An article on humongous hedge fund paydays in today’s NYTimes was quite interesting:

“The richest hedge fund managers keep getting richer — fast. To make
it into the top 25 of Alpha’s list, the industry standard for hedge
fund pay, a manager needed to earn at least $360 million last year,
more than 18 times the amount in 2002. The median American family, by
contrast, earned $60,500 last year.

Combined, the top 50 hedge fund managers last year earned $29
billion. That figure represents the managers’ own pay and excludes the
compensation of their employees. Five of the top 10, including Mr.
Simons and Mr. Soros, were also at the top of the list for 2006. To
compile its ranking, Alpha examined the funds’ returns and the fees
that they charge investors, and then calculated the managers’ pay.”

This is exactly the sort of thing that makes my liberal friends crazy. It shouldn’t, but it does.

And, I make it even worse, by pointing out to them that if they thought it through, they should have no problem with the John Paulsons, (Paulson & Company), James H. Simons (Renaissance Technologies) and George Soros (Quantum Fund) of the world. These 3 earned a neat ~$3 billion apiece last year.

And by earned, I mean these guys earned it. They have figured out how to make money for their partners and clients. Their skill sets add value. There have always been people in the world who had vast amounts of wealth — earning it legally through your own cleverness and hard work should not be a problem. Dictators, Robber Barrons Sultans, and Anti-Trust violators are a different story.

I believe it is misdirected energy to rail against that.

On the other hand, there are plenty of bad actors they should be truly upset about instead. Stan O’Neal of Merrill Lynch (MER), Chuck Prince of Citigroup (C), Robert Nardelli of Home Depot — any many, many more undeserving cads — are value destroyers. And they got paid an absurd amount of money to help destroy the very companies they were brought into run. If you have a retirement account (IRA, 401k, Pension plan) then they took money from you. That is unconscionable to me.

How did billions in shareholder money get transferred from S/H to departing schmucks?

The short answer is Crony capitalism. They have (had) do-nothing-boards who failed to watch out for the shareholders’ interest. I sit on the Boards of 2 public companies, and I am very conscious of who my constituency is. Remember, Board of Director members are elected by, and work for the Shareholders — not for insiders, not for management. Whenever a BoD cuts a deal with one of these they become diminishers of value, they are not only failing in their fiduciary duty to the shareholders, they are essentially converting corporate assets private ones for their buddies.

This used to be known as stealing . . .

>

UPDATE: April 17th, 2008 5:21am

I think people are overlooking something:  These guys are the top 0.01% of their industry — they ARE the Michael Jordan and Steve Jobs of their industries.

What they create are investment returns — something that many hedge fund managers do not. In fact, about 25% of funds  are dissolved each year due to poor performance and the unlikelihood of manager compensation (courtesy of the high watermark).

>

Source:
Wall Street Winners Get Billion-Dollar Paydays
JENNY ANDERSON
NYT April 16, 2008

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/16/business/16wall.html

Category: Corporate Management, Valuation

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

91 Responses to “What’s Wrong With Billionaire Fund Managers?”

  1. Joe says:

    Um, I am hardly liberal, and in fact generally an economic conservative. However, as I understand it, hedge fund managers get away with paying the 15% capital gains tax on the majority of they’re income. It is total B.S. that the richest of the rich basically pay a lower tax rate than all of us peons, and for what? trading? I mean, COME ON! If they were like Bill Gates and created a big company that employs lots of people it wouldn’t bother me that they get away with some poultry tax rate. (Employing traders at the hedge funds is not quite the same thing as creating a Microsoft or a Google or a Monsanto). It also annoys the living crap out of me that the wealthy don’t have to pay the Social Security tax on all their income and then I hear whining about how high their tax rate is.

    Like I said, I consider myself to be mostly an economic conservative (except perhaps on taxes), and I plan to vote for McCain, but I’m not going to be too disappointed when Obama raises all these taxes.

    ~~~

    BR: I don’t disagree with you about the taxes — but thats not what this discussion is about.

  2. Portland Refugee says:

    Nice comparison. Well Done!

  3. will says:

    They may not be value destroyers, but they are hardly captains of industry. It looks like they mainly make their money by betting. I understand they’re really just taking a cut of other rich peoples money, so it’s certainly not stealing, but yeah, the 15% tax rate is pretty disgusting.

  4. am4 says:

    Please don’t forget William Harrison, former CEO of JPMC and destroyer of value, in the hall of crony capitalists.

  5. Jon H says:

    Is Paulson related to Hank Paulson?

  6. s0mebody says:

    These hedge fund guys should be railed against for a different reason. They are a symptom of the monetary policy of this country (and if not this, others). What is a dollar worth if some people can make $3 billion in a year? What chance does any common man have of competing? If we do go into a food shortage or an oil shortage, they have a very significant upper hand in dollars. It is troubling. Perhaps they also suffer losses in their off years, or maybe those profits are already protected.

  7. ottnott says:

    And by earned, I mean these guys EARNED IT.

    The flaw in that argument is that their 2+20 (and similar) compensation acts like a ratchet.

    It rewards for good decisions, but doesn’t provide punishment for bad decisions.

    It rewards for good luck, but doesn’t punish for bad luck.

    It also provides hefty compensation for a manager who produces just average returns.

    Over the long run, of course, investors can “punish” a bad (or unlucky) manager by withdrawing funds. In reality, though, a manager can pull in hefty compensation while investors are trying to determine if pulling funds is the best decision.

  8. OkieLawyer says:

    Barry:

    I don’t doubt that all these hedge fund managers are smart. However, you yourself have said in the past that your predictions (which came very close last year) is mostly the product of luck. Couldn’t it be true for the hedge fund managers as well? And don’t these guys (or gals) get paid the same rate regardless of whether their fund goes up or down? So making more money is somewhat a product of luck of guessing well (and therefore benefiting from a herd that values winning)?

    ~~~

    BR: Forecasts are a strategy technique we do to war game various scenarios. It is an intellectual exercise — a set of “What ifs.”

    You don’t run money on the basis of forecasts or predictions. (Well, good managers don’t. Luskin did and lost more than half his clients money.)

  9. OkieLawyer says:

    It looks like ottnott and I were thinking the same thing at the same time.

  10. odograph says:

    Um, I thought that the “fooled by randomness” strategy of making millions (billions) in risky bets, and then getting yours before the fund blows up … was ultimately wealth destroying.

    ~~~

    BR: Jim Simons has put up 35% per year for over two decades.

    Random? Hardly.

  11. Ross says:

    I asked a hedge fund friend why he charged 2 and 20. Very matter of factly he explained that he didn’t think he could get 3 and 30!

    Whatever the market will bear. BEAR!!!!???

  12. Jonathan says:

    Joe:

    How can you call yourself an economic conservative, yet want anyone (including the richest of the rich) to pay MORE taxes.

    Also, keep in mind that at 15%, John Paulson paid 550 million dollars in taxes, equivalent to the entire salaries of 11,100 people (assuming $50,000/year salary).

    So, what percentage in taxes do you believe they should pay of their income for it to no longer be poultry?

  13. Pubsec says:

    I do take Barry’s point but could endorse it more heartily if hedge funds were not closed to all but those who had a serious chunk of money available for speculation. Hell yeah I’d like to be one of those clients reaping the benefits of these managers’ ability to generate money — but I’m not already wealthy, so too bad. My own objection to hedge funds is not because of the wealth they create but for whom they create it. Note too that the whiffy tax dodge w/r/t compensation allows the industry to attract the best managers and analysts — less exclusive investment vehicles cannot compete in that regard so will generate lesser returns with lesser talent. Hedge funds are both symptom and cause of an increasingly stratified society. One can get incensed or remain neutral about that, but I can’t see how it isn’t so.

  14. I thought that said “makes my library friends crazy.”

  15. MarkD says:

    I don’t have a problem with a guy making a buck trading, or making an arbitrage bet, but what makes me nuts is when these guys who have never run any thing in their lives other then their hedge fund buy a pile of stock and start telling management how to run the company!!!! “We’re unlocking shareholder value”. yeah right, you’re pirates who leave a smoking wreck behind you and the employees and retail investors holding the bag.

  16. F says:

    The important points have been made, so let me add my opinion. I have no problem with guys making this much money as long as there is a nearly equal downside. 2 and 20 should also mean 20% of losses. In that case, I say go to town.

  17. Justin Dangel says:

    Hedge fund managers make money by taking risks with other peoples money. Most of the strategies are based on regulatory arbitrage (doing things that mutual funds and banks aren’t allowed to do such as excessive leverage). As a whole, the industry destroys value (underperforms the S&P with more risk).

    As a general proposition, the regulations on mutual funds and banks are a good thing because they prevent excessive instability in financial markets which can effect real business that actually create value.

    You have properly applied the term “steal” to Mr. O’Neal and co. Although it is far more subtle and only the economic sense, the term should also be applied to Mr. Paulson and his ilk. Just as Julian Robertson was a net loser of others money yet a billionaire himself, the same fate awaits most of the others on this list.

    By the way, Barry, do you really think that we can build an economy where the greatest rewards flow to traders and not entrepreneurs?

    The notion that they “earned” the money in the economic sense (that is created economic value) is preposterous. The rise of the hedge industry and other exotic strategies has clearly not made the cost of raising capital for real investments any lower. What it has done is transfered lots of money from pension funds to hedge fund managers and created lots of instability.

    The word “steal” has some subtle meanings. It is well applied to Mr. O’Neal and his corporate bretheren but they are relative pikers compared to Mr. Paulson and others.

    ~~~

    BR: Plenty of rewards have flowed to entrepreneurs: Steve Jobs, the Google boys, the Facebook kid, etc.

    BTW, can you tell me how you would construct an economy that somehow prevents “the greatest rewards flow to traders and not entrepreneurs?” I can’t figure that out . . .

  18. bonghiteric says:

    A lot of pitchforkin’ going on around here. Nobody forces an accredited investor to invest in a hedge fund. Nobody forces them to keep their money in the fund if the manager has a down year. The fund manager often has a lot of skin in the game. There are thousands of registered funds. The article BR mentions lists the top 25 which is well under 1% of fund managers.

    Will, if you’re interested in the skinny on the tax structure that you rail against, this URL links to a paper by an attorney who feels the deference of ordinary income to cap gains treatment is unfair. Not sure I completely agree with him but it lays out the argument in a straightforward mannner.

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=892440

  19. bonghiteric says:

    J Dangel,
    Are you are equating John Paulson’s actions (however subtle)with Stan O’Neal’s? If so I believe your argument is cinefozzian in its logic.

  20. rickrude says:

    why all the complaining here ??
    These hedge fund managers made big money betting against
    the USD and US debt.
    The real crooks were the ones that created the mortgage/derivative mess we have today.

    All of you guys crying sour grapes surely,,,
    can’t blame your lack of misfortune on the hedge funds ??
    You could have made the same bets as soros and made money. Yet you did not have the balls and now crying about the hedge fund guys ?????

  21. Giovannoni says:

    It is a rhetorical I’ve heard so many times and I still think it’s wrong. Three points:
    1.It is not the entire picture. Why are those super-managers rewarded so much these days, especially as compared to the older times (50s and 60s for instance, or just as compared as 2002 when they were paid 18 times less).
    2. The issue of inequality is conspicuously absent from the post above.
    3. I wont mind those astronomical figures upwards (pay in your pockets) when managers will be held entirely responsible of losses as well. It’s too easy to be only responsible when things are doing well. I want hedge fund managers who destroy wealth to pay their customers back still 20%, making their effective losses only 80%. Plus a fat flat fee, of course, and a letter of apology signed with blood.

  22. andiron says:

    earned it? my foot..
    the fact that there exists a system where somepne can make such vast amount of money in such a short time must betray its weakness and unsustainability in the long run…
    open your eyes beyond trading…

  23. Joe says:

    Jonathan:

    Since you called me out… I am an economic conservative on just about everything including taxes somewhat. I want a balanced budget. I don’t want to socialize everything under the sun like health care. I want deregulation (to some degree). I want intellectual property protected. I even want less taxes, once the budget is balanced. I do not however want the rich to pay a lower tax rate than the rest of us. I payed 28% last year, and I payed FICA tax on all of it, so you can probably come pretty close to figuring out my income based on that. If you are a super successful hedge fund manager you end up paying roughly 15% on all your income (not counting state and local). If you are an engineer making less than 100K you pay 28% + 6%(fica) on what you make. If you make 1 million the old fashioned way you might pay 35% and only 35% on average as you don’t pay the 6% on 900K, putting us sucker engineers in a 34% bracket next to the 35% income.

    So here’s what I’d be happy with. All income should be treated as income, and you pay the FICA tax on your entire income. So if you make 1 KadJillion dollars every year from your hedge fund that you administer you don’t get away with paying a lower tax rate than anyone else who pays taxes (lowest rate being 10% + the 6% for FICA). You instead would pay 41% with the 35% rate + the 6% in FICA. IF this was done, than perhaps we could reduce all marginal tax rates.

  24. Francois says:

    “oe:

    How can you call yourself an economic conservative, yet want anyone (including the richest of the rich) to pay MORE taxes.”

    >>Is being an economic conservative means that you MUST oppose ANY tax increase for ANYONE? Has the notion of being a conservative been devalued to that single notion? Only if you confound the concept of American neocon with true conservatism.

    Also, keep in mind that at 15%, John Paulson paid 550 million dollars in taxes, equivalent to the entire salaries of 11,100 people (assuming $50,000/year salary).

    >>And your point is? By the same logic, a secretary in Mr. Pauson’s office taxed at a 35% rate does not contribute “enough”. If that is what bothers you so much, perhaps the secretary should be taxed at 85%.

    The idea is rather simple: How much do you have left after taxes? The secretary taxed at 35% does not have much left compared to Mr. Paulson taxed at the same rate. So, pray inform us why is such a problem to tax the richest at a rate AT LEAST equivalent as the one paid by the working stiff? Why is it that EVERY TIME this topic hit the blogosphere, some people loose all common sense (and any sense of fairness too BTW) and argue that the rich MUST pay lower taxes.

    “So, what percentage in taxes do you believe they should pay of their income for it to no longer be poultry?”

    You meant “paltry” right? What percentage? I say at least what the highest tax bracket is for the working class people. Not less. And No! Loopholes need not apply.

    It’s called fairness…a true conservative value.

  25. Optical Vessicle says:

    When the hedge funds have completed their mission and the East is under “our/their” feet/thumb.

    When all the excess money that’s been feeding the current “war” has evaporated.

    When all the bubble chasers have been popped.

    Then you have found the bottom. Then will things seem “normal” again.

  26. TraderMD says:

    Barry,

    You’re right, a lot of those CEOs you’ve mentioned have destroyed the wealth of others, but that doesn’t justify the earnings of the hedge fund managers. The pay scales of those who manage money, and provide entertainment (athletes, actors, musicians, etc) are so ridiculously out of whack compared to the average American that the gap between Middle (and even the upper) and the ultra rich continues to widen and that’s not a good thing.

    I know you’d get a lot of flack for saying that outright on your blog, but the compensation for above mentioned groups is what’s killing the US. It’s really too bad Congress doesn’t have the balls to regulate it either.

    I’m not saying people shouldn’t be compensated well, but at some point there needs to be a delineation between *well* and *ridiculously well*.

  27. KSH says:

    Barry-

    I would note that the crony capitalism of the public company is aided and abetted by the Securities and Exchange Commission and Congress. Corporate executives have convinced Congress that shareholders should be restricted to what motions they can put forward and which they can vote on.

    Supposedly these shareholders are so stupid that despite investing trillions of dollars in public companies they would somehow manage to pass motion after motion that would drive companies into the ground.

    So shareholders are mostly restricted to hoping that management has at least a semblance of wanting to take care of the shareholders interests because the SEC won’t let shareholders take matters into their own hands.

  28. Nihilism says:

    Thanks for the post Barry.

    Completely agree with the views — against this outrageous payouts for hedge fund and PE guys, all for making levered bets and adding no value for society except buying some computers/black-boxes!

    Agree 100% with what Justin said above. I have complained here a few times about the use of…and availability of unlimited leverage used by these guys and their models, for last 3-5 years. While I agree that HFs have provided liquidity in the markets – but there were and are mutual funds for that. I do not need computers and stupid black-boxes directing bi-polar market moves for years without correction and then when these guys are forced to delever and sell their “inventory” of stock, they take their 20% times 3 years compensation and average mutual fund investor is left holding the bag in equities, munis and other asset classes. Of course it is the same group, and CTAs driving commodity prices like crazy too.

    When was the last time you saw – low historical volatility and no 10% correction for 3 plus years in equities? The burden — of these $1 trillion plus equity hedge funds & their levered GEO and NEO quant funds – and the indirect result of this free-for-all industry is low return for traditional mutual fund and ordinary investors, as the natural rhythms of the markets has been broken by this new 800 pound gorilla middle man.

    There has to be some mechanism to regulate the leverage use and availability to all investors. Else we will have oil rising everyday as long as fed keeps cutting and the dollar keeps falling.

  29. RedCharlie says:

    Hedge funds are just leverage by another name. We see what it did to housing, and it’s no different in other markets.

    Hedge fund managers earn their fees by risking other people’s money. Heads they win, tails the investors loose. Yeah, sure, you can get heads ten years in a row, but one day it’s gonna come up tails and it’s all over.

    See “Capital Decimation Partners” (hat tip to Krugman)
    http://www.econbrowser.com/archives/2005/11/hedge_fund_risk.html

    Also, Calculated Risk’s take:
    http://calculatedrisk.blogspot.com/2008/03/wapo-cartoon-on-leverage.html

  30. VennData says:

    OK, fine, unless they get a lower tax rate if their income gets classified as “carried interest?”

  31. Grodge says:

    Will says: “…they [hedge fund managers] mainly make their money by betting.”

    Actually, here in the capitalist world we call it “allocation of capital.”

    I have no problem with hedgies making oodles of dough, but two caveats:

    1. They pay the same income tax as the rest of us worker bees, and

    2. Nobody in the unregulated accounts gets bailed out when their levered asses get wrung. Including BSC depositors.

    Fair is fair and the markets rely on big money guys making bif money bets.

  32. John Wellman says:

    Here is a tax proposal: Give any corporation a 10% break in exchange for a CEO/Executive pay cap. Limit their compensation to no more than 10 times the the average worker. Give them actual performance incentives without golden parachutes. Give the corporations a chance to see which executives will come through in the clutch, while showing the caretakers the door.

  33. rickrude says:

    OK guys, to make you conservative capitalists happy, lets have a income cap $100k on all sports stars, hedge fund managers, rock stars, etc. All income above that will go to the state and shared by all the other balless
    investors that lost money investing in US
    banks.

    This is American capitalism ??

  34. John Wellman says:

    Why is it that two of the most successful executives in the country are W. Buffett and R. Kinder? Is it a coincidence that the billionaires’ compensation is leveraged to their company performance not some parachute or inked cheque’?
    Salaries have never been the path to capitalist wealth. Get back to ownership values so we can get over the self-absorbed ennui afflicting this nation and preventing us from looking forward to the future.

  35. bdg123 says:

    These guys deserve whatever they can make. That is, as long as they aren’t participating in market manipulation as Enron did and many on Wall Street are doing now. So, I believe they should submit to voluntary disclosure or if they don’t, be forced to.

    If they can make a trillion dollars a year and deliver above trend returns, then so be it. The problem I have is when corporate stewards somehow believe they should be rewarded as entrepreneurs are while taking none of the risks and end up raiding shareholder coffers regardless of their performance. If you want to be paid like an entrepreneur, then take the risks with your career and your financial future.

  36. pclema says:

    What I have always wondered was whether some of these high roller hedgies have enough capital at their disposal to manipulate the market in a quasi-legal way giving them an unfair advantage. Then it may not be just skill.

  37. John Wellman says:

    which is preventing us from looking forward to the future…my apologies. sometimes I the ideas flow faster than I can write!

  38. kk says:

    “Forecasts are a strategy technique we do to war game various scenarios. It is an intellectual exercise — a set of “What ifs.”

    Barry, you have quite an opinion of your hedge fund cabal. “intellectual excercise”? whatever.

    2 & 20, unregulated, leveraged pools of capital fishing in regulated waters. Hedge funds get to fish with Dupont Spinners, the rest with a worm and a bobber.

  39. SPECTRE of Deflation says:

    There is something very wrong with this country when people can make the sums of money you talk about. They aren’t called pigmen for nothing. From Charles Hugh Smith Blog with a link to an eye opening article:

    http://www.multinationalmonitor.org/mm2003/03may/may03interviewswolff.html

    There is also another measure called the Gini coefficient. It measures the concentration of wealth at different percentile levels, and does an overall computation. It is an index that goes from zero to one, one being the most unequal. Wealth inequality in the United States has a Gini coefficient of .82, which is pretty close to the maximum level of inequality you can have.
    A household in the middle — the median household — has wealth of about $62,000. $62,000 is not insignificant, but if you consider that the top 1 percent of households’ average wealth is $12.5 million, you can see what a difference there is in the distribution.

    Things are even more concentrated if you exclude owner-occupied housing. It is nice to own a house and it provides all kinds of benefits, but it is not very liquid. You can’t really dispose of it, because you need some place to live.

    The top 1 percent of families hold half of all non-home wealth.

    The middle class’s major assets are their home, liquid assets like checking and savings accounts, CDs and money market funds, and pension accounts. For the average family, these assets make up 84 percent of their total wealth.

    The richest 10 percent of families own about 85 percent of all outstanding stocks. They own about 85 percent of all financial securities, 90 percent of all business assets. These financial assets and business equity are even more concentrated than total wealth.

    We are much more unequal than any other advanced industrial country.

    Perhaps our closest rival in terms of inequality is Great Britain. But where the top 1% percent in this country own 38 percent of all wealth, in Great Britain it is more like 22 or 23 percent.

    What is remarkable is that this was not always the case. Up until the early 1970s, the U.S. actually had lower wealth inequality than Great Britain, and even than a country like Sweden. But things have really turned around over the last 25 or 30 years. In fact, a lot of countries have experienced lessening wealth inequality over time. The U.S. is atypical in that inequality has risen so sharply over the last 25 or 30 years.

  40. SPECTRE of Deflation says:

    In fact in the past we called them Robber Barrons of the Gilded Age. Let them eat cake won’t play well moving forward.

  41. Larry says:

    People should be paid according to the value they’ve created: that’s why some of those guys listed above (Soros, Simons) are paid that much. You could say the same thing about Steve Jobs or David Beckham or Michael Jordan.

    They clearly have sweat equity, bring rare skills to the table and could be arguably underpaid. I don’t resent them.

    Mediocrity and under performance or even just outright incompetence and failure is being paid like a superstar. Then they have to be paid off to be rid of.

    I’d say there’s a market failure in there somewhere. Add to the cronyism the lack of competition, lack of shareholder oversight, regulatory failure (corporate governance structures) and tax policy.

  42. nervous strawman says:

    This is why the collapse will be so much fun to watch. Any monetary system that has become so perverted deserves to die.

  43. donna says:

    OK, if they “earned” it, they must have created something of value.

    At what store can I buy this something?

    Didn’t think so.

  44. Egg says:

    Excellent post. My problem with this phenomenon revolves around certain aspects of money arising from its liquidity. Sure, let someone earn enough in one year to buy ten mega-mansions, or two commercial-size planes for private use, etc. etc. I have little problem with that as far as it goes.

    The real problem is that money can be used not only for its purchasing power but also for political influence and control, far more readily than material things. Following this to its logical conclusion, it means that concentration of liquid wealth is directly related to diminishment of personal freedom. And that I have a problem with!

    Take ten money-making geniuses (from all walks of economic life). One is a saint, one is a philanthropist, three are law-abiding, three are greedy bastards, one is a sociopath and one is a manipulative genius aspiring to world dominion. Let them all use their money for influence and what do you think is going to happen?

    Even the saint will screw things up if he tries too hard to help the world with his money-power: “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”. Better let people alone to experiment with their own ways of life–they certainly want to improve their lot and if they don’t know how, it is unlikely that anyone else will either. And what a wealth of beauty they will discover! Life is, or can be, beautiful.

    But let big money control the law, the media, the food supply, the energy supply, health care, etc. for its own purposes and you end up with a world full of suffering at every turn. I suppose whether you like such a world is a matter of taste. My taste calls such a world “ugly”.

  45. Whammer says:

    Egg, very good comment. Furthermore, the scary thing is that purchasing political influence is remarkably cheap compared to the impact that influence has on furthering the agendas of the mega-wealthy.

  46. billy says:

    I think we need to re-focus the issue. The fact that Soros and Paulson made money on this incident is neither here nor there. They took advantage of the existing reality, and good for them. The real issue is that the existing reality should not have existed in the first place. And where Barry gets it wrong is by failing to recognise that the very crony capitalism that he complains about later is what created that existing reality. The system was rigged by the capitalists; a few of them who were smarter than the others walked away with the loot that should not have been available in the first place. No-one comes out of this looking good.

  47. OhNoNotAgain says:

    “OK, if they “earned” it, they must have created something of value.

    At what store can I buy this something?

    Didn’t think so.”

    Nailed it, pure and simple. Until one of these jackasses comes up with a saleable product that actually has some value, employs people, etc. they can shove their 15% tax rate right where the sun don’t shine. Right now this country needs engineers, chemists, farmers, carpenters, plumbers, architects, etc. that can be entrepreneurs and use this money from investors to actually produce something that makes our lives better. How on earth does some dude moving money around, while taking his cut off the top, do a damn thing to help our economy ? It’s the money changers and the temple all over again. Right now we could use Jesus to come in and drive them out.

  48. Ant says:

    BR: Plenty of rewards have flowed to entrepreneurs: Steve Jobs, the Google boys, the Facebook kid, etc.

    Not in proportion to relative value created or personal risk taken.

    I’m a huge fan of yours, Barry, but this comparison is way off base. Rewards for technology entrepreneurs are demonstrably lower than the rewards being raked in by hedgies, the competition is greater, and the personal risks are an order of magnitude larger.

    I think it’s this last item which really bugs most of us. Reward is supposed to be proportional to risk. If hedge fund managers were genuinely at risk in proportion to their rewards, I doubt many here would begrudge them their paydays.

    Contrast their downside, however, with the downside for technology entrepreneurs. An example from just this week: a very well known mobile technology expert had to fold his startup this year because he just wasn’t able to get traction. He blogged about the personal consequences:

    …I’m *thousands* of dollars in debt to my family and friends, maxed out on every credit card (all of which are in collections), on my last chance for my apartment (if I bounce one more check…), had my car repossessed *twice*, electricity turned off, cellphones switched off, landline canceled outright, and on more than one occasion (this weekend in particular) eaten little more than buttered macaroni as I waited for an overdue PayPal deposit to arrive…

    And this wasn’t some random schmuck – Russell is very well known and respected in the industry. What’s more, even though he failed, he has in the process created a product of demonstrable value (he has users, just not enough to sustain the business.) How many failed hedge fund managers can say that?

    Even the mega-successful tech entrepreneurs (Google/Facebook/etc.) have most or all of their personal net worth tied up in their endeavors. If they face-plant and destroy their investors’ value, most of their net worth will go with it.

    Until hedge fund managers can say the same, the comparison is inappropriate.

    BTW, can you tell me how you would construct an economy that somehow prevents “the greatest rewards flow to traders and not entrepreneurs?” I can’t figure that out . . .

    Sure you can. It would arguably be socialist, of course, but socialism appears to be quite fashionable on Wall Street these days…

  49. reason says:

    It is the old story limited liability + leverage. The limited downside makes it stealing.

  50. OhNoNotAgain says:

    “Sure you can. It would arguably be socialist, of course, but socialism appears to be quite fashionable on Wall Street these days…”

    After watching the PBS Frontline episode on healthcare systems around the world, we’re apparently the only industrialized country in the world that doesn’t think that our markets are there to serve us, not the other way around. Furthermore, these other countries seem to understand that you can make the market do anything you want by simply putting in the proper rewards and punishments and ensuring that the competition is directed towards desirable outcomes.

  51. rickrude says:

    hey guys… socialism in america means socialism for Boeing,
    Financial industry,the military,Haliburton,
    etc, The Fed must do all it can to
    support these entities that harbor rich executives with make work projects like Iraq and pump inflation whenever possible to keep
    these entities profitable.

    The old idea of socialism , like health care for the masses, raising taxes for the rich
    have no place in modern, american socialism

  52. blin says:

    Donna & OhNoNotAgain,

    “OK, if they “earned” it, they must have created something of value.

    At what store can I buy this something?

    Didn’t think so.”

    The value they created are ‘profits’.
    If you have a million dollars (or probably more), then you can partake in their funds. If they net you 40%, then they ‘created’ 400k dollars for you, minus fees. It’s that simple. With those dollars, you can buy whatever you wish.

    Try telling those fundholders that no value was created for them…and they will silently walk away giggling to themselves.

    Anybody could try to match those numbers. You can even try it yourself, nobody is stopping you. Give it a try and see how it turns out for you.

    If you can think of a better way of changing the system, I’m all ears…but I’m sure that I’ll only get some sort of socialist answer in return.

  53. JOE says:

    We serve the garden needs of one hedgie in the top 25…his personal comptroller called this spring asking about our $1 raise in labor rates. I explained about inflation and the price of diesel. She suggested they may go elsewhere for services. I said go ahead. Thanks for the work. The big man called himself an hour later. Sorry about the misunderstanding, he said. No problem, I said. Happy spring.

    5 more years of this shit, then I write my book!

  54. blam says:

    I do not count price fixing and market rigging in the category of “wealth creation”.

    Where’s my proof ? I don’t have any. Then again, I don’t have any proof when some mutt creates wealth by robbing a 7-11. The police gather the evidence. It is truly ironic that the largest crimes against property and people are being committed on wall street and there is not a cop to be found.

    I don’t think of them as super stars. More in terms of super villians, like the joker.

  55. Ken H. says:

    Barry,

    No problem with the massive profits other than the pure market manipulation at the consumer’s expense. The manipulation is so bad! Doesn’t it piss you off it’s now infringing on your quality of life?

    Micheal Jordan? Please! These guys were in the right place at the right time and know the right people. They know how to manipulate the market at any cost for pure greed.
    Where do you think all that money is coming from?

  56. Justin Dangel says:

    To respond to a couple critics:

    Does anybody seriously think that a dozen guys making trades, say betting against mortgages last year, is creating $3 or $4 BN in value? Say it with a straight-face, I dare you.

    The problem here is that hedge funds and financial innovation do not lower the real cost of real investment. The principle argument that these activities generate economic value is that they smooth capital markets making it easier for entrepreneurs and corporations to tap capital markets. The recent implosion has shown that any perceived gains in these areas has really been a mis-pricing of risk.

    From 1930 – 1940, this country introduce a number of regulations for the banking and investment industry. This was to restrain the negative externalities caused by the investment world (excessive boom-bust cycles, distortions in economic incentives, etc.) As a whole, the track record of financial services deregulation has been to create instability and a huge transfer of wealth from Main Street to Wall Street. Has it really been such a great idea to allow the hedge community to operate a shadow banking system? Does it really make sense to have a handful of players using huge amounts of pension fund money avoiding mutual fund regulations about symmetrical compensation and leverage?

    I’m not arguing that we should excessively regulate capital markets but we do need to have an adult conversation about this. We understand the mechanism by which Bill Gates and Michael Dell get rich. Its an important part of the fabric of the American economy. Risk and innovation in the real world need to be rewarded. We should all, i think, be deeply skeptical of the mechanism by which Mr. Paulson and others get rich.

    And another thing: large hedge funds mostly investment institutional money at this point. Pension funds are a big player in this. Since, on the whole, hedge funds under-perform the market, the winners (many of whom win through cheating or luck) are taking an enormous amount out of the system.

  57. SPECTRE of Deflation says:

    Barry, this thread is a microcosm of society, and we believe in profits. Using gearing to make billions has us where we are today with over 500 Trillion in derivatives which are supposedely notional, but we all know that hypothesis is pure BS.

    Tell the BSC shareholders it’s OK when the leadership gets to keep bonuses that were based on imaginary profits of the past while they see their life’s savings vaporized. 3.7 Billion for curing cancer is A-OK, but 3.7 Billion for gearing at 30:1 is insane. Maybe we need a remake of Wall Street because WS seems to have forgotten the lessons of the past.

    ALT-A is worse than subprime, so when people get angry moving forward, and they will, the robber barrons had better watch their asses.

  58. SPECTRE of Deflation says:

    Joe, someone mentioned money changers at the Temple, and your experience shows where the hearts of these people are. Disgusting is all I can say, and I’m a capitalist.

    Where in the Hell are the Regulators who should be swooping down on all the pigmen who have had their companies blow up because of their greed and gearing?

  59. bdg123 says:

    While I agree that income inequality is indeed a reality in the U.S., the Gini coefficient is not an accurate measure in itself as I have written about. The Gini coefficient, if used, has to be used with other data because income inequality in itself is not a problem. If the tide is lifting all boats and the majority of individual incomes are higher than other nations, then the Gini coefficient is inaccurate. But, we truly do have significant income inequality. But, that is going to change. I am extremely confident of that fact. Extremely. The party days are ending. And, so is the hedge fund binge. Hedge funds are a bubble.

  60. Matt M. says:

    All hedgies are not created equal. Simons and his trading partners have a ton of skin in the game as do many other super successful hedgies. The newbies with little to risk in terms of personal assets (1-5% capital raised), load up leverage…shoot for the moon and try to hit the grand slam at 20%. Most of them get funded thru fund of funds, the biggest joke in the industry. Fund of funds are started and run by failed traders who know how to raise capital but can’t trade there way out of paper bag. Any investor who uses a fund of funds to allocate capital is asking to get spanked. Do your own due diligence….if you don’t have the time then stay out of the hedge-fund game. As for the institutions, there’s no help there…barely a twinkle of light on at those investment meetings! I’m sure BR will agree.

  61. Matt M. says:

    BDG,

    The bubble is in the fund of funds, not well performing hudge funds. As more and more institutional money carves out a more meaningful slice for alternative investments (10-15% vs. 0-10%) the funds and traders that create outstanding risk/return will continue to get funded, but the middle man will lose importance as the institutions slowly get more familiar with risk/reward and fiduciary responsibility. My .02.

  62. bdg123 says:

    The bubble is in hedge funds. NOT funds of funds. I can prove it as scientifically as is possible and some time maybe I will. Come back and talk to me when this mess has cleared.

  63. John Galt says:

    Who is John Galt?

  64. SPECTRE of Deflation says:

    Barry, with all due respect, I don’t believe we are missing a thing. Time to dust off “Barbarians At The Gate” and “Bonfire Of The Vanities”.

  65. SPECTRE of Deflation says:

    bdg123, BULLSHIT!

  66. RedCharlie says:

    Sure, Soros, Paulson, etc. are in the top .01% of managers.
    Well, somebody has to be.

    Barry: “Past returns are no guarantee of future perfomance”. The difference between Steve Jobs and George Soros is that in making computers and mp3 players, past performance DOES correlate strongly with future performance. But in picking stocks it DOES NOT.

    Or as Krugman put it, there will always be a Soros:
    http://www.pkarchive.org/cranks/TherellAlwaysBeaSoros.html

    Whatever the skills of their managers, do hedge funds (and other sorts of highly leveraged financial “innovations”) actually help or hurt the overall economy? It’s really hard to champion hedge funds when the economy is tanking due to the financial sector melting down from over-leverage of all sorts.

    The problem with hedge funds as they exist now is their complete lack of regulation. They are just economic dynamite. Looking into the crater that once was Bear Stearns, you seriously want to praise people who earn a living by playing with fire?

    As Hale Thomas (aka “Bonddad”) would put it, markets are great but there have to be RULES.

    Even Soros agrees:
    http://www.pkarchive.org/cranks/TherellAlwaysBeaSoros.html
    quote: “Next time somebody tells you that the global capital market is our friend, that only economies that deserve it get punished, tell him to tell it to George Soros”

    BTW, I don’t really care how much these guys make, as long as it’s progressively taxed. The cap gains loophole that lets them off at 15% is a crime. But that has nothing to do with their choice of vocation, just the total level of income.

  67. RedCharlie says:

    whoops, repeated my last link, should have been:
    http://www.pkarchive.org/trade/soros.html

    “Soro’s Plea: SYNOPSIS: The strange case of George Soros, a speculator who hates speculation. Ponders his case for restriction, arguing that overall benefits are worth some inefficency.”

  68. emailcraigs says:

    Whats wrong with Billionaire fund managers? Well, quite simply, the fact that they exist. It gives great insight into just how flimsy of a financial system we currently work under. These hedge funds control huge amounts of money….they are like a monopoly when they descend on some unfortunate company. They use millons of dollars to create whatever perception they need to bilk that companies honest shareholders out of their meager cash reserves. They do this because they are bigger, richer, and more protected by the laws than the common shareholder. These guys can naked short, and produce FTD’s like monopoly money.

    I’m sure everybody has seen the Cramer video insanity where he outs himself concerning his conduct during his tenure as a hedge-fund manager. But, the biggest problem with Billionaire Hedge fund managers is that in their wake they leave thousands more smaller monopoly wannabes that create what we today try to refer to as a stable market. Come on, would a stable market have actually responded to an April fools joke? No, this is an unstable market driven by the forces of who has the most resources to make their reality happen. But, I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir because a lot of individuals like it that way just fine.

  69. DonKei says:

    It’s all about making highly leveraged bets w/ other people’s money. There is no downside to the bet, though, because either the government (Bear Stearns–you think ibanks aren’t just hedge funds by another name?) or the incestual market stands ready to prevent your collapse from infecting its profitability. The Bear Stearns rescue was nothing more than LTCM writ large.

    The best way to rid ourselves of these financial leaches would be to let the markets work and let them fail, instead of printing money and taking their garbage loans for collateral when their failure imperils the “financial system”.

    Aggregate enough capital and you can practically print your own money, as your actions in the markets are so large that you can move the market the way you like it. At least until you can’t. That’s where we are today, and its time we let the financial system crash, like it’s been wanting to for months. Then we’ll see how many hedgies are still making a billion per year.

    Are these guys clever? Of course. Do they add value to the economic system? Hard to see how betting several billion leveraged dollars on a decreased spread (LTCM) had any real eoncomic impact, except to LTCM. So you leave a few points on the table w/out an LTCM to bet on it. Is the world economy really apt to grind to a halt because of it? People still have to eat, and last I checked, spreads of the interest rate variety were very low-cal.

  70. Vermont Trader says:

    A couple points.

    1. Some of these managers charge a lot more than 2/20. To get into SAC you have to pay 4/45 and there is so much demand even at those prices that you can’t get in anyhow unless you are an existing partner.

    2. Many of these companies have more going on than just asset management. For instance Citadel runs a massive options market making business, controls Etrade, and has a large back office business.

    3. All of these funds have high water marks so they don’t make incentive fees when NAV’s are below the high water.

    4. Don’t forget about all the inhouse hedge funds at Goldman and UBS.

    5. Financial firms that engage aggressive trading just don’t work well as public companies. That type of business works a lot better over the long term in private partnerships. I wonder how this crisis would have unfolded if the bulge brokers were still partnerships?

  71. randy says:

    yeah this incredibly lop-sided distribution of wealth does sometimes make my blood boil. but yes barry you are correct that it’s unfair for me to get mad about the ones who are doing it fair-and-square. this i will concede.

    would you then concede that the penalties, for schmucks like chuck prince and that mozillo guy from countrywide, should be far far more onerous than they currently are. you called it stealing. there used to be a time in this country where we’d hang a man for stealing a horse.

    my pitchfork has been gathering rust for far too long.

  72. bdg123 says:

    Spectre,
    Send me your email address and when I put up a post on this topic, I’ll send it to you. Since, you appear to believe nothing beyond what’s between your ears.

  73. fattyk says:

    These hedge fund managers are just glorified leverage jockeys and most if not all ultimately fail and lose their investors almost everything. Is it really worth 2/20 to ultimately lose all my money just to see a leveraged return in the short run. You have to be lucky to get in and out and hit the right sweet spot on one of these hedgefunds. Don’t glorify these guys. If I had access to the money and credit, I could leverage the spread on a typical treasury return as well. Why don’t I do it, cause ultimately I know it will fail and wipe out completely once every 10 years or less.

  74. Chester White says:

    If idiots are willing to pay 2 and 20 to people who “aren’t worth it,” what possible grounds do other people have to deny them?

    Absolutely none.

    If some hedge fund guy makes a billion dollars from his clients, it’s NONE OF MY BUSINESS.

  75. DL says:

    I do share the sense of moral outrage that many others feel. However, our (relatively) free market system, which permits a small number of people to generate astronomical wealth, benefits far more people in the end than a system that attempts to prevent such concentration of wealth.

  76. DL says:

    On the subject of taxes.
    The wealthy are a clever (and slippery) bunch.
    And how much money would it take to persuade a few key senators to maintain existing tax loopholes?
    Obama is no match for these people.

  77. Rocco says:

    It seems that no one has mentioned the fact that HF managers have substantial portions of their own net worth in their fund. An endowment or foundation will not invest in a HF where the manager is just a manager. They want to invest along side someone making money with their own money. If a guy/gal makes $3 billion in a year taking serious risk with his own bank roll, he/she deserves it.

  78. ef says:

    I’m in the camp with:

    • “Why is it that two of the most successful executives in the country are W. Buffett and R. Kinder?…” [John Wellman]
    • “The problem with hedge funds as they exist now is their complete lack of regulation. They are just economic dynamite. Looking into the crater that once was Bear Stearns, you seriously want to praise people who earn a living by playing with fire?”… [RedCharlie]
    • “It gives great insight into just how flimsy of a financial system we currently work under. These hedge funds control huge amounts of money….they are like a monopoly when they descend on some unfortunate company….” [emailcraigs]

    “…of their industries.” – Jordan’s game was basketball. Hedge funds are more like the game Doom, and their ace management are the shooters.

    When it comes to businesses, I admire the leadership of Jim Goognight, SAS, Yvon Chouinard and Michael Crooke, Patagonia. They add long-term value and quality that contributes to the sustainability (and security) of our Nation. If other countries are going to emulate business models, I would rather it be these types.

    If hedge funds must exist, as is, I do hope their intellectual knowledgebase includes understanding the value of philanthropic endeavors to improve the quality of our Nation, and survival of the planet.

  79. SPECTRE of Deflation says:

    bdg123, IRS data suffices, but you ignore that so why bother? What part of my original post stumped you concerning income inequality? Too many numbers betwwen your ears? Read the article from the link I posted and get a frigging clue.

  80. OhNoNotAgain says:

    “The value they created are ‘profits’.”

    This is the problem with our financial system in a nutshell. I hate to break it to you, but profits in and of themselves are not value. Somewhere along the food chain, someone had to actually *create* something that people want to buy, and, for the most part, will help them improve their standard of living. Anything that doesn’t serve to materially improve our standard of living is a waste of resources, and is usually very damaging due to the fact that we lose twice. We lose the resources for valuable improvements, and we never experience the benefit of these valuable improvements.

    Our markets are supposed to make things more efficient so that money flows to the companies that are providing the best products at the lowest prices possible. Any activities or financial instruments that distort that end goal or destabilize our markets should be illegal, just like certain monopoly activities are illegal.

  81. kennycan says:

    OK, if they “earned” it, they must have created something of value.

    At what store can I buy this something?

    Didn’t think so.

    Posted by: donna | Apr 17, 2008 12:58:06 AM

    I have a friend who is a tailor. He’s probably the best tailor in the world. He’s so good that the most successful gentleman in the world will pay large sums of money to get his bespoke suits. Because of this he only works by appointment and charges oodles of money.

    Substitute “hedge fund manager” for tailor and substitute “investment returns” for bespoke suits.

    Jeebus, you people make it sound like you’re paying these guys.

    I also believe it’s unfair that ordinary people have to pay 30+% income taxes while these people only pay 15%. That’s why I think we should lower ordinary income rates down to 15%.

  82. kennycan says:

    Let me clarify my point. Many people are criticizing things unrelated to the core issue brought up in the post. Party A, an investor with let’s say $100mm to invest, pays Party B, a hedge fund manager, a large sum of money to invest his money. All the criticisms along the lines of “heads I win, tails you lose” and “overall hedge funds underperform the S&P” and “they don’t create anything of value” are irrelevant to the post. You don’t pay Party B, Party A does. If Party A does not get value for his money for whatever reason, that’s not for you to say anything about. It is a private contract between Party A and Party B and Party A’s business. MYOB.

    The people you should be criticizing is not Party B but Party A. “Why is Party A not taking his US$100mm and investing it in something that creates value”, might be a valid argument. If it’s “Heads I Win, Tails you Lose” then the answer is Party A is stupid. But that would be off topic to the post at hand.

    Solutions like capping these people’s salaries is counterproductive. It rewards Party A but doesn’t necessarily benefit anyone else. If Party A no longer has acess to the investment returns of a Jim Simons et al, then in the long run it hurts Party A as well. So how has any of this made anything better?

    It’s the problem with socialism. We end up trying to equalize the outcomes by cutting everyone down to the lowest common denominator rather than expanding equality of opportunity for everyone.

    I’ve got an idea. If it’s so easy, why don’t we all get together and start our own hedge fund. The Big Picture Blog Readers Hedge Fund. We only charge 1 + 10 and we voluntarily pay 35% tax rates, just to be fair to the regular guy, doncha know.

  83. Egg says:

    As far as creation of value goes, I frequently hear the explanation (quite a theoretical one) that investors are ultimately rewarded for discovering inefficiencies and for the efficient reallocation of resources. Once again, if you only measure efficiency in terms of liquid money then the real value may easily slip through your fingers.

    Here is my current favorite historical example: milk. When you make the production of milk efficient, quality goes through the floor. Something like 99.9% of us don’t know what milk tasted like before 1850. But 0.01% of us do know, because a few farmers are making milk the same way it was made back then–and it tastes gooooood. In those days there was something known as the “milk cure”–drink nothing but milk for a month and it would cure just about any disease. Today nobody would try to argue that milk is a health food, because it isn’t anymore: there is plenty of science to show that modern milk causes heart disease, cancer, allergies, etc.

    A basic aspect of the problem is that the vast majority of consumers are not aware of milk quality issues, so the apparently “rational” choice (paying less for the “same” product) is ultimately not the real rational choice (paying more now to avoid heart disease and cancer later). This deviation from rational behavior has only increased over the past 150 years due to the steadily growing political influence of big dairies, and there is little hope of mean-reversion in the foreseeable future.

    Now investors would surely have been rewarded for reallocating assets away from slow, small-scale milk production towards large factory dairies. So in terms of liquid money, there is greater value in efficient milk production. But throw the health and quality issues into the equation, and this added value disappears. What is left is a transfer of wealth from small dairies and consumers to large dairies and their investors. In particular, the consumer experiences a loss of wealth in the form of a loss of health and quality of life.

  84. OhNoNotAgain says:

    Egg, you’ve added another dimension that even I failed to address adequately – the failure of our markets (and hedge funds) to fully understand the products and companies that they’re dealing with, and the effect that this has on our *actual* standard of living. The worst part is, at least for a while, this type of arrangement works. But then the increases in costs for health care, social spending, crime prevention, loss of productivity, etc. start to slowly creep up, and we’re left with an unsustainable mess on our hands.

    I had some further responses for kennycan, but the spam filter keeps flagging my comments as spam, and I’m done trying to guess which phrase or phrases it doesn’t like.

  85. Justin Dangel says:

    Kennycan needs to recognize that most of the money in hedge funds is now institutional (i.e. pension funds) and that the industry is producing many non-economic externalities. Its pretty obvious to any good faith arguer that hedge fund compensation is a free market disfunction. We can choose to be worried about that and the negative externalities it causes or not. Please stop calling people who are concerned about a well-functioning market economy socialist.

  86. Tom says:

    What some people seem to be missing, is that the alternative part of most institutional investor portfolios is holding up much better today than their traditional assets. So, in essence, folks like Paulson and some hedge funds (not all by any stretch) are actually helping alleviate the externalities (unfunded pension liabilities) mentioned above.

    All this belly-aching about compensation comes down to jealously. Just like all the dis-belief about the internet million/billionaires in the late 1990′s and the Schadenfreude that came with the collapse. If you think you can put up the performance these guys do, all you have to do is convince some initial investors and have at it.

  87. OhNoNotAgain says:

    So, you’re essentially saying to those that are getting screwed out of some (or most) of their pension:

    “Be happy with what you got and shut up”.

    Is that about right ? Something tells me that you wouldn’t be so cavalier about this if it were *your* retirement money that you were counting on.

    The fact of the matter is that the traditional investments would be doing a lot better if we’d stop all of this financial speculation and get back to being an actual productive economy. There’s way too much money chasing way too little actual productive value, and way too many people taking their pound of flesh in the process.

  88. Hedge Fund Compensation

    Earlier this week, I asked, What’s Wrong With Billionaire Fund Managers? In noted the very top % of this profession carried enormous compensation for those Alpha creators who earned tremendous returns for their partners. Most of the top earners are als…

  89. Just a Point says:

    Most People fail to see the money being made be the oil well owners in this country. they are pumping like crazy and are getting a great price for their oil and don’t have to ship it any where and are selling it right to the government.Oh by the way that’s you..

  90. Amen. Nice post and I agree with both your opinion on the situation and reaction to the comments above. These hedge fund managers, like most written about in mainstream media are the Jordans of the industry. The average hedge fund manager makes an income that wouldn’t turn the heads of too many super liberals. Hedge funds have recently managed risk better than the banks, it is now the hedge fund managers evaluating the cash positions of their prime brokerage partners instead of the other way around.

    Let me know if you would ever want to co-write a post, debate or interview each other for our blogs.

    - Richard
    Hedge Fund Consulting Blog
    Hedge Fund Group (HFG)