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A Graphical Look at Hedge Fund Leverage

Seeking Alpha – Britain’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) recently found that hedge fund leverage was nearly extinct (for now). In what is billed by the FT as the “only authoritative data on the opaque industry”, the FSA found that the average hedge fund had leverage of 1.15x, down from about 2x a year ago and 1.44x as late as last spring. According to the FT, the FSA defined leverage as long positions over NAV, “ignoring short positions.”

But what happens when you account for shorts? Regular readers may remember the chart below left from a recent European Central Bank report.

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