John Paulson bets on housing recovery, not gold

Billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson, who amassed his fortune betting against subprime mortgages as the housing bubble burst, has been scoring big gains recently by going long on mortgage insurers, CNBC reports.

The past couple of years have been tough ones for Paulson. His financial woes have been well documented of late, as the value of his personal stock holdings dropped over $300 million in just a couple days during gold's April collapse.

Just before that Paulson had long been telling investors that gold would remain an attractive safe haven and hedge against inflation.

But recently, he chose to tell them not to pay so much attention to reports of big losses on the company’s gold holdings because they represent “a small portion of assets under management.”

The businessman’s Gold Fund, the firm’s smallest strategy and comprised mostly of the billionaire’s own money, has dropped 47% this year through April.

Paulson, 57,introduced his gold thesis in April 2009, right after the Federal Reserve, the gatekeeper of the US economy, announced plans to add $1 trillion to the financial system by purchasing longer-dated Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities. Gold was trading at less than $1,000 at the time.

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