(born December 14, 1955) is an American investor,hedge fund managerand philanthropist. He leadsPaulson & Co., a New York-based investment management firm he founded in 1994.He has been called one of the most prominent names in high financeand a man who made one of the biggest fortunes in Wall Street history.

His prominence and fortune were made in 2007 when he earned almost $4 billion personally and was transformed from an obscure money manager into a financial legend5by usingcredit default swapsto effectively bet against theU.S. subprime mortgage lending market. In 2010, Paulson earned $4.9 billion.6TheForbesreal-time tracker estimated his net worth at $7.8 billion as of December 2017.7

Paulson was born in 1955 in Queens, New York, the third of four children of Alfred G. Paulson8910(November 22, 1924 – July 24, 2002) and Jacqueline (ne Boklan, born 1926).11

His father was born Alfredo Guillermo Paulsen inEcuadorto a father of halfFrenchand halfNorwegiandescent and anEcuadorianmother. Alfredo was orphaned at fifteen and at age sixteen moved toLos Angeleswith his younger brother Alberto. Alfredo enlisted in the US Army where he served and was wounded in Italy duringWorld War II. He later changed his surname from Paulsen to Paulson.911

Johns mother was the daughter ofJewishimmigrants fromLithuaniaandRomaniawho had moved toNew York City. Jacqueline met Alfredo while they both attendedUCLA. They wed and moved to New York City, where Alfred worked atArthur Andersen11and later as the CFO at public relations firmRuder Finn.1213

Realizing that his previously chosen career path in sales would not provide a steady and secure cash flow, Paulson returned to NYU in 1976 where he began to excel in business studies.11In 1978, he graduatedvaledictorianof his classsumma cum laudein finance from New York Universitys College of Business and Public Administration.14He went on toHarvard Business School, on aSidney J. WeinbergGoldman Sachsscholarship, earning anMBAas a George F. Baker Scholar (top 5 percent of his class) in 1980.14

Paulson began his career atBoston Consulting Groupin 1980 where he did research, providing advice to companies. Ambitious to work in investment on Wall Street, he left to join Odyssey Partners where he worked withLeon Levy. He moved on toBear Stearnsworking in the mergers and acquisitions department, and then to Gruss Partners LP, where he made partner.

In 1994, he founded his own hedge fund,Paulson & Co., with $2 million and one employee,15located in office space rented from Bear Stearns on the 26th floor of277 Park Avenue. The firm moved to 57th and Madison in 2001. By 2003, his fund had grown to $300 million in assets.5

Paulson became world-famous in 2007 by shorting the US housing market, as he foresaw thesubprime mortgage crisisand bet againstmortgage backed securitiesby investing incredit default swaps. Sometimes referred to as the greatest trade in history, Paulsons firm made a fortune and he earned over $4 billion personally on this trade alone.

Paulson and his company specialize in event-driven investmentsi.e. in mergers, acquisitions, spin-offs, proxy contests, etc.and he has made hundreds of such investments throughout his career. Many of the events involved merger arbitragewhich has been described as waiting until one company announces that its buying another, rushing to purchase the target companys shares, shorting the acquirers stock (unless its a cash deal), and then earn the differential between the two share prices when the merger closes.5An example of proxy event investment Paulson made was during Yahoos proxy contest in May 2008, whenCarl Icahnlaunched a proxy fight to try to replace Yahoos board.16

In 2010, he set another hedge fund record by making nearly $5 billion in a single year.1However, in 2011, he made losing investments inBank of America,1Citigroup1and the fraud-suspected China-based Canadian-listed company,Sino-Forest Corporation.1His flagship fund, Paulson Advantage Fund, fell sharply in 2011. Paulson has also become a major investor ingold.1

Paulson contributed $140,000 to political candidates and parties between 2000 and 2010, 45% of which went to Republicans, 16% to Democrats, and 36% to special interests,17including former House Speaker John Boehner.5

In 2011, Paulson donated $1 million toMitt Romneys Super PACRestore Our Future.18On April 26, 2012, Paulson hosted a fundraiser at his New York townhouse for Romneys presidential candidacy.5

Paulson received media attention after immediately backingTrumpafter he secured the GOP nomination.1920Paulson served as one of the top economic advisers toDonald Trump2016 presidentialcampaign.2122

In 2008, Paulson co-wrote aWall Street Journalop-ed piece suggesting an alternative to the Treasury Secretarys plan for stabilizing the markets. The alternative plan included recapitalizing the troubled financial institutions by spending the $700 billionTroubled Asset Relief Programfunds to buy their seniorpreferred stockrather than their worst assets.23

In 2008 while testifying beforeUS House Committee on Oversight and Government ReformPaulson was asked about the low tax rate onlong-term capital gainsandcarried interestearnings and Paulson replied I believe our tax situation is fair.5In a 2012 interview with BloombergBusinessweekmagazine he expressed displeasure over theOccupy Wall Streetmovement5noting:

We pay a lot of taxes, especially living in New Yorktheres an almost 13 percent city and state tax rate.  … Most jurisdictions would want to have successful companies like ours located there. Im sure if we wanted to go to Singapore, theyd roll out the red carpet to attract us.5

At the 2014 Puerto Rico Investment Summit inSan Juan, Paulson stated:Puerto Ricowill become theSingaporeof the Caribbean. Paulson was reportedly investing the territories municipal debt and real estate developments, and was building a home at a resort.24

Between 2009 and 2011 Paulson made several charitable donations, including $15 million to theCenter for Responsible Lending, $20 million toNew York University Stern School of Business(auditorium now named after Paulson), $5 million to theSouthampton Hospitalon Long Island, $15 million to build a childrens hospital inGuayaquilEcuador, and 2.5 million to theLondon School of Economicsfor the John A. Paulson Chair in European Political Economy.252627In October 2012, Paulson donated $100 million to theCentral Park Conservancy, the nonprofit organization that maintains New York CitysCentral Park. At the time of the donation, the gift represented the largest monetary donation in the history of New York Citys park system.28In June 2015, Paulson donated $400 million to Harvard Universitys School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), the largest gift received in the universitys history. Following the donation, the engineering school was renamed theHarvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.2930The next month, he gifted $8.5 million to New York Citys largest charter school organization, Success Academy, to improve public education and open up middle schools in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn and in the Hells Kitchen area of Manhattan.31

In 2000, he married Jenny Zaharia, in anEpiscopalianceremony inSouthampton, New York.32Jenny was aRomanianimmigrant who came to the United States after her brother George, a track star inRomania, defected and moved toQueens.11They have two daughters, Giselle and Danielle,33and live most of the year in a 28,500-square-footUpper East Sidetownhouse on East 86th Street, obtained for $14.7 million in 2004.5He also owns a home inAspenpurchased for $24.5 million in 2010 and an estate inSouthamptonthat he bought for $41 million in 2008.2534Paulson has an older sister named Theodora Bar-El, anIsraelibiologist.35

Paulson rarely gives television interviews and told one interviewer, I avoid the media.5

, which also recounts many of the events described in Gregory Zuckermans 2009 book

The Greatest Trade Ever: The Behind-the-Scenes Story of How John Paulson Defied Wall Street and Made Financial History

Forbes: The Worlds Billionaires – John PaulsonDecember 2017

McShane, Larry.John Paulson, hedge fund heavyweight, raked in $5 billion last year, roughly $13.7 million a day.

(New York). January 29, 2011. Retrieved February 24, 2011.

DE LA MERCED, MICHAEL J. (October 23, 2012).Central Park Draws a Huge Gift From a Fan in High Finance.

John Paulsons Very Bad YearBy Sheelah Kolhatkar m 28 June 2012

Wachtel, Katya (April 4, 2011).The Top 25 Hedge Fund Earners In 2010.

El Universo: Familia de migrantes con races europeasDecember 12, 2010 (in Spanish)

New York Times: Paid Notice: Deaths PAULSON, ALFRED G.July 25, 2002

The Greatest Trade Ever: The Behind-The-Scenes Story of How John Paulson Defied Wall Street and Changed Financial Historyp.16-25

Goldiner, Dave.Queens-born John Paulson makes fortune on home foreclosures.

The Alpha Masters: Unlocking the Genius of the Worlds Top Hedge Funds

The Greatest Trade Ever: The Behind-the-Scenes Story of How John Paulson Defied Wall Street and Made Financial History

.New YorkCrown Publishing Group. pp.323.ISBN

Checkler, Joseph.Paulson Hedge Fund to Back Icahn.

Campaign Contribution Search: John Paulson. Federal Election Commission data via

Paulsons Bet on Trump Yields Power and Profit.

Levin, Bess.Hedge-Fund Manager John Paulson Got Trump Elected, and Now Hes Got a Favor to Ask.

Tankersley, Jim (5 August 2016).Donald Trumps new team of billionaire advisers could threaten his populist message. Washington Post

Byrne, Brendan.Trump Names Economic Team, Includes John Paulson, No Carl Icahn.

Paulson, John.The Public Deserves a Better Deal.

Burton, Katherine (Apr 25, 2014).Paulson as Cheerleader for Puerto Rico Sees Rich Influx. Bloomberg

Kerpen, Phil.SEC Probe Shouldnt Stop With Goldman Sachs. Fox News. April 20, 2010.

Hedge Fund Founder John A. Paulson Gives $20 Million to NYU Stern. New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business. November 12, 2009.

Kroll, Luisa.John Paulson Pledges $15 Million In Ecuador.

A $100 Million Thank-You for a Lifetimes Central Park Memories

Lewin, T. John Paulson Gives $400 Million to Harvard for Engineering School, New York Times, June 3, 2015

Gara, Antoine (30 July 2015).Hedge Fund Billionaire John Paulson Gives $8.5 Million To Open New Success Academy Schools.

The Greatest Trade Ever: The Behind-The-Scenes Story of How John Paulson Defied Wall Street and Changed Financial History

Cunningham, Bill (December 14, 2008).EVENING HOURS; Family Fetes.

Jenny Paulson, wealthiest Romanian woman in the world. Her wealth stands at 7 billion dollars.

. November 22, 2011. Retrieved 12 December 2014.

Interview: Excellent timing: Face to Face with John Paulson, (Pensions & Investments)

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This page was last edited on 24 March 2019, at 14:41

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