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A TV reporter gambles, and loses, on running a hedge fund

International Herald Tribune – Do you remember a time, only a short while ago, when virtually anybody could start a hedge fund? It seemed so easy: Billions of dollars were being thrown around like confetti, even at first-time managers. Greenwich, Connecticut, the wealthy New York suburb that became an enclave for hedge fund managers, overflowed with multimillionaires and more than a few billionaires.

Anybody could make money with their eyes closed. Or so it seemed.

Ron Insana was one of the people who chased that dream. Insana spent more than a decade as one of the most prominent anchormen at CNBC, the financial news channel on cable television that has become a constant presence in just about every Wall Street office and trading room. He was a mere journalist, to be sure, but he regularly interviewed some of the titans in business, trying to make sense of the daily gyrations of the market.

In March 2006, Insana left the network to try his hand at becoming one of those titans, setting up a fund to help investors get into hedge funds, a so-called fund of funds. Paul Kedrosky, a writer and investor, said at the time that Insana’s move "reminded him a little of Lou Dobbs going to Space.com at the peak of the dot-com bubble."

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