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Paulson losses grow as Europe bet hurts

July 10, 2012

An already very bad year is looking even worse for hedge fund industry titan John Paulson after a bet against Europe lost many of his funds more money last month.

For the year, one of Paulson's biggest portfolios, the Advantage Plus fund, is off 18 percent. His gold fund is down 23 percent and June's declines took a bite out of the gains in some of his other funds, according to two investors familiar with the numbers but unable to discuss them publicly.

The numbers put Paulson among the $2 trillion hedge fund industry's worst performers, a dubious distinction he first earned last year when the Advantage Plus fund lost more than half its value.

Paulson, who earned $15 billion with his bet against the overheated housing market, has been closely watched for years as thousands of wealthy investors poured billions of dollars in new money into hedge funds.

Known for making big bets and sticking with them for a long time, Paulson now looks out of step with the industry, where the average fund gained 1.7 percent during the first half.

His assets have shrunk from $38 billion in early 2011 to about $22 billion now.

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