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Hedgies of the Apocalypse

Philip Falcone and John PaulsonPhoto: Reuters, Patrick McMullan

It’s been a grim year for hedge funds, but today’s Wall Street Journal takes a look at a few of the hedgies who “tore it up” last year (uh, Journal?) and found that some of the guys who made big money in 2007 have come back for seconds. Below, the lucky few.

John Paulson: Earlier this year, the Queens native — who directed his Paulson & Co. to gains of $15 billion last year — hired Alan Greenspan to keep an eye out on which economic sectors were going in the toilet. Apparently it paid off. Thanks to his bets on the woes of financial companies, some of Paulson’s hedge funds are up as much as 20 percent. And he’s not done yet! Recently Paulson gave a speech titled “The Worst Is Yet to Come.”

Philip Falcone: After the Little Iron Ranger behind Harbinger Capital Partners saw gains of about 120 percent in his largest hedge fund in 2007, he bought a stake in the New York Times, the Gooch’s mansion, and a round for everyone at Tom & Jerry’s Bar back in Minnesota. Through June, the same fund has risen 42 percent from “various commodity-related investments.”

Michael Burry: Burry’s Scion Capital gained 166 percent last year buying insurance on subprime-mortgage debt. It’s up 8 percent this year. Not bad for a former neurology resident.

Of course, the big winners here are the guys who bet against the housing market, and that strategy will eventually run its course. So what will these guys bet against next? HAPPINESS?

As the Markets Throw Knuckle Balls, Hedge-Fund Stars Still Hit Home Runs [WSJ]

Related: Hedge-Fund Billionaires Are Just So Gauche, Right?

Hedgies of the Apocalypse