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Hedge funds grab the spotlight on Wall St.

Politico.com – Even as the storied financial names vanish — Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and Bear Stearns — they’re being quietly replaced by less familiar ones: Cerberus Capital Management, Citadel Investment Group, SAC Capital Partners and the other biggest hedge funds and private equity shops in the world.

The consensus in Washington is that the Wall Street meltdown means an inevitable resurgence of regulatory authority over the financial sector. But what it may actually portend is just the opposite: the emergence of an almost entirely unregulated financial sector that replaces investment banks that were more rigorously regulated.

It has now become very clear to market insiders that the $2.1 trillion hedge fund industry is larger in terms of capital than the remnants of the investment banking sector.

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