When you’re hedge fund manager who not too long go scored returns of 590 percent and a personal payday of $3.5 billion in a single year, losing 50 percent while being forced to live off management fees can take a toll on the ego. You start questioning every move. You become plagued by self-doubt. You stop posing for photoshoots with your eyes closed and your collar up. You probably even remain silent during earnings calls, no matter how big your position in the company, for fear of people snickering and asking each other “Why is he still here?” or whispering “Two words: fake trees.” It’s a dark, deeply depressing time, one that you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemies. Then you return 5 percent in a single month and BOOM! It is GAME ON. John Paulson, who seems to have regained his sea legs in time for a Q&A with Hartford Financial CEO Liam McGee this morning, knows what we’re talking about.
The short version (with regard to McGee’s apparent inability to give Paulson an answer as to what, exactly, he intends to do about the company’s stock slide): “What are you going to do about it? What are you going to do about it, asshole? You’re fucking shit. Where did you learn your trade, you stupid fucking cunt, you idiot? Who ever told you that you could work with men? Oh, I’m gonna have your job, shithead.” The slightly longer version: Read more »
John Paulson, the billionaire money manager who’s vowed to restore his hedge fund to profitability after the worst year of his career, may have to take a cue from rival Ken Griffin. Paulson’s $28 billion firm, Paulson & Co., will need to generate a 104 percent return to recoup a 51 percent drop in one of his largest funds after wagers on a U.S. recovery went awry. Until he hits that mark, Paulson will have to forgo his 20 percent performance fee, and will collect only his 1.5 percent management fee. It has taken Griffin, the billionaire founder of Citadel LLC, three years to recover most of the 55 percent he lost for investors in 2008. “With Paulson’s assets, size and longer-term investing style, it’s going to be difficult for him to make money back,” said Vidak Radonjic, managing partner at Beryl Consulting Group LLC in Jersey City, New Jersey, which advises clients on investing in hedge funds. “He has large, concentrated stock positions and the market isn’t really rewarding those with holdings like that.” [Bloomberg]
When one is an investor in a hedge fund, letters from the top that include lines about being “disappointed,” “clearly wrong in our judgment,” and this year being notable for being “the worst in the firm’s history” are tough to take. Sure, they’re slightly more palatable than those that attempt to explain why the last month/quarter/year went ass-bleedingly bad by deflecting the blame with something like, “We lost it all but you can take solace in knowing it’s not us, it’s the market. The global financial markets are wrong, and we happy few at [insert firm here] are correct, in a way that has yet to reveal itself but rest assured, is coming” and/or offer a silver-lining à la,“Now hear the great news: we’ve turned every dollar you invested in the beginning of the year into 15 cents,” but whether you get a “sorry” or “sorry, we’re not sorry” letter doesn’t really much matter. In both cases, a whole bunch of your money is gone. Generally speaking. If you’re speaking of hedge fund Paulson and Co, however, such is not the case! According to the Times, the fact that the firm has suffered its worst performance since inception is actually of little matter to investors, as John Paulson has “guaranteed” he will be covering their losses, whatever they may be, come year-end. For the purposes of not getting anyone’s hopes up, it should be noted that the guarantee only applies to one investor. Everyone else, past performance yadda yadda still applies to you- better luck next year. Read more »
Hedge fund legend John Paulson apologized to investors for what he is calling a year that has been “the worst in the firm’s 17 year history.” “We are disappointed and apologize,” the Paulson Funds said in a letter to investors obtained by CNBC. Hedge fund legend John Paulson apologized to investors for what he is calling a year that has been “the worst in the firm’s 17 year history.” “For 17 years, we have been generally correct in these macro assessments. This year we were clearly wrong in our judgment regarding the potential for the negative conditions mentioned above to create a toxic mix of fear in the markets,” the report says. The hedge fund company is now “wholly focused” on returning investors to their high-water marks. The report says Paulson is confident that “many of our position will recover as fear subsides.” [NetNet]
John Paulson, the hedge-fund manager having the worst year of his career, rebounded 2.4 percent in his main fund in October and climbed in all his strategies…Paulson’s main fund, the Advantage Plus Fund, which seeks to profit from corporate events such as takeovers and bankruptcies and uses leverage to amplify returns, reduced its year-to-date loss to 44 percent. The gold share class advanced 3.3 percent last month and declined 27 percent this year. Paulson, 55, posted positive returns in all of his funds in October as stocks rallied. [Bloomberg]
On Thursday, as Paulson spoke on a panel at an industry conference, he was asked what keeps him up at night, to which he responded: “I haven’t been getting a whole lot of sleep lately,” according to a person who was there…Paulson [also] told the audience that he doesn’t like losing money. [WSJ]