Wall Street’s wunderkind over the last few years, famed billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson, just seems to keep running into bad luck (or maybe it’s just the results of bad decisions) and disgruntled investors seem to just keep telling the New York Times about it. This report in DealBook provides some of the details:
Tired of incessant leaks to the media about its poor performance, Paulson & Company, the hedge fund started by the billionaire John A. Paulson, decided a few weeks ago to amend its reporting policies to make it harder to obtain performance data.
But the changes failed to obscure this painful fact: one of his largest funds is down 47 percent through September, a loss that would require returns of almost 100 percent to surmount, according to investors in the fund. The nonleveraged version of the same fund is down about 32 percent, according to the investors.
Other funds that were doing fine earlier this year are now also taking a nosedive, including Mr. Paulson’s gold fund ( up 1 percent for the year after falling 16 percent last month), which placed bets on various assets linked to gold, as well as his Recovery fund (down 31 percent for the year), which placed a bet on the recovery of the United States economy. Both funds were hit with double digits losses in September after gold prices fell and stock market volatility continued.
The reporting changes included not allowing investors who don’t own a particular Paulson fund to see the performance of that fund and other similar moves to reduce how much performance data is disseminated to those who really don’t need to see it. All this comes after the big $500 billion loss on a Chinese timber company earlier in the year and an optimistic view of the U.S. banking sector that, so far, has proven to be off the mark.