John Paulson: Goldman Scandal's Real Ringmaster?

As Tuesday's hearings in Washington regarding Goldman Sachs droned on, it remained unclear who was at the bottom of the Wall Street firm's supposed skulduggery. On April 16, the SEC brought a lawsuit against Goldman Sachs alleging securities fraud for what amounted to the firm betting against the very securities it was selling to its investors, egregiously misleading them along the way.

The suit is formally against Goldman -- with its young banker Fabrice "Fabulous Fab" Tourre front and center. But it was John Paulson (pictured at left), the very smart manager and namesake of hedge fund Paulson & Co., who created the concept of the sophisticated, complex and ethically challenged "synthetic" securities that were unavailable to ordinary investors and are about to dictate historic financial reform on Wall Street and beyond.