A GRIPPING NARRATIVE THAT TELLS THE FULL STORY OF HOW JOHN PAULSON AND A GROUP OF GUTSY INVESTORS ANTICIPATED THE FINANCIAL MELTDOWN TO PULL OFF THE GREATEST TRADE IN FINANCIAL HISTORY
THE GREATEST TRADE EVER
The Behind-the-Scenes Story of How John Paulson Defied History Wall Street and Made Financial History
By Gregory Zuckerman
“Greg Zuckerman’s book is much, much more than a brilliant account of Paulson’s trade of the century; it also provides a highly enjoyable and lucid journey through the analytical and emotional maze that constituted the financial markets on the eve of the Great Recession. The book is compulsory reading for those looking for exceptional insights on the complex forces that interconnect Wall Street, hedge funds, and Main Street.”
—Mohamed El-Erian, CEO of Pacific Investment Management Company and bestselling author of When Markets Collide: Investment Strategies for the Age of Global Economic Change
“Gregory Zuckerman takes us to Wall Street’s heart of darkness, where mushroomed a $1 trillion subprime mortgage market that only the few, the brave, the smart dared short. The story of John Paulson and the few colorful contrarians who made outsized bets and outrageous profits on the subprime implosion is at once a great page-turner and a great illuminator of the market’s crash.”
—John Helyar, coauthor of Barbrians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco
“Greg Zuckerman was the first to tell the world about John Paulson’s sensational trade…He’s written the definitive account of a strange and wonderful subplot of the financial crisis.”
—Michael Lewis, bestselling author of Moneyball and Home Game
“I couldn’t put it down. All I can say is, WOW! What a story! Incredibly illuminating.”
—Whitney Tilson, hedge fund manager and author of More Mortage Meltdown: 6 Ways to Profit in These Bad Times
In 2006, hedge-fund manager John Paulson realized something few suspected-that the housing and mortgage markets were grossly inflated and headed for major tumbles. Paulson had spent a career as an underappreciated investor on Wall Street, however, and he didn’t know much about real estate. Nonetheless, he was convinced this was his chance to make his mark. He just had to figure out how.
Investment bankers scoffed at Paulson, and investors wouldn’t back him. Even pros skeptical of housing dismissed Paulson’s strategy and derided similar moves by a small group of renegade investors also betting heavily against risky mortgages and precarious financial companies. Initially, Paulson and the investors lost tens of millions of dollars as real estate and stocks continued to soar. Rather than back down, Paulson redoubled his bets, placing his hedge fund, much of his personal fortune, and his reputation on the line.
In the summer of 2007, markets began to implode, bringing Paulson early profits. By year’s end, Paulson had pulled off the greatest trade in financial history, earning more than $15 billion for his firm and $4 billion for himself. Paulson transformed his daring trade in 2008 and early 2009 to make billions more. Some of the underdog investors who attempted similar moves also reaped fortunes. But others met devastating failure, discovering that being early and right wasn’t nearly enough.
Written by the award-winning reporter who broke the story in The Wall Street Journal-among the paper’s most popular article of 2008 THE GREATEST TRADE EVER: The Behind-the-Scenes Story of How John Paulson Defied Wall Street and Made Financial History by Gregory Zuckerman (Broadway Business; On sale: November 3, 2009) is a fast-paced, behind-the-scenes tale of how John Paulson outwitted Richard Fuld, Stanley O’Neal and Wall Street’s titans to make financial history. Unlike the countless books on how financial markets collapsed, THE GREATEST TRADE EVER is a dramatic tale with a beginning, middle, and end. It tells the story of the housing and financial meltdowns through the lens of one of the few heroes of the debacle. It also examines why investors find it so hard to bet against bubbles, how an outsider could anticipate a collapse that mortgage, real estate, and investing experts missed, and whether there were overlooked reasons the bubble expanded. Lessons of the fast-paced adventure are relevant to the next inevitable financial mania. The book also explores Paulson’s latest huge trade: a big gutsy bet on gold.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
GREGORY ZUCKERMAN has been a reporter at The Wall Street Journal for the past twelve years. He writes the widely read “Heard on the Street” column about hedge funds and big financial trades, and he appears on CNBC twice a week. He was part of a team that won the New York Press Club Journalism Award and is a two-time winner of the Gerald Loeb Award for coverage of the credit crisis and other financial stories. Visit: www.gregoryzuckerman.com.
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THE GREATEST TRADE EVER
The Behind-the-Scenes Story of How John Paulson Defied Wall Street and Made Financial History
By Gregory Zuckerman
Published by Broadway Business, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group,
a division of Random House, Inc.
Hardcover; $26.00; 304 pages; on sale: November 3, 2009
For more information about The Greatest Trade Ever or to schedule an interview with Gregory Zuckerman, please contact Rachel Rokicki at 212-782-8455 or email: rrokicki [at] randomhouse.com
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