I’m going to guess that at least some of you misplaced your invitations to financial mogul John Paulson’s shindig three weeks ago. (That’s the menu for the event, above.)
According to The New York Times, Paulson, right; former Federal Reserve boss Alan Greenspan (a senior adviser to Paulson’s eponymous, $36.1 billion hedge fund); and 100 of their best trader friends crowded into midtown Manhattan’s chic Metropolitan Club on November 17. They were there to celebrate Paulson & Company’s continued growth in the midst of Wall Street’s disintegration. For example, the firm’s Advantage fund leaped nearly 3.5 percent in October, while Standard & Poor’s aggregate index fell off 17 percent.
Despite the chilliness of the November evening — and the slashing of bonuses for top Goldman Sachs executives — the crowd at the Metropolitan Club betrayed no signs of the financial distress. The din that spilled from the dining room into the marbled-and-gilt main chamber was filled with laughter.
Mr. Greenspan spoke while guests dined on a three-course meal –preceded, of course, by a cocktail reception featuring Krug Grand Cuvee champagne and 2006 Chassagne-Montrachet from Domaine Marc Morey.
For dinner? Jumbo crabmeat & avocado, paired with 1999 Haut-Brion; and Colorado rack of lamb with tarragon jus and parmesan polenta cake, paired with 1999 Chateau Margaux and 1999 Lafite-Rothschild (which can fetch more than $500 a bottle).
Some of you may recall MEDIA ASSASSIN’s profile of Paulson, “Redefining ‘Paid,’” back in April. We noted then that he’d earned $3.7 billion in income the previous year—a sum we estimated as equal to over $1 million an hour—by betting on the subprime collapse.
Cue the T-Pain, right: Clearly, Middle America’s folly is a gift that keeps on giving.