Forward Thinking

Romney Hedge Fund Mega-Donors Take Lumps

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

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An annual ranking of the top 25 hedge fund earners brings a bit of bad news for Mitt Romney’s super PAC: A few of the super PAC’s top donors have fallen from the list.

A March Forward report counted a dozen Jews among those who had given $100,000 or more to Restore our Future, the pro-Romney super PAC. Roughly half the Jewish donors are hedge fund managers, a proportion broadly reflective of the general makeup of major donors to the committee.

The new earnings list, published late last week by the hedge fund magazine Absolute Return + Alpha, ranks the top 25 hedge fund managers by their personal earnings in 2011. Paychecks across the board were down from 2010, but some managers were hurt more than others.

Three of Romney’s top Jewish donors are among the hardest hit.

The biggest earnings blow was to Paulson, a top Jewish Romney supporter who gave $1 million to the pro-Romney super PAC in January 2011. Paulson earned $4.9 billion in 2010 and topped AR’s annual list. In 2011 Paulson suffered heavy losses and missed the list altogether.

Top Jewish Romney super PAC donors Bruce Kovner of Caxton Management and David Tepper of Appaloosa Management also both fell off the list in 2011 after placing among the top 25 personal earners in 2010.

On the other hand, Jewish Romney supporter Paul Singer of Elliott Management made his first appearance on the list this year after taking home $125 million.

Of course, the Romney backers are still billionaires many times over. So there’s little reason to think that their decreased earnings will translate into any less support for Romney’s super PAC.


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