRK, “You can sell it to Berkshire, and we’ll put it in the Metropolitan Museum; it’ll have a wing all by itself; it’ll be there forever. Or you can sell it to some porn shop operator, and he’ll take the painting and he’ll make the boobs a little bigger and he’ll stick it up in the window, and some other guy will come along in a raincoat, and he’ll buy it.” Telling investors on his decision to buy NetJets, “Once you’ve flown NetJets, returning to commercial flight is like going back to holding hands.” Telling investors, of the housing crisis, “As house prices fall, a huge amount of financial folly is being exposed. You only learn who has been swimming naked when the tide goes out.” Telling CBS, on the topic of bridge: “You know, if I’m playing bridge and a naked woman walks by, I don’t even see her. Don’t test me on that!” Telling Forbes, in 1974, on stocks being undervalued: “[I feel] like an oversexed guy in a whorehouse.” [Forbes changed "whorehouse" to "harem."] Today he added another track to the album in an excerpt of his annual investor letter to be released this spring.
As part of his argument for why one shouldn’t own gold, he noted, “Beyond the staggering valuation given the existing stock of gold, current prices make today’s annual production of gold command about $160 billion. Buyers — whether jewelry and industrial users, frightened individuals, or speculators — must continually absorb this additional supply to merely maintain an equilibrium at present prices. A century from now the 400 million acres of farmland will have produced staggering amounts of corn, wheat, cotton, and other crops — and will continue to produce that valuable bounty, whatever the currency may be. Exxon Mobil will probably have delivered trillions of dollars in dividends to its owners and will also hold assets worth many more trillions (and, remember, you get 16 Exxons). The 170,000 tons of gold will be unchanged in size and still incapable of producing anything. You can fondle the cube, but it will not respond.”
Only, as any Warren Buffett scholar worth his or her salt will tell you, that clearly wasn’t the line of his choosing but rather what Fortune, where it appeared, came up with after rejecting his previous drafts, reminding Buffett that theirs is family publication. We’ve obtained the originals and, in the interest of full disclosure and because its how Warren would have wanted it, will share them now. Read more »
The ultra-rich bankers, hedge fund managers and private equity executives of New York City have long enlisted private security firms to help safeguard them and their wealth. But as the mood on Main Street turns increasingly hostile, New York’s financial titans are cranking their security measures up to 11…One executive contacted Insite requesting help planning his escape from the United States in the event the federal government was overthrown, said Howard A. Shapiro, Insite’s chief technology officer. The executive wanted to know how much gold to keep on hand and how to escape the United States by submarine in the event of a major incident. [NYT via BI, related]