John Paulson has lost a lot of money on a lot of things in his day. Pharmaceuticals. Fake trees. Pharmaceuticals again. Printers. Pharmaceuticals once more. But no money-losing proposition has so infuriated him as that shiny object from which he cannot remove his starry eyes: gold. J.P.’s been in love with the stuff for almost seven years, and it’s just been one kick in the balls after another, which sucks, because even though it might be a soft metal, it’s also a fucking heavy one. Sure, there have been fleeting moments of requitement, but otherwise it’s been just crotch shot after crotch shot.
The failure of gold to make his circa 2007 subprime mortgage bets look like finding a scuffed-up nickel on the streets has always puzzled Paulson. It just didn’t make sense. I mean, straight off the bat he could rule out an error in his own analysis; I mean, when’s he ever been wrong? So for the better part of four years, ever since he stopped buying as much of the shiny stuff as he could, Paulson’s been trying to figure out who’s to blame for his mess. That search has at last borne fruit: It’s the lazy, greedy sons-of-bitches pulling the stuff out of the ground. And now they will have to pay.
“The days of CEOs getting rich while shareholders lose has got to end,” Paulson said Tuesday in an emailed statement ahead of a presentation by Paulson & Co. at the Denver Gold Forum. “Management must be accountable.”
Paulson & Co partner Marcelo Kim launched the blistering attack on the sector, saying the hedge fund was looking for fellow founding members for a body to speak out on issues including high executive pay, cozy board appointments and value-destroying mergers and acquisitions.
“If we don’t do anything to change, then as investors we will continually be disappointed with shareholder returns and the industry will slowly dig itself into a hole of irrelevance and oblivion,” Kim told a packed room of delegates.