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Monday, January 30, 2012

The Billionaires Behind The Pro-Gingrich/Pro-Romney SuperPACS

By Susan Duclos

This post highlights two billionaires, one the largest donor to the pro-Romney, "Restore Our Future" SuperPAC and the other the largest donor to the pro-Gingrich "Winning Our Future" SuperPAC.

As of August 2011 the largest individual contributor Restore Our Future, the pro-Romney SuperPAC, was New York resident, 55 year old John Paulson who according to his Forbes profile is a self made billionaire who made his fortune from hedge funds.

Via Paulson's Forbes profile:

Call it the Paulson paradox. While his flagship fund has tanked 30% so far this year, as bets on Bank of America, Citi­group and China's Sino Forest went south, his personal fortune is up 25%, year over year. Reason? The gold-denominated versions of his firm's funds, where he is said to have most of his personal stash, have gained steadily. Last year his take-home pay was $4.9 billion, a record for the hedge fund industry. He is donating $15 million to a new maternity hospital in Guayaquil, Ecuador, where his father was born. Paulson became a billionaire in 2007 shorting subprime securities and earning a $3.5 billion payout. He got his start at Odyssey Partners, a private equity and hedge fund and later became managing director of M&A at Bear Stearns. He founded Paulson & Co in 1994.

Forbes lists three key connections to Paulson, George Soros, James Simons and Steve Cohen. Listed under companies is JP Morgan Chase & Co. , Citi and AIG Group.

In July of 2011, The Politico reported that Paulson became "famous for enriching himself by betting on the collapse of the housing industry." According to Wall Street Journal, Paulson personally made between $3 and $4 billion, “the largest one-year payday in Wall Street history.”
More on the Paulson, Soros connection in the WSJ link above.

The largest individual contributors to Winning Our Future, the pro-Gingrich SuperPAC, was Las Vegas, NV. resident, 78 year old Sheldon Adelson who according to his Forbes profile is a self made billionaire who made his fortune from casinos. His wife Miriam also donated $5 million to the Winning Our Future SuperPAC.

Via Adelson's Forbes profile:

Casino king Sheldon Adelson continues to enjoy a hot hand. His fortune is up $7 billion since last year, as his strong position in the casino-crazy Asian markets has pushed stock of Las Vegas Sands up roughly 50% to a recent $48. (Shares once traded as low as $1.50 in 2009.) Nearly 90% of its operating profit comes from Asia; the thriving Marina Bay Sands casino opened in Singapore last year. Through his majority-owned subsidiary Sands China, Adelson has 3 resorts in Macau. His goal is to push company shares back over $100, near their 2007 peak. Not that he'll spend the money on himself: "The richer I get, the more money goes to cancer research." The cabdriver's son created the computer industry's marquee event, Comdex, in the mid-1980s. He sold it to Japan's Softbank for $862 million 1995 and later built the $1.5 billion Venetian Resort Hotel Casino and the 1.2-million-square-foot Sands Convention Center in 1997 in Las Vegas. He opened the $1.9 billion Palazzo resort in 2008.

Forbes lists three key connections to Paulson, Kunio Busujima & Family, Phillip Ruffin and James Packer. Listed under companies is Las Vegas Sands , MGM Mirage and Wynn Resorts.