Paydays That Make Even Wall Streeters Blush

Top hedge-fund guru earned $3.7B in 2007 as income gap widens
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Apr 16, 2008 11:16 AM CDT
Freshly-printed bills.   (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
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(Newser) – Some Wall Street hedge-fund managers earned billions betting against the market last year, with the top of the class, John Paulson, shaking loose $3.7 billion, the New York Times reports. With the US median family income at $60,500, the booty embarrassed even some of his Wall Street peers. “It’s not illegal,” said Pimco's CIO. “But it’s ugly."

The last time there was such a sizeable inequality in wealth distribution, one analyst said, was the year before the stock market crashed in 1929. To make it into the top 25, as figured by Institutional Investor's Alpha magazine, managers needed to earn at least $360 million last year; George Soros and James Simons came in at nearly $3 billion each.