Our socially concerned business leaders

Amid wall-to-wall reporting on the SEC’s action against Goldman Sachs over an aromatic mortgage-securities deal, this bit of NYT coverage of one of the central figures in the investigation, hedge funder John Paulson, should not pass without notice:

Amid criticism of investment strategies that profited from mortgage defaults, home foreclosures and other miseries, Mr. Paulson has also given $15 million to the Center for Responsible Lending for a center devoted to providing foreclosure assistance to troubled borrowers.

At the time of the donation, Mr. Paulson said of the center and its work, “We are pleased to help them provide legal services to distressed homeowners, many of whom have been victimized by predatory lenders.”

More on Paulson and the CRL in a March paper by Sean Higgins for the Capital Research Center. Background: Eric Gerding, The Conglomerate.

P.S. Pattern here? Ira Stoll at Future of Capitalism notes later news developments involving the contributor of a Financial Times op-ed piece that ran under the headline, “Obama Must Act to Curb Executive Greed.”

P.P.S.: And more: At Pajamas Media, Stoll takes a closer look at Paulson’s public policy involvements. And yet more. To summarize the modus operandi: Place huge bets that mortgage portfolios will suffer losses in value. Then plow millions into advocacy efforts whose effect is to worsen those losses. Maybe this is business as usual in some sense, but it’s curious to imagine lauding Paulson for his public-spiritedness.

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