All of these very wealthy and intelligent men we're smart enough to jump on the Michael Burry bandwagon in the shorts of Credit Default Swaps which netted them triple to Four digit retruns and making them billions of dollars from shorting the housing market which everybody with a brain (realtors, mortgage brokers, and certain lenders tended to fall folly to losing their brains, in fact some still haven't gottten their brains back as a month after the peak they thought it was a good time to buy LOL)
Any who back on track all of these hedge funds Jeff Greene who has flown under the radar was partnering with Jon Paulson on the shorts out with his asian wife in the Los Angeles Califoria area. Sid Bass has a Texas hedge fund which had Texas sized returns as he diligently studied the problems in the mortgage and housing market figured out the best investment vehichle to profit from it than did presentations to Bear Sterns and the like to warn them about the impedding crash and all they said is your crazy and I sure hope your wrong (a billion dollar profit later wrong!!!)
Finally Paulson unknown to most of the world (I tried to contact him in 2007) but he is extremely hard to find and was unknown to most of the world but now? Not so much, much to his chagrin but he profited as well in what many call the greatest trade of all time and even made Paolo Pelligrini famous.
THE BIG SHORT - Michael Lewis's book details the above intricacies of the short and credit default swaps.