NY Times: Paulson Tells His Investors: ‘We Made a Mistake’

Thursday, 13 Oct 2011 12:00 AM

By Dan Weil

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Investors in the hedge funds of legendary money manager John Paulson have been taking it on the chin this year. And Paulson let them know in a conference call that he feels their pain. “We made a mistake,” he said, according to The New York Times.

Advantage Plus, one of Paulson’s flagship funds has dropped 32 percent so far this year, and a leveraged version of the fund is down 47 percent.

Paulson admits his bet on buoyant U.S. economic growth hasn’t come to fruition. His holdings of Citigroup and Bank of America shares haven’t helped.

But Paulson hasn’t abandoned hope. The U.S. economy is “chugging along,” he said, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Still, Paulson is reducing the Advantage Plus fund’s leverage and cutting the firm’s exposure to U.S. stocks.

There has been talk that investors could begin to flee his funds en masse. But Paulson explained that employees account for about 50 percent of the $30 billion managed by the firm. If all eligible investors took out their money, that would only total $6 billion to $7.5 billion, he said.

Meanwhile Paulson had a rebuttal to the Occupy Wall Street protestors who have recently criticized him. Paulson’s employees have paid "hundreds of millions of dollars" in taxes in recent years and created more than 100 high-paying jobs, he said in a statement, The Journal reports.

"Instead of vilifying our most successful businesses, we should be supporting them.”

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