Hedge funds fascinate me, as they are simultaneously a major business--at last report, 25 members of the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans made their fortunes running hedge funds--and a cottage industry. Because their reporting requirements are almost nonexistent, hedge funds operate in near secrecy. Their reputations owe as much to whispers as to their accomplishments.
Those whispers have become distinctly unfavorable. "Tough environment has hedge funds heading for the exits," writes Pensions & Investments. States The New York Times, "Hedge funds should be thriving right now. They aren't." Institutional Investor wonders: "Have Institutional Investors Spoiled the Hedge Fund Party?" The headlines, to put the matter mildly, have been unkind.