Donald Trump's base of support in the 2016 election was largely white voters coming from rural areas, many of whom tended to be working class and possessing motivation to upend what they saw as a system rigged to benefit the wealthy and elite. Though Trump's election could be seen as a victory for this block of voters, the single biggest winner in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, besides Trump himself, could end up being another billionaire. John Paulson, the billionaire investment giant and head of Paulson & Co., set himself apart early in the campaign season by backing Trump almost immediately after the nomination was declared. Paulson even hosted a swanky fundraiser for Trump in New York City. What does he stand to gain?

Support Leads to Advisory Position

Trump has announced only a small portion of his administration in the days immediately following the election, but he has already indicated that Paulson will be brought in as a leading policy advisor when the president-elect is sworn in during January. Paulson himself may be able to use this position to increase his already sizable fortune. How would he do this? In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were placed under government conservatorship, their shares were declared without value. Nonetheless, speculators bought up stock at bargain rates, on the offside chance that the government might once again release the stocks into the market. Paulson was one of the biggest investors in these stocks, which could be poised to jump from pennies per share up to $30, $40, or more. (See also, John Paulson's Success Story: Net Worth, Education & Top Quotes)

Trump Likely to Release Fannie and Freddie Shares

Signs seem to indicate that Trump will release the governmental shares of Fannie and Freddie back into the private market, meaning that Paulson and other billionaires who similarly made investments in the shares when they hit record lows could see their fortunes increase by hundreds of millions of dollars, or even by billions. On anticipation alone, Fannie and Freddie stocks saw major price increases immediately following the announcement of Trump's win.

Bill Ackman, a fellow billionaire and manager of Pershing Square who has recently become outspoken in support of Trump, expects that the Fannie and Freddie issue will be among the first that the Trump administration addresses. This is not to say, though, that Trump will be able to change the government's policies unopposed. There is likely to be some backlash from members of parties who see the move as either not beneficial to their constituents or as being too suggestive of lobbying and manipulation. Paulson is no stranger to lobbying and political involvement, only this time he seems likely to reap major rewards for his work. (See also, Pershing's Bill Ackman Reveals Bullishness on Trump)

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