For the most part, 2013 was not kind to Steve Cohen. The Feds put his balls in a jar and put that jar on Preet Bharara’s desk. One of his ex-employees went to trial for (and was later found guilty of) masterminding the “most lucrative insider trading scheme ever.” Other former traders helped bring the number of SAC alums indicted on securities fraud charges to nine. His genius idea to give out free hot dogs on the front lawn of SAC HQ failed to prevent a number of departures. He lost his biggest fan. For a lot of hedge fund managers, all of this would add up to moping around the office and turning in less than stellar work. For Steve Cohen, it meant turning up the Styx and getting down to business. Read more »
Make no mistake: John Paulson still loves Puerto Rico. And even if he can’t abandon the city of his birth for fun-in-the-sun money management on his beach 25 miles east of the island’s capital, he can certainly make money off the lucky (not so lucky?) ones who do, the posh pioneers who will either turn deeply indebted Puerto Rico into a major world financial center or introduce the death penalty for stealing bread. To which end he will continue to buy beaches, and build upon them residences of such luxury as to make the island’s current chic districts look like the hovels and shantytowns that they are. Read more »
… [John Paulson] is wading into a local housing controversy and arguing that a large-scale home proposed for a small-scale historic neighborhood on Hill Street in Southampton poses a “threat to our character” and the “peace and tranquility that makes our village what it is.” Mr. Paulson is one of some 85 area homeowners who penned letters to a local village review board. They object variously to the size, scale, scope and “visual incompatibility” of a speculative home planned on a vacant lot in an area where nearly a dozen nearby residences are more than a century old and roughly half or a third the size. The letter writers—socialites, financiers, artists, developers and the scions of a president and a governor—are opposing current plans for the 5,531-square-foot, single-family home on a 1.2-acre parcel being developed by Joe Farrell, a Hamptons builder whom critics have dubbed the “King of McMansions.” [WSJ via BI, related]
John Paulson sat at his desk, staring at the office supplies that were all but making a mockery of him. The gold pens. The gold paper clips. The gold-plated keyboard, identical to the ones that he’d decreed everyone in the office have, too. He’d ordered them last year, along with the gold staplers, gold tape dispensers, gold paper weights. As his analysts were begging him to dump his holdings, he was directing his secretaries to get rid of everything in the office that didn’t reflect his position–nay, his feelings– for the precious metal that wasn’t nailed down to the floor. And how had gold repaid him? How had it treated his fund? By losing something like 10,000% and spitting in his face. And yet he still would not budge. Not when gold lost him hundreds of millions. Not when his friends, people who really cared about him, took him aside and said, “I’m telling you this as a friend: she’s out there making a fool of you.”
But now, as he stared at the keyboard, all he could think was how much he hated gold. He had a right mind to kick her to the curb, and that’s exactly what he was going to do. Paulson shot up out of his chair and raised his arm to sweep the keyboard, the pens, and the paper-clips into his, yes, gold-plated waste paper basket, with one cleansing motion, when a trusted adviser came bounding through the door.
“P!” he shouted. “You’re not going to believe this.” Read more »
When John Paulson & Co. bought up a bunch of Time Warner Cable shares last year, he hoped and prayed that Hank Hooper & Co. were thinking the same thing he was. They were, and now he’s $200 million-plus to the good. Read more »