Bad bets on the U.S. subprime mortgage market, as shown countless times in the past few months, can be deadly—or at least markedly unpleasant—for hedge funds. Good bets? They can be unspeakably lucrative.
And no one, it seems, bets as well as John Paulson and his Paulson & Co.: The $4.5 billion Paulson Credit Opportunities Fund, set up last year for the express purpose of betting against subprime, is reportedly up a remarkable 410% year-to-date, after an August surge of 26.67%. A second fund, the $2.3 billion Credit Opportunities II, soared 32% last month and is up 229.67% year-to-date.
The dramatic positive performance has more than doubled the firm’s assets under management to $20 billion.
Paulson’s event-driven fund, which primarily invests in distressed debt, is up 68.52% year-to-date after adding 5.21% in August. Paulson’s Midas touch extends even to his non-credit offerings: His flagship merger arbitrage is up 43% in 2007, though it was essentially flat (comparatively) last month, rising just 0.56%.
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