Will success spoil John Paulson?

September 30, 2010   Britt Erica Tunick

The high-profile manager goes on the defense about his size and his bullishness.

Photographs by Mike McGregor

John Paulson faces the difficulty of following one of the greatest acts ever: himself. Paulson’s famous short of the U.S. housing market made him an overnight billionaire in 2007 and turned his hedge fund firm into the third largest in the country, catapulting him into the limelight.

With his fiercely independent thinking, Paulson seemed to represent everything that was right about the hedge fund industry, and he quickly became its latest superstar. While the rest of the world refused to face facts about the housing market, and later the banking industry, Paulson was willing to stake his reputation, and his firm, on what his painstaking analysis had revealed to be the ugly truth.

No wonder everyone from investors to competitors, regulators and even Congress, began watching him for clues about the future. These days, Paulson’s every move is dissected, mimicked and in some cases monitored...


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