John Paulson

Romney will start his tour with a breakfast at Cipriani 42nd Street at $2,500 per head. Among the 80 co-hosts on the bill are Romney’s richest donor, hedge fund billionaire John Paulson, former Goldman Sachs chairman John Whitehead, Forstmann Little chairman Julian Robertson…Then, J.P. Morgan Chase vice chairman Jimmy Lee is hosting a luncheon at the Waldorf-Astoria. But the bank’s rep tells us J.P. Morgan Chase chairman and former Obama ally Jamie Dimon will not be attending. Later in the evening, Steve Schwarzman, founder of Blackstone, the world’s largest private equity firm, is hosting a more intimate event at his Park Avenue home with CEO Tom Hill, Third Point founder Dan Loeb, former Chris Christie backer and hedge fund honcho Paul Singer and former SEC chairman Richard Breeden. [NYP]

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 »

John Paulson Is Sorry

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]

Those Losses Are Harder On John Paulson Than They Are On You

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]

What do top financial services employees think of the month-long protests headquartered in Zucotti Park, which took over Times Square over the weekend? So far the most vocal people have expressed support for the movement, like Jim Chanos, who said, “New York is so finance-centric that people here underappreciate the reaction of the rest of the country” and that OWS shouldn’t be underestimated; Larry Fink, who told reporters, “I believe we should not turn our backs on these protests…Maybe we will get some balance”; Jamie Dimon, who told those listening to the JPM conference on Thursday, “I do vaguely remember the First Amendment that it is legal to demonstrate and it is completely fine. You should listen and not just have a knee-jerk reaction”; and Vikram Pandit, who in addition to saying that “trust has been broken between financial institutions and the citizens of the US,” told protesters he’d love to chat over the phone. With the exception of John Paulson, however, who last week issued a statement telling protesters to 1) beat it and 2) thank their lucky stars that as the founder of a ‘most successful business‘, he chose to set up shop in New York, most financiers with less then charitable feelings have kept their feelings to themselves, fearing retribution from the anti-Wall Street group. Until now. Read more »

John Paulson: Mistakes Were Made

Mr. Paulson, the money manager who made billions during the financial downturn betting against the subprime mortgage market, admitted in his quarterly conference call that he had made a bad bet on a recovery in the domestic economy, the linchpin of the firm’s investment thesis this year. Now, Mr. Paulson is moving to cut leverage in one troubled portfolio, the Advantage Plus fund, which is down 47 percent this year. He also plans to reduce the firm’s exposure to the stock market more broadly, according to several people who listened to the roughly hourlong call. [Dealbook]

As you may have heard, after occupying downtown Manhattan for the last 25 days, those protesting Wall Street (etc) announced that they’d be making a trip up North, with stops at the Upper East Side homes of, among others, Jamie Dimon and John Paulson. Before they made an appearance at the Paulson and Co founder’s house, JP issued the following statement/suggestion:

“The top 1% of New Yorkers pay over 40% of all income taxes, providing huge benefits to everyone in our city and state. Paulson & Co. and its employees have paid hundreds of millions of dollars in New York City and New York State taxes in recent years and have created over 100 high paying jobs in New York City since its formation. New York currently has the highest income taxes of any state in the country and thousands of businesses have fled New York to states with no income taxes such as Florida, Texas and Nevada, or moved offshore.

Instead of vilifying our most successful businesses, we should be supporting them and encouraging them to remain in New York City and continue to grow.”

Apparently organizers of the march were not swayed and after choosing not to take the advice, made their planned stop at Paulson’s townhouse, where they left him a (slightly mixed) message of their own. Read more »