Entries in John Paulson (2)


Hedge Fund Manager to Occupy Wall Street: Don't Vilify Businesses

EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson, whose home was on the visiting list for Occupy Wall Street's "Millionaires March" Tuesday afternoon, said that "instead of vilifying our most successful businesses, we should be supporting them and encouraging them to remain in New York City."

Protesters took to New York City's Upper East Side Tuesday and marched past the homes of several of the city's richest residents, including News Corp. owner Rupert Murdoch, real estate developer Howard Milstein, and JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dixon.

According to the Wall Street Journal, demonstrators skipped Paulson's home because it was too far from the chosen route.

But Paulson, nevertheless, addressed the issue Tuesday through a written statement by his hedge fund, Paulson & Co.

"The top 1 percent of New Yorkers pay over 40 percent of all income taxes, providing huge benefits to everyone in our city and state," said the written statement.  "Paulson and Co. and its employees have paid hundreds of millions of dollars in New York City and New York state taxes in recent years and have created over 100 high paying jobs in New York City since its formation."

It continued, "New York currently has the highest income taxes of any state in the country and thousands of businesses have fled New York to states with no income taxes such as Florida, Texas and Nevada, or moved offshore."

According to an Occupy Wall Street spokesman, about 2,000 protesters took part in the march, which started close to 1 p.m. and made its way up Park Avenue.

The demonstration called for an extension of the state's so-called "millionaires tax," the highest income-tax rate on taxpayers with incomes of more than $500,000.  The tax is set to expire in December.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Hedge Fund Manager Takes Home Record $5 Billion in Profits 

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A huge Wall Street payday is raising questions as to whether the nation's top earners should benefit from tax breaks while so many unemployed Americans continue to struggle. Hedge fund manager John Paulson made more than $5 billion in personal profits last year, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday. The jaw-dropping figure works out to roughly $159 rolling in every single second.

Industry experts say it could be the largest yearly haul ever for a financial trader, but the stunning income is hardly new for Paulson. He set the previous record of $4 billion in earnings in 2007 by betting against the risky mortgages that brought down the housing market.

Giant paydays may be back for Wall Street's top earners, but across the country the jobs aren't. The newest income record comes as the nation's unemployment remains stuck at more than nine percent. On top of that, a good portion of Paulson's profits are considered long-term capital gains, income that is taxed by the federal government at a rate of 15 percent. Meanwhile, most Americans pay an income tax rate up to 35 percent. The seeming disparity has some lawmakers angrily asking the question, why are hedge fund managers benefitting from tax breaks that the average American family does not receive?

"I think it's outrageous," said Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich. "He should pay like everybody else does, ordinary income taxes. He's simply managing other peoples' money, not his own."

Levin argued that closing the loophole could bring in $25 billion in taxes over the next decade alone, but the lawmakers will have a tough time changing regulations with a White House focused on strengthening ties to the business community. The Obama administration has sought a fresh start with big business, reaching out to Wall Street and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

"The government has tried repeatedly to tax these guys more, and they tend to back away because of lobbying, so I expect they'll continue to make these astronomical sums," said Sebastian Mallaby, the author of More Money Than God.

There are signs that the Obama administration is at least aware of the outrage. On Friday, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke acknowledged to ABC News that Paulson's hedge fund payday is enormous.

"It's really part of the bizarre tax code that we have," Locke said.

Paulson has defended the smaller taxes for elite top earners. At the height of the recession in November 2008, he spoke before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

"We certainly appreciate your concern for fairness in tax code, but I will say I believe our tax situation is fair," Paulson said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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