John Paulson

“We know that about investing with John Paulson. He makes macroeconomic calls,” says Joelle Mevi, the chief investment officer of the New Mexico PERA [which piled into the fund after 2007 and has since  liquidated its holdings]. But “we started to notice a consistent underperformance of the fund, and we were noticing a bit of style drift” — investor-speak for getting into areas outside one’s expertise. And, Mevi says, “The Sino-Forest issue was notable.” “If you’re going to come in and then leave, come in and leave, I don’t think you’ll reap the benefits of investing with us,” Paulson says. “Investors that do the best, and have done the best, are those that stay and compound at above-average rates over the long term.” [Bloomberg Markets, earlier]

As you may or may not have heard, the last 18 months have not been the best of times for John Alfred Paulson. His Advantage Plus fund was down fifty percent last year, he got screwed big time by a bunch of fake trees, his proclamation that 2011′s losses were but an “aberration” has not exactly been helped by the fact that AP was down 10 percent through May 2012, Morgan Stanley’s prime brokerage put Paulson and Co. on a list of firms it warns clients not to invest with, some investors ” have expressed their growing unease,” and others have called it quits. But! JP can take solace in knowing that at least one Limited Partner, and probably more, are so not over him. Read more »

Dear Paulson Investors

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]

  • 30 Mar 2012 at 2:37 PM

When Lucky Brass Balls Fail

“Of the top 25 earners of 2010, 15 did not make this year’s list [of highest paid hedge fund managers]. Among them: Appaloosa’s David Tepper, whose Palomino fund fell 3.33 percent, and Edward Lampert of ESL Partners, which plunged 12 percent on big losses from Sears Holdings. Mr. Tepper did not respond to requests for comment. A spokesman for ESL declined to comment. Mr. Paulson — the $5 billion manager in 2010 — failed to make the list this time. One of his largest funds lost more than 50 percent, after bets on the economic recovery soured. A spokesman for Paulson declined to comment.” [Dealbook, AR, related: "Mr. Tepper keeps a brass replica of a pair of testicles in a prominent spot on his desk...He rubs the gift for luck during the trading day."]

Bloomberg has this sort of surreal article today about Deutsche Bank basically quoting a bunch of people saying “we are way way too big to fail and it is awesome.” Like:

Banking consolidation “sadly” will be “one of the many potential unintended consequences of regulation,” [co-CEO-in-waiting-whatevs Anshu] Jain said in a Bloomberg Television interview on Jan. 26. When asked about the systemic risks posed by bigger banks, Jain said that “you have the tradeoffs of too-big-to-fail on the one side and the benefits of diversification on the other.”

So on the one side, if we screw up we’ll be saved by diversification, and on the other, if we screw up really bad we’ll be saved by you. Those tradeoffs are not exactly tradeoffs for DB. Or even better:

At the end of 2010, Deutsche Bank was ranked the world’s most systemically important financial institution by Japan’s Financial Services Agency and central bank, based on estimates about the impact a failure would have on the global financial system, according to Mainichi newspaper.

“On the one hand, it made us proud, but on the other hand, of course, we’re aware of the responsibility,” [current lame duck CEO Josef] Ackermann said at an earnings press conference in February 2011 when asked about being deemed the world’s most systemically important bank.

I imagine that Japan’s Financial Services Agency was not ranking “most systemically important financial institution” with the intention of giving them a prize, but I do love that Ackermann took it that way. “Yay we were voted #1 most likely to blow up the Western financial system.” Read more »

Bonus Watch ’13: Paulson And Co.

The bad news: even if Paulson and Co. turns things around in 2012, they might not get to collect performance fees, on account of potentially still being under water due* to last year’s annus fucking horribilis. The good news: John Paulson’s employees will still get paid, because that’s just the kind of guy he is. Read more »

Remember the Paulson & Co Sino-Forest investment? Turned out to be one of the fund’s less than stellar ideas? Will get you an hour in the office hole for mentioning it? Most people  affected by the trade have so far been willing to let it slide, perhaps preferring to focus their energies on bigger beefs with JP (such as why only the Platinum Level P&C Members got a check to cover their 2012 losses), and probably also chalking it up to Paulson having an unfortunate brain freeze for the majority of last year.  Hugh F. Culverhouse, not so much. The former investor, who filed suit against the hedge fund today, senses something more nefarious at play, the basis for his reasoning being that he doubts Paulson could be that stupid. Read more »