Paulson Apologizes For Awful '11

Nov 30 2011 | 12:22pm ET

He's got just over a month to make it up to his investors, but John Paulson isn't waiting for the new year to offer his apologies for the disaster that was and is 2011.

"We are disappointed and apologize," he wrote.

Paulson told investors in his Paulson & Co. funds, who have seen their investments lose as much as 44% through October, that he and his colleagues "have learned form the 2011 experience," which Paulson called "the worst in the firm's 17-year history."

Paulson had confidently predicted a U.S. economic recovery, even launching a fund to profit from it. Needless to say, profits were not made.

"At the beginning of the year, we positioned our portfolios with net equity exposure appropriate for growth in the U.S. and an orderly resolution of Europe's sovereign credit issues," Paulson wrote. "As the year progressed our assumptions proved overly optimistic and net equity exposure was too great."

But Paulson promised investors, who gave the firm a vote of confidence last month when few chose to flee the hedge fund, that he is "committed to returning investors to high-water marks." And he'll have to if he wants to earn any more of the incentive fees that have made him one of the highest-paid hedge fund managers in the world during a string of double- and triple-digit returns dating back to 2007.

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