Why Does John Paulson Hate The Safecracker?

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Considering he has apparently transformed into a mortgage backed securities bull (in selective cases) it's interesting to hear that John Paulson doesn't seem interested in using cheap government leverage and guarantees to participate in the public-private plan to pick up legacy assets, as he told the Times. Why not? We actually have no idea, given Paulson's soft spoken treatment of the subject, but it is great fun to speculate.
Perhaps the prospect of an ever-changing regulatory morass or retroactive witch-hunts turned off our hero? Or perhaps Paulson would simply prefer to cherry pick his own hit-list of prospective value plays, avoid the gamble of an auction and the spectacle of banks trying to game the system? Lots of buyer's regret potential here. Leveraged buyer's regret, actually. It is also not particularly hard to imagine that anything the banks want to sell might be less attractive than a few carefully picked distressed assets from better motivated sellers.
Is Paulson alone? We would like to find out. Dealbreaker is going to keep a running tally of who decides to opt out and in. So far:
Bridgewater: Considering it.
Citadel (according to sources): Considering it.
Paulson: No.
Let us know as you hear. Share: tips at dealbreaker dot com.
Top Hedge Fund Managers Do Well in a Down Year [The New York Times]

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He's Too Modest To Ask, But "John Paulson's Bethesda Fountain" Does Have A Nice Ring To It

As does "John Paulson's Central Park." Or simply: "Paulson Park." Or, at the very least, some kind of life-size bronze statue, possibly inspired by his most famous photo-shoot. He'd never explicitly ask for it, so let's make something happen. 1) Because he's been really quite generous and 2) This year's been tough. We all need our pick-me-ups. At a news conference at Bethesda Fountain in Central Park on Tuesday morning, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the Central Park Conservancy announced that John A. Paulson, the hedge fund billionaire, along with the Paulson Family Foundation were giving $100 million to the Central Park Conservancy. It is believed to be the largest gift ever to a public park, more than doubling the $40 million given this year to build a cycling track in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Mr. Paulson, a lifelong New Yorker, said that as an infant he was pushed around in a baby carriage in the park and that he later remembered going to Bethesda Fountain as a teenager and seeing it covered in graffiti, with no water flowing. When asked at the news conference what prompted the gift, Mr. Paulson said: “Walking through the park in different seasons, it kept coming back that in my mind Central Park is the most deserving of all of New York’s cultural institutions. And I wanted the amount to make a difference. The park is very large, and its endowment is relatively small.” The park’s current endowment stands at $144 million. Half of Mr. Paulson’s gift will go to the endowment, while the other half will be used for capital improvements. Mr. Paulson mentioned two that he considered important: Restoring the park’s North Woods, and sprucing up the Merchant’s Gate entrance at the park’s southwest corner, the most heavily used entrance. Hedge Fund Manager Donates $100 Million For Central Park [NYT]

All John Paulson Does Is Win

Starting today! Every day before it (not including 2007-2009) shall never be spoken of again! Don't even entertain the thought of uttering '2010-2012,' in his presence or otherwise! Don't say it, don't even think it! Someone run out and get some holy water because this is nothing short of a rebirth! Today is the first day of the rest of his life!