Hedge fund genius out-earns J.K. Rowling, Oprah and Tiger combined


The Paulson who's been most in the news over the last few years has been former Treasury Secretary Hank. But the Paulson who has made the most money during that time is a fellow you've probably never heard of -- another Harvard Business School graduate in the hedge fund industry -- John. Through his Paulson & Co., John Paulson pulled in a $4 billion pay check in 2007 -- that's more than J.K. Rowling, Oprah Winfrey and Tiger Woods combined.

How did he pull it off? The Wall Street Journal reports that it was Paulson's share of Paulson & Co.'s $20 billion profit from betting on a drop in the subprime mortgage market. He spent $1 billion in 2006 to buy insurance on what he then saw as risky mortgage investments. This was not a surprise to everyone back then -- that December, I had suggested betting against subprime mortgage lender NovaStar Financial (NOVS), and its stock has since fallen more than 99% from $116 to $0.99.

Originally published