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Battered hedge funds face difficult 2009

Daily Herald – Year after year, the hedge fund industry dazzled Wall Street by delivering "absolute returns" – outsized profits whether markets rose or fell. Using sophisticated trading models, the pools of managed capital made wealthy people wealthier with eye-popping returns that carried seemingly moderate risk.

Not these days. Blind-sided by a colossal market collapse and the widening Bernard Madoff scandal, hedge funds suffered their worst showing on record last year. And they’re bracing for more pain in 2009. The industry’s fall proves that even the quantitative brilliance and market wizardry of elite hedge funds are no magic bullet for investors during brutal times.

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