Last year, about $450 million belonging to top executives at billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson's New York firm took a quick round trip to Bermuda.

In April, the executives sent the money to a reinsurance company that they'd set up on the island 650 miles off the North Carolina coast. By June, the Bermuda company, which has no employees and sells far less reinsurance than the industry norm, had sent all the cash back to New York, to be invested in Paulson & Co. funds.

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