John Paulson

Hedge fund manager John Paulson, known for huge gains followed by heavy losses in some of his funds, extended his portfolios’ winning streak in September, leaving all of them with double-digit gains for the year, a person familiar with the numbers said on Monday…Paulson told investors that his Recovery Fund gained 4.2 percent in September and is up 37.8 percent for the year, while the Paulson Enhanced fund gained 3.1 percent and is up 25.6 percent for the year, the source said. Even his Advantage Funds, the firm’s biggest before suffering heavy losses in 2011 and 2012, were up: The Advantage Fund gained 0.9 percent to be up 11 percent for the year, while the Advantage Plus Fund gained 1.2 percent and is up 15.8 percent. [Reuters]

He still loves the stuff. He just doesn’t need to hedge it quite so much anymore, because really, how much lower can it go? Read more »

A couple of ASU grads come up with a golden idea worth celebrating. It’s called 24 Karat Wines, a sparkling wine laced with gold. We were there for the big launch. “Tonight people are going to see what me and my partner Keagan love,” says Nicholas Cower, CEO of 24 Karat Wines. What they love is this sparkling wine created by the pair. “We looked at why do people go out and drink champagne, why do people go out and they buy these bottles of champagne. It’s the celebration it’s the fun it’s the excitement.” “This is the first product of its kind. American-made, we’re home grown Arizona boys.” And these Arizona boys see gold in their wine, literally. 24 Karat is made with flecks of gold, shimmering in each glass. “It’s the first, the first California sparkling wine with real 24 karat gold in it.” 24 Karat Wine is available in Tempe only. It’s a start off point for what they hope will become a huge phenomenon. [Fox10, Related re: John Paulson's documented love of all things gold]

  • 24 Jul 2013 at 10:53 AM

Fab Tourre’s CDO Deal Wasn’t Complicated Enough

If you wanted to short the housing market in 2007 you could just buy protection on mortgage-backed securities via a synthetic CDO, and that’s what John Paulson did in the Abacus deal, for which Goldman Sachs and Fab Tourre got in trouble. But the problem with that is that buying protection costs money; just for instance the super-senior protection in Abacus would run you about 50bps, or around $4.5 million a year on the $909mm notional that ACA Capital wrapped.1 And who wants to throw away millions of dollars a year waiting for the housing market to crash?

So another way to short the market is to buy a lot of protection on senior tranches of CDOs (cheap because: what are the odds that the housing market will crash?) while also selling a little protection on junior tranches (expensive because the odds that there’ll be some defaults are higher). If you do this, you can have a positive carry (you get paid as more each year on the protection you sold than you pay on the protection you bought), but you can make just about as much money if the housing market craters and there are massive defaults. (The tradeoff is that if performance is mediocre, with some defaults, then you lose money on the junior protection you sold and don’t make it back on the senior protection you bought.)

This second trade is a very stylized description of what Magnetar did,2 in another CDO deal for which JPMorgan got in a bit of trouble. Less than Goldman, though! Read more »

Over drinks!

In testimony Wednesday, Paolo Pellegrini, the former Paulson & Co managing director, said he made clear to ACA Capital Holdings Inc that Paulson wanted to bet against the deal.

“As I told all collateral selection agents, we were interested in shorting a CDO, shorting subprime securities in a CDO,” said Pellegrini, one of the architects of hedge fund manager John Paulson’s bet against subprime mortgages in 2006 and 2007. …

Pellegrini, one of two people who worked on Paulson’s strategy to take the stand so far, testified Wednesday he believed he told the principal employee at ACA working on Abacus, Laura Schwartz, about Paulson’s strategy over drinks during a “shindig” for people in the CDO industry.

“I think there was some discussion of the portfolio and what we were trying to accomplish by shorting the market,” he said.

That’ll liven up the murderous boredom of the Fabrice Tourre trial! Read more »

Why do people (investors, media, random passersby on the street, this lady) like to harp on all the money John Paulson has lost in the past couple years, despite the fact that they could be talking about his new hot-ish streak? Why can’t he get a little credit for all of his great investment ideas, instead of relentless bitching and negativity about the ones that haven’t yet panned out? It’s something the hedge fund manager has thought a lot about lately and while “I’m surrounded by fucking assholes” seems like it could account for some people’s behavior, he’s finally come up with what seems like a pretty good general explanation: it’s those damn gold funds. Sure, they’ll make money one day but first they’ve got to lose a lot and reading that “have lost forty seven percent for the year” distracts people from “up 3.4 percent!” So, there’ll be no more of that. Read more »

Billionaire John Paulson, the hedge- fund manager seeking to reverse two years of losses in some of his strategies, lost 27 percent in his Gold Fund last month after the precious metal and related securities plummeted, according to two people familiar with the matter. The loss brings the strategy’s decline to about 47 percent this year, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. The fund is made up primarily of Paulson’s own money, one of the people said. The strategy has about $500 million, down from about $700 million at the end of March. [Bloomberg]