He Made $3 or $4 Billion in 2007–Is He Happy?

If you know anyone who is rich, they can’t hold a candle to John Paulson. This hedge fund operator made an estimated $3 to $4 billion for himself in 2007. He did it by betting against the sub-prime loan market, and he hit the jackpot. In today’s WSJ, Gregory Zuckerman writes that Paulson has a pal. A protege, an admirer, who has made about $500 million so far by copying Paulson. His name is Jeffery Greene, and he was married to a glamorous Chinese woman at his estate, called Palazzo di Amore, in a lavish ceremony.

What about this bothers me? Why is this a little bit like when you hear the contract that was extended to Lebron James or Michael Jordan? Jaws drop then too. The paragraph above though, proves that to make the super-duper, insanity money, you have to work with money, and manipulate values, and exist on a whole other plane than most people.

There has to be a steep learning curve to become a hedgefund billionaire, doesn’t there? I find myself asking, ‘is there a special skill, or a deserved attribute that allows men to make these kinds of fortunes? Are they happier than us because of their outrageous financial success?