Wednesday 22 March 2017

Trump's advisers make $1bn after election victory

Ben Chapman

President-elect Donald Trump (L) pauses with hedge fund manager John Paulson after speaking at a lunch hosted by the Economic Club of New York. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images,)
President-elect Donald Trump (L) pauses with hedge fund manager John Paulson after speaking at a lunch hosted by the Economic Club of New York. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images,)

Two hedge fund billionaires who advised Donald Trump on his campaign made more than $1bn (€917.9m) on Wednesday as their shares were boosted by policies they helped to draft.

Carl Icahn and John Paulson reaped bigger rewards than any other Wall Street investors after Mr Trump's shock victory, as their shares in mining, pharmaceutical and fossil fuel companies soared.

Mr Trump consistently attacked rival Hillary Clinton for speeches she made to Goldman Sachs, saying this was evidence she was in the pocket of the establishment. Earlier this year Mr Trump offered Mr Icahn the position of Treasury Secretary if he won the election.

Mr Icahn declined the offer, but by the time the market closed on Wednesday he had raked in at least $700m on his stock portfolio. The hedge funder revealed he may have made even more money as he left a Trump victory party in the early hours of Wednesday morning to buy $1bn more sharese. Particularly notable was a $219m windfall on petrol company, CVR Energy, after its value increased by almost a quarter.

Mr Trump's manifesto unashamedly backs fossil fuels and pledges to repeal regulations aimed at cutting emissions whilst expanding fracking. Mr Icahn made another $100m on his stake in mining and natural gas company, Freeport-McMoRan, which rose 8pc on the back of friendly Trump policies. Another manifesto commitment pledges to "unleash America's $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves, plus hundreds of years in clean coal reserves".

The president-elect has also vowed to massively increase government spending on infrastructure, which will benefit mining companies who supply the raw materials. Mr Icahn made a further $100m on his holding company Icahn Enterprises and $65m on his massive bet on insurer AIG. John Paulson, another Trump economic adviser, saw his portfolio boosted by $463m on Wednesday, largely on the back of soaring pharmaceutical company shares.

Drug prices have been highly controversial in America as pharma companies and hedge funders stand accused of squeezing vulnerable patients with huge cost increases. Hillary Clinton put forward proposals to end "price gouging", whereby companies buy rights to exclusive drug patents and raise the price by many multiples, leaving patients with the choice of paying up or going without treatment. Mr Trump has indicated he will not crack down on the practice.

The property tycoon has also suggested he might allow drug companies to bring the tens of billions they have stashed offshore, back to the US without having to pay full tax. This was particularly good news for Mr Paulson, who owns shares in Shire and Allergan, two American drug giants who have moved their headquarters to Ireland to avoid US taxes. Mr Paulson netted more than $168m from his stakes in the two companies on Wednesday.

Irish Independent

Read More

Promoted articles

Editors Choice

Also in World News