In a fun little exercise today, the Wall Street Journal got in touch with a few of the people who John Paulson correctly bet couldn't pay their mortgages, which resulted in him making $1 billion, and them having their homes foreclosed on. If you assumed that some of them wouldn't be in the mood to offer kudos to Paulson and his team for coming up with such a sweet trade and killing it for their clients, betting on their demise, you assumed wrong! Jack Booket gives it up for JP this morning.
Mr. Booket, a 44-year-old heating and air-conditioning repairman, owed $300,000 on his three-bedroom home in Aberdeen Township. His house was one of thousands that wound up in a pool of mortgages that were referenced in the so-called collateralized debt obligation, or CDO, which Goldman created for Mr. Paulson. The hedge-fund manager invested heavily in a form of insurance that could yield huge gains if the borrowers grew unable to pay. In 2006, Mr. Booket got hit by a car while riding a motorcycle from a late-night party, was unable to find much work and couldn't pay the bank. In October 2008, he lost the house to foreclosure and plans to move out by next week. He says he bears no grudge against Mr. Paulson and Goldman. "The man came up with a scheme to get rich, and he did it," says Mr. Booket, who had refinanced his mortgage just months before the accident. "So more power to him."
Aw, that's pretty nice, especially considering that there are at least a handful of people who haven't been kicked out of their homes trying to demonize JP for all this. And, just putting it out there to JP, do you what you want with it-- a show of gratitude to Booket for the good press in the form of waving the minimum to get in on the action at P&Co probably wouldn't be turned down at this time.