Paulson's Citi Bet Earns $1B, Drives '10 Turnaround

Jan 25 2011 | 1:56pm ET

Paulson & Co.'s flagship hedge fund was still down by double-digits in August. It ended the year up double-digits. How? With (more than) a little help from Citigroup.

John Paulson's hedge fund had been hard-hit by his potentially premature bet on the U.S. economic recovery in the early going of 2010. But his big investment in Citi turned a $1 billion profit for the firm in the second half of the year, Paulson's most profitable bet of the year.

Paulson's Advantage Plus Fund soared 13% in December to end the year up 17%. It's Recovery Fund was perhaps the biggest beneficiary of Citi's turnaround, rising 14% last month and 24% on the year.

"We believe the U.S. economy is recovering, and we anticipate continued growth," Paulson wrote to investors.

"In addition to maneuvering our investment strategy based on where we are in the economic cycle, a large part of our success has been based on anticipating market events before they are generally recognized," he gloated.

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